Play-off agony for David Drysdale in bid for first European Tour win
The 44-year-old Borders man, with wife Vicky caddying for him, was beaten by Spaniard Jorge Campillo at the fifth extra hole after the pair had finished in a tie on 13-under-par at Education City Golf Club.
Drysdale, who had previously finished runner-up three times on the circuit during a career spanning 19 seasons, shaved the hole with a 15-foot birdie putt to win at the 72nd hole.
The world No 475 then watched Campillo roll in lengthy birdie putts at the first two play-off holes to stay alive before holding his nerve to follow him in from ten feet and three-and-a-half feet.
Continuing to play the 513-yard 18th, Drysdale found almost the same spot four times in a row as it was then halved in 4s on the next two attempts to find a winner.
In fading light in the Middle East, Campillo broke the deadlock as he rolled in a 20-foot birdie putt, with Drysdale unable to match him on this occasion from aroud 15 feet.
It was a heartbreaking end for the Scot, especially after he had played like a seasoned winner in the play-off only to see his long wait for a trophy extended.
Drysdale, who had stormed into contention with a brilliant bogey-free seven-under-par 64 on Saturday, found himself trailing Campillo by three shots with three holes to play after following a timely birdie at the 14th with a bogey at the next.
As it became a three-way battle for the title between Campillo, Drysdale and Dane Jeff Winther, the Scot kept his hopes alive when he produced a great par save from a greenside bunker at the par-4 16th.
Campillo dropped a shot there and then, after pushing his tee shot into trouble, ran up a double-bogey 6 at the next, putting him level with Drysdale heading up the last.
Drysdale didn’t do a thing wrong from then on, piling the pressure on Campillo time and time again only to be denied by some sensational putting from the Spaniard as he claimed a second European Tour win.
“I’m just so proud right now of the way I played in the play-off,” Campillo told europeantour.com. “I hardly missed a shot and I was able to make some putts.
“I hit some good shots coming in in the middle of the round but you have to be patient, you have to try hard. I knew I was going to make some putts. It was a tough win, but I’m glad I pulled it off.
"It’s a great par 4, 18. A tough hole. David was hitting some great shots into the hole and I had to make some putts. Three birdies out of six on 18 to win is something to be proud of.”
As a consolation, Drysdale picked up €172,437 to jump 93 spots to 26th in the Race to Dubai, leapfrogging Grant Forrest to take over as the top Scot.
Scott Jamieson closed with a 71 to finish joint-12th on nine-under, five shots better than Stephen Gallacher (72) in a tie for 44th. Richie Ramsay (73) and Bob MacIntyre (75) ended up outside the top 50 on two-over and one-over respectively.