England’s Callum Shinkwin hailed a “one in a million” moment after defeating Finland’s Kalle Samooja in a play-off to win his first European Tour title in the Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Open.
Shinkwin birdied the first extra hole to secure victory after the pair had finished tied on 20 under par.
The 27-year-old, who lost a play-off for the Scottish Open in 2017 after missing from four feet to win on the 72nd hole, had earlier produced a spectacular finish to set the clubhouse target following a closing 63.
Shinkwin was two shots behind with two holes play but birdied the 17th and then holed from 50 feet for an eagle on the 18th to complete a back nine of 29.
“I could see the scoreboard and Kalle was on 19 (under) and I was on 18,” Shinkwin said. “There was no chance really to hole that putt normally, it was one in a million you’re going to hole it from that distance and my aim was to try and two putt.”
Samooja needed to match Shinkwin’s eagle to win in regulation and saw his long-range attempt run five feet past the hole, but held his nerve to hole the birdie putt to force extra holes.
The 32-year-old then left himself with an almost identical birdie putt to extend the play-off, but pushed it agonisingly wide of the hole.
Whilst looking forward to this week’s Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Showdown (November 5–8), we just cannot resist looking at the number of the previous days:
27 different nationalities played in this Cyprus Open
105 players were competing for a total prize fund of one million euris
Television reach of 735 million in 47 countries, including 19 hours of live coverage across the four days of the tournament.
It has been a hard year for tourism around the world. During these hard periods, our island had just enjoyed one of the greatest promotional opportunities.
People who have never been to Cyprus before, are using all contact channels to express their admiration towards the Aphrodite Hills Resort’s facilities, the nature and beauty of the island and the amazing sunny weather in the middle of autumn.
The European Tour and ISM are working hard to deliver the same quality at this week’s tournament.
The new 2030 National Strategy for Tourism is certainly to bring profound results in diversification and to keep the sector on its growth trajectory for the next decades.
Golf tourism is growing steadily thanks to the island’s year-round good weather and due to facilities like the ones at Aphrodite Hills Resort.
The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Savvas Perdios congratulated the organisers and the winner and expressed his satisfaction for the event happening in Cyprus for the firstst time and wished to be able to welcome the tournament again next year and in the years to come.