- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 5, 2009

CASCAIS, PORTUGAL (AP) - Michael Hoey of Northern Ireland earned his first European Tour win by beating Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano of Spain on the third playoff hole at the Estoril Open on Sunday.

Both players had finished at 7-under 277 at the Oitavos Dunes course.

Hoey had four birdies in his first 10 holes on his way to a joint-best 5-under 66. Fernandez-Castano had four birdies for a 67.

The players sank tricky par putts to stay even over the first two holes before Fernandez-Castano missed from 12 feet to give Hoey an opening at No. 17. Hoey then sank an 8-footer for par and the victory.

“I didn’t really think about winning, but I had all the breaks and it really was my day,” the 30-year-old Hoey said. “It’s totally a life-changing moment, it’s amazing really. If I can keep this mentality going it’s definitely the way forward.”

Fernandez-Castano lost in sudden death for the first time.

Italy’s Francesco Molinari (68) finished one shot back for third, while England’s Paul Broadhurst (73), Jamie Donaldson (72) of Wales and Mikael Lundberg (70) of Sweden were at 5-under.

Broadhurst led by one going into the round, but started with three bogeys in the first five holes and then had a double-bogey at the par-5 13th.

Hoey earned $208,330 in denying Fernandez-Castano a fourth career win.

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