28th February 2013 | Alps Tour Golf
Cooley defeats Stewart after 5th extra hole
Andrew Cooley, finally ended his Egyptian story after 5th extra hole over Scotland’s Michael Stewart. He won the inaugural Red Sea Ain Bay Open. Italy’s Andrea Maestroni is third and certainly regrets dropping one shot on last hole to miss the play off.
Overnight leader Andrea Rota lost 3 shots on the 4 first holes and at this moment a win seemed impossible to grab. Meanwhile, Stewart who teed off one hour before last group was leading at the club house as he signed for best score of the day, 66 for -7 total. Maestroni was -7 tie with one to play but failed to save par on the 18th.
Italy’s hope rested upon Rota’s shoulders. He holed for birdie on 12th and again on 15th with wonderful 8 meters sunk. He had two holes to play and had to made another birdie to join Cooley and Stewart. He hit the 17th par 5 in two but his 3 putts stunned him. He made the same mistake on last hole and slept to 4th final position.
The final battle took place on the 18th hole, a par 4 with water in play on the right on second shot. Many british players sat next to the green to attend the show and it worth it. Micheal Stewart and Andrew Cooley played more than one extra hour to decide between.
The first two extra holes was without suspense, tee shot, green, 2 putts, next. Then Cooley after third trial hit the green and had 1 meter and half to win as his opponent missed the green and had par. Unfortunately Cooley missed, supporters felt disappointed and started to be impatient. On fourth trial, the both flew over the green and save par. Finally the water played its role of justice of the peace on 5th and last hole. Both players hit their second shot from waste area but Stewart ended in the water hazard and miss the green with fourth shot. Cooley was less then 40cm to the cup and holed for maiden win and become first “Alps Tour Pharaoh”.
“I lead twice last year in the last group and it really helped me today. I stayed calm. I played really solid. It is my maiden win as pro and I am very happy, obviously. Last year was great to improve my level of game.” He was informed that Stewart and him played 5 extra holes. “Five ! Really ? I couldn’t count any more. It was tough, what a day!”
Text and picture by Agathe Séron