Fernandez-Castano wins at Belfry
Spaniard wins title in sudden death playoff.
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2008 20:48 GMT

Gonzalo Fernandez Castano gets himself out of trouble [GALLO/GETTY]
Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano defeated Britain's defending champion Lee Westwood in a sudden-death playoff to claim the British Masters title at the Belfry.

Both players finished on 12-under-par after 72 holes, two strokes ahead of the field, before Fernandez-Castano prevailed at the third extra hole.

The Spaniard's par provided an unexpected ending, with Westwood on his return from a disappointing Ryder Cup looking favourite for the title all week.

However, Westwood's closing two-under-par 70 allowed playing partner Fernandez-Castano to gain ground with a closing 67 before he eventually claimed his fourth European Tour success.

"This is probably the best victory of my four, especially beating such a player as Lee," Fernandez-Castano said after celebrating his win by leaping into the Belfry's lake.

"My season wasn't going well and I was starting to get worried... (but) the chip-in on the 12th was the key to it all."

Campbell slides

The finale was expected to be a head-to-head between Westwood and New Zealand's Michael Campbell, who were tied for the lead going into the fourth round after both finished off their fog-affected third rounds in the morning.

Campbell, who subsequently finished in third place, two shots shy of the playoff, struggled to match Westwood, however, and the 35-year-old Englishman surged three strokes ahead of him by the seventh.

Fernandez-Castano became Westwood's chief challenger when he moved just a stroke adrift with a birdie on the 10th.

The Spaniard caught Westwood after he conjured up a par on the short 12th by chipping in, having found water, and then holed from four feet from heavy rough on 13 for birdie.

The pair were locked together at the treacherous 18th, where Fernandez-Castano again served up a magical par-save from the rough to force extra holes.

Westwood disappointed...again

A tired Westwood's disappointment continued a week after losing his singles Ryder Cup match to Ben Curtis.

Sunday's shootout defeat left Westwood without a win this season but moved him up to second place on Europe's money-list.

"I felt I am at the end of my tether and running on empty, so to get into a playoff was good," Westwood said.

"I made some inroads on the order of merit but I'm still missing a win this year."

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