Lawrie tied 10th in Madeira

Peter Lawrie tied for 10th in the Madeira Islands Open as Scot Alastair Forsyth snatched the title from South Africa's Hennie Otto at the first extra hole.

Dubliner Lawrie closed with his third successive 69 to finish nine shots outside the play-off in a four-way tie on six-under par.

The Irishman earned €12,010 to move up to 91st on the Order of Merit as Forsyth got the better of Otto in an extra hole drama.

On a thrilling final day at Santo da Serra, Forsyth grabbed his second European Tour title with a birdie three at the first extra hole after both players had ended the tournament on 15-under par 273.

“I went into the year feeling pretty good about my game after last year and I was hoping to carry that on but I made a really poor start with all the missed cuts,” Forsyth said. “But I have been playing all right over the past couple of weeks so I felt as if a good result was just around the corner.

“Some people at home were saying to me what was wrong with my game missing five cuts in a row and stuff and it was the worst start to a year I had ever made.

“But I had trust in my game and faith in my ability and a lot of trust in Bob who told me I was swinging it well. If he tells you that, it is good enough for me, and he was right.”

Five shots behind Otto at the start of the day Forsyth knew he had to get off to a good start to challenge the South African, but both players played the first four holes in identical figures of one-under par.

However the turning point of the contest came at the 412 yard fifth where Forsyth played a superb lob wedge approach to six inches for a birdie three while Otto found trouble on his way to a bogey five.

The two shot swing gave the Scot the momentum and he continued to chip away at the South African’s lead until his seventh birdie of the day at the 14th gave him the outright lead for the first time. However, with the trophy in sight, Forsyth three putted the 17th for bogey to see the pair stand on the final tee tied at 14-under par.

Two glorious tee shots followed by equally superb approach shots to within seven feet saw the two main protagonists both end with birdie threes but on their return to the 18th tee moments later, it was Forsyth who repeated the feat to win.

After Otto’s approach – which very nearly flew straight into the cup – spun eight feet from the hole and he missed his birdie putt,  Forsyth was left with virtually the same seven footer he had holed ten minutes earlier and he made no mistake for the second time in a row to bag the €116,660 first prize.

For Otto, who had led from the second round, there was obvious disappointment and the 31 year old South African was quick to point out where he felt his chance had slipped away.

“Alastair played very well to catch me today but I had over 30 putts for the first time this week and that just shows you if you make over 30 putts you will lose the tournament,” he said.

“If I made-under 30 putts, even just 29, I’d have won. But 31 putts it is not enough. You can be a billionaire but you can’t buy a putt.”