An emotional Richard Bland defeated Guido Migliozzi in a play-off to win his first European Tour title on the 478th try after a dramatic end to the Betfred British Masters.
Bland parred the primary additional gap at The Belfry after Migliozzi three-putted from lengthy vary to develop into the oldest first-time winner in European Tour historical past.
The 48-year-old had carded an outstanding closing spherical of 66 to set the clubhouse goal on 13 underneath par, however appeared in peril of cruelly being denied victory by the fast-finishing Migliozzi.
Birdies on the fifteenth and sixteenth gave Migliozzi a share of the lead and he then discovered the inexperienced in two on the par-five seventeenth, however missed from 5 ft for birdie after lipping out from lengthy vary for an eagle.
Migliozzi’s tee shot on the 18th plugged within the moist grass on the sting of a bunker however, after receiving a free drop, the 24-year-old hit his strategy right into a greenside bunker and bought up and right down to drive additional holes.
The gamers returned to the 18th and it was benefit Migliozzi after an outstanding drive left him 50 yards nearer to the inexperienced, however after each gamers hit detached approaches it was Migliozzi who charged his birdie try 5 ft previous the outlet and missed the return.
Bland, who made only one bogey all week, mentioned: “It’s in all probability going to take a number of days to sink it. It’s what I’ve labored for for 20 years. I’ve had a number of shut calls and I assume somebody up there was trying down on me fairly favourably at present.
“An enormous incentive for me this yr was to get to 500 occasions and it will enable me to do this, which I’ll be vastly happy with.”
Bland admitted that the bottom level of his profession got here when he misplaced his card in 2018, a scenario exacerbated by his brother Heath affected by a life-threatening sickness which noticed him positioned in an induced coma for a month firstly of the yr.
“That is one for him as properly,” Bland added. “It took a number of guts for me to return to the Problem Tour at 46 years outdated if you’re in all probability sufficiently old to be a lot of the guys’ father.
“I wasn’t there to make associates – though I did and it was nice – nevertheless it was purely get your head down, get the job down and again to the place I felt like I belong. I knew there was unfinished enterprise out right here and I’m simply happy that I proved I can do it.
“I beloved it down the stretch on the market. I had a one-shot lead with six holes to play and hit the photographs after I wanted to and that’s an enormous confidence enhance going forwards.
“Who is aware of? Perhaps it’s like buses. None come round for ages after which two come alongside in fast succession.”
England’s Eddie Pepperell had taken a one-shot lead into the ultimate spherical, however the 2018 champion may solely handle a closing 73 to fall again right into a tie for eleventh with match host Danny Willett.
Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre, the top-ranked participant within the discipline, held a share of the lead after birdies on the second and third, however the world quantity 45 ultimately signed for a 71 to complete joint eighth with compatriot Calum Hill and Edoardo Molinari.
MacIntyre admitted he was affected by a stroke of dangerous luck on the seventh, the place his tee shot clattered into the pin and bounced again off the inexperienced.
“I type of bought rocked on the par three,” the left-hander mentioned. “You want bits of luck to go your approach to win golf tournaments and I appear to see that form of factor, smashing a pin, occur to me a number of instances after I’m in competition.
“It was so near going straight within the cup and it hit proper on the backside of the flag.”