High Legh regular Scott Arnold rallied to a maiden European Challenge Tour title as the Australian toppled Dutchman Daan Huizing with an impressive back nine performance to earn a two shot victory at the Cordon Golf Open.
The former World Amateur Number One and former Australian Amateur Champion entered the day one shot off Huizing’s lead but an impressive three under back nine earned him a two under par 68 and a first title on European soil.
The 28 year old was three shots back when he reached the turn but his playing partner from the Netherlands dropped three shots in the space of four holes and Arnold capitalised in ruthless fashion with back to back birdies at the 15th and 16th.
He finished two clear of Huizing and Englishman James Robinson, who signed for a four under 66 to equal the best round of the day and finish on seven under par for the tournament, earning his best Challenge Tour finish in the process.
The day was all about Arnold, however, who made the cut at this year’s Open Championship, and he was delighted to have finally lifted a trophy in his second full season on the Challenge Tour, having played The European Tour in 2013 after coming through Qualifying School.
“It my first win on Challenge Tour so it’s really exciting,” said the Sydney player. “It’s my birthday next week so it’s like an early present. I have a flight to catch this afternoon, I think it’ll only hit me then.
“The more times you can put yourself into a position to win titles, the more you get used to the people and the crowds around.
“I think when I played The Open this year, it really helped me. That was really good, I felt pretty comfortable out there. I was a little bit nervous today but it was more that I had to focus on what I was doing and hit some targets.
“I looked at the leaderboard for the first time on my way to the 16th green and I saw that I had a two shot lead, but I still had two holes to go so I was telling myself not to get carried away, because if you make one or two bad shots it can quickly turn into bogeys.
“So I’d rather make solid Pars, hit the fairways, hit the greens. It would have been nice to finish with a birdie but I didn’t make the putt. It’s a very good day though.”
With his 32,000 euro cheque Arnold improved to 18th on the Challenge Tour’s Road to Oman money list and although he needs to be inside the top 15 by season’s end to secure his 2016 European Tour card he is heading in the right direction.