Cabrera Bello claims Open de Espana glory after edging out Arnaus in dramatic play-off

By Sports Desk October 10, 2021

Rafa Cabrera Bello saw off fellow Spaniard Adri Arnaus in a play-off to claim a dramatic victory at the Open de Espana in Madrid.

The world number 231 captured the fourth European Tour event of his career – and first since triumphing at the 2017 Scottish Open.

Cabrera Bello's victory saw him follow in the footsteps of Seve Ballesteros, Sergio Garcia and Miguel Angel Jimenez in winning his national open, with the Canarian now having won it as a professional and at each age level from seven through to 18.

The 37-year-old went into the final round in the Spanish capital with a two-shot lead, but surrendered his advantage following a tricky opening nine.

However, a run of three successive birdies from the 13th restored a share of the lead with Arnaus, before saving par on the 18th to finish on 19-under for the tournament.

Meanwhile, Arnaus carded 67 and forced the play-off as he looked to avoid a fourth runner-up finish on the European Tour.

After returning to the 18th, each of them hit tee shots left of the fairway, but a tremendous approach from Cabrera Bello set up an 11-foot birdie that ended his title drought.

"I'm very, very happy," he said. "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 came here in probably the worst shape I have been in over the last decade, and to walk out here with a win, it's very special."

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