Marcos Pastor won the third leg of The Gecko Tour with an extraordinary exhibition of golf. The Spaniard secured victory at Santa Clara Golf Marbella and Marbella Golf Country Club with a total score of 199 over the three rounds. His respective cards say it all: 68, 65 and 66. Exceptional.
Marcos dominated the tournament from start to finish, taking the lead on the first day and never relinquishing his firm hold on the trophy. Such was his command that runner-up Andreas Andersson – a highly experienced Swedish player on the European Tour and Challenge Tour – finished eight strokes back, while third place was shared by Germany’s Dominic Pietzsch and another Swede, Viktor Kratz, an even more galactic 11 shots adrift of the champion.
Pastor produced a stunning barrage of birdies this week on the Costa del Sol: no fewer than 23 in 54 holes. In other words, a stratospheric average of one birdie every two and a half holes. Indisputable play.
Once again the tournament demonstrated just how international The Gecko Tour is. Nearly 100 golfers took part, representing more than 20 different nationalities, from Spain to Germany and also including Great Britain, Ireland, Denmark, Canada and the United States, as well as other more exotic countries (in a golfing sense) such as Estonia and Slovenia.
The event was held over three days at Santa Clara Marbella and Marbella Golf Country Club, two courses that were in impeccable condition – a fact highlighted by the excellent scores. A cut after two rounds was set at two-over, and 21 golfers made it to the third round, including the brilliant French women’s amateur Lauralie Migneaux.
Marcos Pastor’s win enabled him to consolidate his leadership of the Gecko order of merit. It also eased some of the disappointment of his European Tour Qualifying School experience. He arrived well prepared but an injury suffered just before starting the first phase forced him to play in great discomfort and he ended up losing the battle. Pastor competed with a fracture in his left heel bone, an injury which still affects his play. “They did an MRI on Friday and it’s been improving, but it’s still not completely healed,” he said. “It’s mending and the swelling is going down but I have to be patient.”
Pastor said he was hugely satisfied with his play this week although he added, “My best tournament is still to come. You can always improve and that’s the goal I set myself. I’m putting very well and focused out on the course. I would say the best thing has been getting into a routine.”