Nacho Elvira prevails in battle of nerves en-route Soudal Open win

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A broken two iron in the warm-up and 23-minute rain delay in the middle of the round added further complications but Nacho Elvira showed remarkable determination to get over the line and seal an emotional victory. Photo: Getty Images

Nacho Elvira carded a gutsy level-par 71 to hold on and claim his second DP World Tour title at the Soudal Open after a dramatic afternoon at Rinkven International Golf Club.

Related: Nacho Elvira tightens grip on Soudal Open

The Spaniard entered the final day with a four-shot advantage and quickly extended that to five but at the finale found himself on the 18th green at 18 under watching playing partner Niklas Nørgaard stand over a birdie putt to force a play-off.

The Dane, however, missed his 12-footer, leaving Elvira to celebrate a one-shot victory, with Frenchman Romain Langasque and home favourite Thomas Pieters in a share of second.

English duo Joe Dean and Matthew Jordan were then at 16 under, with Dean the only player to briefly share the lead with Elvira during a tense fourth round.

 

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Elvira’s victory serves as a reward for some remarkable consistency in a 2024 season where he has missed just one cut by a single shot and finished second at the Magical Kenya Open.

The 37-year-old’s victory at the 2021 Cazoo Open supported by Gareth Bale came after a play-off despite him entering the final round in Wales with a six-shot advantage and there was a chance that he could need extra holes again as he scrambled over the closing holes.

 

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A broken two iron in the warm-up and 23-minute rain delay in the middle of the round added further complications but Elvira showed remarkable determination to get over the line and seal an emotional victory.

 

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Elvira leads the European Swing on 500 points after the first of six counting events. The fourth of five Global Swings on the 2024 Race to Dubai, the winner of the European Swing will earn $200,000, gain exemption into the next Rolex Series event – the Genesis Scottish Open – and qualify for each of the ‘Back 9’ events. The season then concludes with the DP World Tour Play-Offs.

Winner’s Quotes

Nacho Elvira: It’s such a relief. It’s been tough because my two iron cracked in the warm up and I needed it a bit today. I was quite nervous because I wasn’t hitting it off the tee well. It was all heart the last few holes because I knew I had a couple of driving holes I wasn’t comfortable with. That chip on 17 was key I think.

I knew if I made the putt on the last I would win. I learned a bit from the past. In Celtic Manor (for last win in 2021) I hit it too far past and didn’t make the putt coming back so I knew I needed to hit a good putt. Try to make it but don’t be too greedy. It looked like it was going in all the way and ended up staying on the lip, but the end result was good for me too.

I was trying not to get wet (during the suspension in play). It was pouring and we waited for 30 minutes, but congratulations to the team because they did a fantastic job. They kept us on the course knowing it would pass and it sure did.

When you’re hitting it well, everything seems easy. When you’re not, everything seems very complicated. I told my caddie, for some reason I wasn’t feeling it today, maybe a mix of emotions. My wedges and my putting were on point, but off the tee I was struggling. I was trying to keep it in play somehow and it paid off.

It’s special (the support from his brother Manuel) especially because I tried to teach him that this game doesn’t pay off weekly, you need to be patient. Hopefully he learned something from this and he’ll keep pushing.