Friday, October 02, 2009

Cabrera-Bello is September's Shot Maker

Spaniard Rafael Cabrera-Bello has been named The Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Month for September after his stunning final round 60 at the Austrian Golf Open which helped clinch his first European Tour victory. The 25 year old Challenge Tour graduate, who will receive a jeroboam of Moët & Chandon champagne along with an engraved alms dish in recognition of his achievement, joined an exclusive group of players to win a European Tour event after carding a 60 on the final day, namely Ian Woosnam, who did so at the Monte Carlo Open in 1990, and Jamie Spence, who repeated the feat at the 1992 European Masters. Cabrera-Bello began the last round at Fontana Golf Club eight shots behind leader Benn Barham, but powered his way to the top of the leaderboard with an incredible 11 birdies and even had a 30 foot putt at the last for a 59, which would have been the lowest score ever recorded in European Tour history. The round also created and equalled a number of 2009 European Tour records, being the lowest score, lowest final 36 and 54 hole totals of 126 and 193 respectively, equal lowest 18 holes in relation to par, equal lowest 72 hole winning total of 264, lowest final round by a winner and largest final round comeback of the season. “It is a huge honour to win this award,” he said. “It is a pleasure to see my name there alongside many great players that have won this award in the past and it gives me a lot of motivation and confidence for the future. This is the culmination of many years of hard work. I feel very proud and it is very rewarding for what has been the best month of my career. I had been struggling a bit recently so to flip the coin like this so quickly is fantastic.” Cabrera-Bello, the 14th first-time winner of the season, fought off strong competition for the award, in particular from another first time winner, Alex Noren of Sweden, who captured the Omega European Masters in Switzerland. But the weight of the judging panel, which comprised members of the Association of Golf Writers in addition to commentators from television and radio, came down in favour of the Spaniard. Other players to be commended by the panel were James Kingston of South Africa, the Mercedes-Benz Championship winner, and England’s Chris Wood, who won four and a half points from a possible five at The Vivendi Trophy with Seve Ballesteros under the superb captaincy of Paul McGinley. Cabrera-Bello joins Rory McIlroy (January), Geoff Ogilvy (February), Søren Kjeldsen (March), Angel Cabrera (April), Shane Lowry (May), Nick Dougherty (June), Martin Kaymer (July) and Lee Westwood (August) as a winner of The 2009 Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Month Award. The Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Year will be selected following the Dubai World Championship at the Earth Course, Jumeirah Golf Estates, from November 19-22, 2009, where the winner of The Race to Dubai will be confirmed.

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