Date: May 14, 2018
Author: Dave Tease

Papadatos revels in Portugese delight

Dimi Papadatos has claimed his maiden European Challenge Tour title with a gritty one-shot win in the 56° Open de Portugal.

The 26-year-old from the Central Coast carded a final round three under par 69 in testing winds to finish with a four-round total of seven under par 281 to win by a shot from overnight co-leader, Jose Filipe Lima.

Papadatos, who started the day a shot behind Lima and England's Stuart Manley was fast out of the blocks on the final day and managed to leapfrog the pair with two birdies in his first four holes.

He extended his lead over the chasing pack at the tenth hole with an 8-metre putt for birdie, and despite a bogey at the 16th, he struck back immediately with a birdie on the 17th.

With the tournament in the balance, the 26-year-old left his best to last and holed a tricky three-metre putt on the last to finish at 7-under.

A three-time winner on the ISPA Handa PGA Tour of Australasia, post-round Papadatos described the win as perhaps not his biggest, but undoubtedly his most important to-date.

“I have had a couple of wins back in Oz, but I’ve never won here in Europe, so this is maybe not the biggest, but its the most important.

“It will get me going over here. I’ve been trying for the last three to four years to get myself going on to the main tour here, so this is a big, big step forward,” Papadatos said.

Papadatos said he hadn't even figured he would be playing in Portugal, in fact, he only booked his flights to Europe the previous Friday, with his only goal being US Open Sectional Qualifying at Walton Heath.

“This wasn’t even on my radar.

“I was only coming for Walton Health for the US Open Qualifier; I was very happy just to get in.

“I think I was the second reserve to get into next week in Spain so I might sneak in now,” he grinned.

The win lifted Papdatos to 9th on the Challenge Tour's Road to Ras Al Khaimah Rankings.