Stuart Manley claimed his third Challenge Tour title in dramatic fashion after recording a birdie on the last hole to secure a one-stroke victory at the Euram Bank Open.
The Welshman had three holes to play this morning after the third round was suspended on Saturday night due to thunderstorms and heavy rain and trailed 54-hole leader Matias Honkala by one stroke.
After playing his first nine holes in level par after two birdies and a double bogey, he made his move at the turn after posting four consecutive birdies from the tenth hole. Tied for the lead with Scotland’s Ewen Ferguson on the par three 18th tee, he fired his tee shot to 15 feet and rolled the putt in for an 18 under par total and his third victory on the Challenge Tour.
The 42-year-old, who last won on the Challenge Tour in June 2018 at the Hauts de France Golf Open is delighted to be back in the winners’ circle once again.
“It feels amazing,” he said. “It’s been a tricky year with an injury just before South Africa, I almost thought the season was going to be over and to be here now with the winner’s trophy is amazing.
“I could feel the adrenaline pumping (on the 18th). I chose a six iron, I had 200 yards - a six iron doesn’t quite go 200 yards - but I thought just hit it firm and hit it harder, the adrenaline will take over. It landed right by the pin and went about 15 feet past, so it was a great opportunity. I knocked it in and I’m over the moon.”
Manley who has played at Golfclub Adamstal many times admits that it is suited to his game but says that he had to be patient throughout in order to have the outcome that he did.
“I had to have patience and really good management on my game,” said Manley. “I didn’t hit it amazing, but I hit it pretty solid. I made a lot of putts, my chipping was spot on, everything was pretty good I didn’t hit in trouble all week, so just the patience and short game was really good.
“The golf course is amazing, probably the most scenic golf course I’ve ever played and the condition it was in today after we had all that rain yesterday was amazing, so yeah I really like the golf course.”
“It is tough, physically more than anything, I got off the golf course just before nine o’clock and then you’re trying to find a restaurant to eat and then you need your sleep and your rest but then you have to be back at the golf club for about six this morning..”
Ferguson recorded his fourth top-four finish of the season with his runner-up result, matching his performance at this event in 2019.
In a share of third on 16 under par were South African Oliver Bekker, ranked fifth on the Road to Mallorca Rankings, and Honkala.
Hinrich Arkenau of Germany finished fifth on 15 under, with Chase Hanna and Federico Maccario sharing sixth place after rounds of 66.
With his victory, Manley jumps to 20th place on the Road to Mallorca Rankings after his third event of the season. Spain’s Santiago Tarrio still leads on 110,993 points, with Frenchman Julien Brun and German Marcel Siem occupying second and third place, respectively.
The Road to Mallorca continues next week in Italy, with the Italian Challenge at Margara Golf Club, from July 22-25.