Home Hero Rafa Cabrera-Bello Wins The Open de Espana

Rafa Cabrera-Bello Wins The Open de Espana
Rafa Cabrera Bello celebrates victory at The Open de Espana at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid on Oct 10, 2021 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Jose Manuel Alvarez / Quality Sport Images via Getty Images)

Rafa Cabrera-Bello shot a final-round 69 and then beat countryman Adri Arnaus in a playoff to break a four-year winless drought and win the Acciona Open de Espana.

The 37-year-old Spaniard, who entered the final round with a two shot lead, got off to a horrific start with a double bogey on the very first hole. He got back a shot back with a birdie on No. 4, and after eight straight pars, he reeled off a timely hat-trick of birdies on Nos. 13-15 to grab a share of the lead on 19 under. A brilliant up and down to save par on the final hole gave the former Ryder Cup star a Sunday 69.

Playing the 18th again in overtime, Cabrera-Bello was a bit shaky off the tee but roped his approach to 11 feet and clinched victory with a birdie putt.

Rafa Cabrera-Bello Wins The Open de Espana
Rafa Cabrera Bello celebrates victory at The Open de Espana at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid on Oct 10, 2021 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Jose Manuel Alvarez / Quality Sport Images via Getty Images)

“It was definitely one trophy that was on my bucket list,” said Cabrera-Bello. “To join my name to all those champions – Alvaro (Quiros) as well that I can think of – it’s very, very special.

“I’m very, very happy. I knew it was going to be a really hard battle today and I don’t think I need to say that I didn’t get off to the ideal start.

“I’ve been believing in myself, I’ve had amazing support all this week rooting for me ever since the first minute and I was just hanging in there, I knew I’d have an opportunity and I’m glad that luck swung my way.

“I’ve loved this city (Madrid) since I came here for the first time but the last couple of years I’ve felt a really, really special connection with the crowd and the support has helped me a lot.

“I came here in a pretty bad place with scores being not what I expect them to be and to be able to get momentum and turn it around and to walk out of here with a win means a lot to me. Hopefully I can keep going and get back to the player I know I can be.”

Scot Grant Forrest came home in 28 to finish two shots out of the play-off at 17 under alongside Frenchman Julien Guerrier and India’s Shubhankar Sharma.

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