Papadatos claims maiden European win in Portugal

Australia’s Dimi Papadatos has secured his maiden European Challenge Tour title following a 3-under par final round of 69 to win the 56˚ Open de Portugal by one shot.

The New South Welshman kicked-off the final round just one shot behind overnight leaders José-Filipe Lima and Stuart Manley before quickly overtaking both players with a pair of birdies at the 3rd and 4th holes.

Dimi Papadatos Dimi Papadatos (Credit: Open de Portugal)

The three-time winner on the PGA Tour of Australasia, rolled in a 8-metre birdie putt at the par-5 10th to extend his lead and despite dropping a shot at the par-5 16th he quickly turned things around with a birdie at the next hole along with a tricky par at the 18th to go to the clubhouse with a 7-under par lead.

Portugal’s Lima was unable to secure a birdie at the 18th that would have taken the match to a play-off and the 26-year-old Papadatos was crowned champion for his first victory on European soil.

“It feels pretty good and a big relief, especially after the last couple of days,” he said.

“It’s been very windy and difficult, you had to grind out results in such a bunched field when it’s very hard to break away and get in front. But I was fortunate enough to do that in the end.”

“I played the course well today. I was very solid finishing long par putts, and I didn’t threaten to make many birdies as I was hitting it poorly today. But I hung in there and my short game was good and I took a couple of opportunities when I got them.

“I’ve had a couple of wins back in Aus and I’ve never won in Europe, so it’s maybe not the biggest but it’s definitely the most important as it’s going to get me going over here.”

“I’ve been trying the last two or three years to get myself going in Europe and onto the main tour, so this is a big step forward and it’s going to help me out a lot.”

“I flew into Portugal on Monday lunchtime and only booked my flights last Friday, so this tournament wasn’t even on my radar.”

“I was just going to come over for Walton Heath for the US Open qualifier, but with my category I happened to get in here. I was second reserve for Spain next week, so the win might sneak me in there now.”

The €32,000 prize money sees Papadatos move into ninth place on the European Challenge Tour rankings and adds to his already impressive resume which includes victories at the 2014 New Zealand Open, 2017 Oates Victorian Open and 2017 WA PGA Championship.

Ben Eccles was the only other Australian in the field but failed to make the weekend cut following rounds of 77 and 73.