9th July 2011 | Alps Tour Golf
Passionate maiden win for Michael Hill
France’s Michael Hill, 26 year old, wins the 9th Open International du Haut Poitou. IMAGES GALLERY HERE The battle between Frenchman and Italy’s Andrea Rota was passionate. Until the 14th hole, Italian had a 4 shot advantage but the machine broken down on the 14th and never restarted. France’s Raphaël Eyraud shot wonderful 70, 3 under par to finish second and young Clément Gallois climbed on third place of the podium.
Italian Andrea Rota, had one hand on the trophy after first nine holes as his nearest opponent was 2 shots back. After Hill dropped a shot on the 11th and he holed for birdy. Everyone in the crowd was thinking of a Italian winner. But the Haut Poitou Golf Course is full of tricks and as Rota said on first tee “ nothing is done until the last shot to the 18th green”. Unfortunately for him, he was right. He dropped one shot on 14th par 5. Strategy was not good he said and he visited twice bunkers. Michael Hill holed for birdy, the first of the day. Then Rota misjudged his chip shot on the 15th and dropped another shot. The nightmare went on the par 3 16th. His ball landed in the water hazard and he signed for double bogey.
At this time, both players had a look on the leaderboard. France’s Raphaël Eyraud was the leader at the club house with -1 total. Both players was level par and Hill took the most dangerous option on the tee. He aimed the green and carried the ball at least 250 meters to stay 30 centimetres short of the green. He almost holed for albatross… and went to -2 total to lead by one. Andrea Rota’s bad dream did not finish and dropped another shot on the 17th. Michael Hill holed for maiden win after 6 years as professional and retained tears during interview:
“I was confident. I did believe I could win even when I drove out on the 11th. I knew the course was tough and very tricky. I just needed to stay behind Andrea waiting for his mistake. That is what happens. It was a poker shot on the 17thpar 5. I hit the driver from tee between the tree to catch the green. I almost made double eagle. I putted 20 meters in line and stay 20 centimetres short. From that putt to the last, you can not image the emotion and feeling I had on 18th fairway. I was shacking. I take such a long time to putt on 18th, I was so nervous that it could finish 6 meters long. What a feeling… This is my first win and obviously it is launching my season.”
At Saint Cyr, Haut Poitou