Scratch another one up for England… Andrew Johnston wins the Spanish Open


A week after Rotherham’s Danny Willett won the Masters, Londoner Andrew Johnston has recorded another victory for England golf, winning the Spanish Open (Open de Espana, if you’re feeling fancy) at Valderrama. 

“It’s a dream come true, really,” said 27-year-old Johnston, whose previous best finish in a European Tour event was a third at the Alfred Dunhill Championship. “You always try to picture yourself coming down the last trying to hole that winning putt. It’s pretty surreal. I came off the course and I just started crying with the emotion of it. I don’t think it will hit me for a few days.”

Johnston, known on tour as “Beef”, held off a charge from Sergio Garcia to shoot a final-round 70 and secure victory by a single shot. Joost Luiten was second, while Garcia, whose 67 was the best score on the final day, was a shot further back in third. 

Johnston emerged victorious on a week when, at times, it looked like the course would be the only winner. Valderrama provided a stern test for the European Tour’s finest, and Johnston’s winning total of one-over made him the first winner of a European Tour event with an over-par total since Ian Woosnam’s Scottish Open victory way back in 1996. 

Johnston strikes one in close

Johnston won the Challenge Tour in 2014 and finished 70th in the Race to Dubai last season. 

“The last few years have been crazy, just seeing that steady improvement which is really positive,” he said. “Hopefully that keeps going in the right way.”

Johnston will have to set himself a new target, having already achieved what he set out to do in 2016. 

“I had a good year last year, which gave me confidence. The goal this year was to get a win and I can’t believe it has happened this quick. It is what you dream of, to have your name on a trophy alongside so many special names like Seve, Faldo and Langer. You see them winning these tournaments so to put mine on there feels pretty ridiculous really. It really does.”

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