Local Spanish Professional Gabriel Canizares shot a second round 69 to win The Invitational, a new pro-am event held in Southern Spain.
The 40-year-old only lives five minutes drive away from the Finca Cortesin, which was used for two rounds after plans for a 72-hole tournament had to be abandoned because of waterlogging at the La Reserva and San Roque Old courses nearby.
Canizares, whose winning total was seven-under par (137) finished three shots ahead of England’s Sam Little in second place and worked out quickly what he would do with his 10,000 euro prize.
“It means a lot to me,” he said. “Because I can now travel to the Asian Tour’s qualifying School without having to talk to my bank manager first.
“Winning this event was awesome because I live so close by. And I just played better and better and my score could have been lower. The greens were slightly bumpy on the second day and I didn’t hole as many putts as I would have liked.”
The Pro-Am was won by Professional Diego Suazo and his amateur partner Tim May. Scored on a betterball stableford basis they amassed 96 points collecting 48 in each of their two rounds.
Canizares and his playing partner Stephen Matts took second place and the Englishman said, “You have to congratulate the winners, they must have played absolutely superbly. The only pity was the event was reduced to two rounds instead of four.”
The Invitational was held as a PGAs of Europe Sanctioned Event and tournament director Robert Moss said: “It was a very difficult week weather wise but luckily it improved at lunchtime on Saturday and for the second round the course was in very good condition and there was some very good scoring.”
Warren Pike from the tournament committee added: “It was desperately disappointing to lose two days to the weather but I think the event was a tremendous success.
“Both the amateurs and the professionals enjoyed themselves, especially playing in the two-man team format as opposed to the usual four-man teams, and we look forward to staging the event again next year.”