Acciona Open de Espana: Rafa Cabrera Bello ends four-year title drought

"I came here in a pretty bad place with scores being not what I expect them to be and to be able to get momentum and turn it around and to walk out of here with a win means a lot to me."

Home hero Rafa Cabrera Bello hopes to challenge for golf's biggest titles after claiming his first win in four years at the Acciona Open de Espana.

In a dramatic ending, the Spaniard defeated fellow native Adri Arnaus on the first play-off hole in Madrid to lift the trophy - completing a remarkable return to form after claiming just one worldwide top 10 in 2021.

The 37-year-old was undefeated in three matches as a member of Europe's defeated Ryder Cup team in 2016 and one year later won one of the European Tour's elite Rolex Series events at the Scottish Open.

He also finished in the top five at the Open in 2017 and claimed a top 10 at the US PGA Championship in 2018 but arrived in the Spanish capital ranked 231st in the world.

Bello entered the final round with a two-shot lead and despite seeing that disappear with a double-bogey on the first, he birdied the fourth and then added a hat-trick of gains from the 13th.

He produced a brilliant sand save for par on the last to sign for a 69 and take the contest to extra holes at 19 under.

His tee shot on the second trip up the 18th was not his best, but neither was Arnaus' effort, and Cabrera Bello put an approach to 11 feet and rolled home his birdie putt to take the title.

"I came here in a pretty bad place with scores being not what I expect them to be and to be able to get momentum and turn it around and to walk out of here with a win means a lot to me," he said.

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"Hopefully I can keep going and get back to the player I know I can be," Bello added.

"I'm very, very happy. I knew it was going to be a really hard battle today and I don't think I need to say that I didn't get off to the ideal start.

"I've been believing in myself, I've had amazing support all this week rooting for me ever since the first minute and I was just hanging in there, I knew I'd have an opportunity and I'm glad that luck swung my way."

Arnaus made spectacular eagles on the seventh and 14th in a 67 that left him two shots ahead of Scotland's Grant Forrest, who picked up seven shots in his last seven holes as he came home in 28 for a closing 65.

England's Jack Senior finished at 16 under, a shot clear of countryman Richard Bland and Scotland's Marc Warren.

World number one Jon Rahm carded a closing 69 to finish six shots out of the play-off as his bid for a third consecutive win at this event fell short.

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