SON SERVERA, Spain (AP) — Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke rallied from four shots down to win the Iberdrola Open by three strokes Sunday after overnight leader Chris Wood stumbled on the back nine.
Clarke shot a 1-under 69 to finish at 6-under 274.
Wood held a comfortable margin over Clarke and Shane Lowry (74) going into Sunday’s final round at the Pula golf course, but a terrible back nine cost the English player his first European Tour victory.
Wood’s 6-over 76 left him tied with runner-up David Lynn (70) of England.
The 42-year-old Clarke takes home a $235,000 paycheck with his 13th career European win and first since 2008.
“It’s a bit of a monkey to get off my back after three years not winning so it’s good,” Clarke said. “At the same time I feel a lot for Chris Wood – he’s a young guy, a great player and I’ve been in his position before.”
The 23-year-old Wood three-putted at the 12th and 13th before powering his drive out of bounds at No. 15, where Clarke’s birdie put him in the lead for good.
“It was an extremely tough day on the course and it was a bit of a grind all the way round,” Wood said. “When you start dropping shots and you hit one out of bounds your head starts going all over the place and it’s difficult to keep going, really.”
Alastair Forsyth (70) finished four shots back in third, one better than Paul Lawrie (70) of Scotland, Ireland’s Lowry (74), Graeme Storm (70) of England and Spanish golfer Jose Maria Olazabal (73), who helped redesign the course where he won in 2005.