Callum Shinkwin scores European Tour breakthrough at Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Open

Callum Shinkwin finally has a European Tour title to his name. For an Englishman who authored such a promising amateur career, including a turn on the 2013 Walker Cup team for Great Britain and Ireland, it has been a long time coming.

Shinkwin won the Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Open in Paphos, Cyprus, on Sunday in a playoff with Kalle Samooja. Shinkwin had been trailing by two shots after 70 holes but made up ground with a birdie on the 17th hole of his final round. He then made an all-time eagle – reaching the green at the par-5 closing hole from the rough but then holing a 54-foot eagle putt for a closing 63 that left him at 20 under.

Samooja couldn’t quite pull off the long eagle putt when he came through the 18th hole a few minutes later, which sent the two to a playoff. Shinkwin won with a birdie.

Scores: Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Open

Shinkwin started his pro career on the European Challenge Tour, graduating to the major tour in 2015. He nearly won the 2016 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open but fell in a playoff to Rafa Cabrera Bello. After losing his Euro Tour card in 2018, Shinkwin played his way back and now is a first-time winner – the 11th one of those on this tour in 2020.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and now I have,” he said. “It’s been a bit of a shock but it feels great.

“I felt relaxed all day, I felt great, to be fair. 15 and 16 were playing me up all week. I was more nervous playing those two holes just to get through them than in the play-off or on the 18th. I managed to get through them really well and I felt great.”

The European Tour remains in Cyprus next week for the Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Showdown.

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