An emotional Marcus Armitage claimed his maiden European Tour title at the Porsche European Open, sealing a two-shot victory after a sensational seven under-par final round of 65 at Green Eagle Golf Courses.
The Englishman made six birdies and an eagle to race to into a four-shot lead through 15 holes, but after a bogey on the 16th and a remarkable chip to save par on the 17th, he faced an anxious wait to see whether any of the closing groups could reach his eight under-par total.
Matthew Southgate was his closest challenger and was just one shot back standing on the 18th tee, but he could only send his drive into the water on the last to fall back into the pack on six under par, confirming Armitage’s first win in his 71st European Tour appearance.
The 33-year-old lost his mother Jean to cancer as a teenager and was clearly emotional after becoming the fourth consecutive English winner in Hamburg, following Jordan Smith, Richard McEvoy and Paul Casey.
Marcus said: “It means everything. It’s what you dream about as a kid. It’s funny, I had a 20-footer down the hill on the last and I stood over it and thought about the amount of times you’ve stood on the putting green as a kid and said ‘two putts to win a Tour event’. I did it. It’s massive for me, for my family. A lot of hard work and it’s just massive for everyone who’s involved with Marcus Armitage.
“I’m an emotional guy. I just tried to breathe in, be calm, don’t touch my phone, then you start thinking about everyone at home, like my fiancée, what it means. Emotion comes up, and you put a lid on it.
“I lost my mum 20 years ago. I’ve dreamt about this since that day, being a winner. You have times when you think it might not happen. I just stuck at it. Today is a great day, I’m sure she’d be proud. I’ve everybody in my team that’s helped me. This one’s for me. Deep down, it’s for me. All those lonely days on my own, dealing with life. I’m sure a lot of people do the same, this one’s for me. All those lonely days working at my dream. I’ve got to take a lot of credit for it myself.
“It’s the US Open tour bag that you get, you know the Callaway speciality bag? I’ve got an Open one coming. To have a US Open one to go with that and to go to Torrey Pines, San Diego, where I watched it when Tiger won there back in 2008. It’s going to be a special, special trip. I can’t wait.”
Southgate was joined in a tie for second place at six under par by Italy’s Edoardo Molinari, Thomas Detry of Belgium and Dutchman Darius Van Driel. Defending champion Casey was then two shots further back in sixth place.
Armitage, Southgate, Molinari and Detry – who has Newcastle-based Michael Burrow on his bag – all sealed their places in the US Open as this week marked the last opportunity for players to qualify for Torrey Pines as the top 10 aggregate Race to Dubai points earners, not otherwise exempt, from the Betfred British Masters hosted by Danny Willett, Made in HimmerLand presented by FREJA and Porsche European Open.