Callum Shinkwin broke his European Tour title duck in dramatic style, overcoming the challenge of Kalle Samooja on the second hole of a play-off to win the Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Open.
I felt relaxed all day, I felt great, to be fair. 15 and 16 were playing me up all week. I was more nervous playing those two holes just to get through them than in the play-off or on the 18th. I managed to get through them really well and I felt great.Callum Shinkwin
The Englishman stood on the 17th tee two shots behind the Finn but walked off 18 in possession of the outright lead thanks to a stunning birdie, eagle finish.
Samooja birdie 18 to take the event into extra-time, and after halving the first play-off hole, he let a short birdie putt slide by the hole to hand a stunning maiden victory to the Englishman.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and now I have,” said a stunned Shikwin, who lost out in a play-off to Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open in 2016. “It’s been a bit of a shock but it feels great.
“I felt relaxed all day, I felt great, to be fair. 15 and 16 were playing me up all week. I was more nervous playing those two holes just to get through them than in the play-off or on the 18th. I managed to get through them really well and I felt great.
“I noticed at the start of the week they have cider here, which I love. They’ve got Somersby and Kopparberg so I think I’ll celebrate with a few of them tonight.
“Bit of a shock, commiserations to Kalle, he’s obviously played well this week as well, and I’m sure there are bigger things yet to come for him. It’s great, least expected it this week, coming out after what has gone on with Covid over the summer.
Scotland’s Robert MacIntrye (65), South African Garrick Higgo (65) and overnight leader Jamie Donaldson (67) from Wales shared third spot on 18-under par, two off the leading duo.