There was a dramatic close to the 9th year of the D+D REAL Czech Challenge, won in the end by Spaniard Santiago Tarrio at Kunětická Hora. He only secured victory after a play-off involving three players, when he was the only one to score a birdie at the fourth play-off hole, number ten on the course.

It was looking like a play-off at Kunětická Hora all day on Sunday, yet as the day drew to a close it appeared that Dutchman Robbie van West was on his way to a win. He was at -19 with three holes left to play, giving him a lead of two shots.

However, this former rival of Ondřej Lieser and Stanislav Matuš from the Pro Golf Tour failed to keep his nerve, scoring three bogeys in a row and giving the others a chance.

The Spaniard Tarrio, who was within striking distance of the course record on Sunday, in the end finishing with a score of “only” 64 (-8) was already waiting in the clubhouse. His overall score was thus -17, with Norwegian Kristian Johannessen on the same score, while a birdie at the last with a putt from eight metres gave Frenchman Julien Brun, living in Prague and representing Albatross, the third spot.

The first three play-off holes failed to provide a winner, with all three players scoring par at the eighteenth hole each time. So they headed off to the tenth, where although they all had a birdie putt only Tarrio managed to sink his.

This meant he could celebrate his first career victory on the Challenge Tour. “I would like to thank my family and all those who stood by me, even when I was not successful. This one is for you,” said the sympathetic Spaniard in broken English in his thank-you speech.

Only a single Czech got through to the final round at Kunětická Hora this year—Gordan Brixi, whose rounds of 71, 71, 83 and 78 gave him a final score of +15 and sixtieth place.