Muscat: Thomas Detry was in sensational form at the Bridgestone Challenge as he romped to a 12-shot victory to help him rise to 13th in the Road to Oman and in the process secured his place alongside the top 45 European Challenge Tour players in the season-ending NBO Golf Classic Grand Final, which takes place in Oman at the stunning Almouj Golf from November 2 to 5.
This was the Belgian’s first professional win and it couldn’t have tasted any sweeter. The 23 year old finished 29 under par overall – matching the joint lowest under par score in Challenge Tour history set by Spain’s Ivó Giner in 2003. This has helped him climb 18 places in the Road to Oman Rankings after cashing a winner’s cheque for €28,800.
Detry was ecstatic with his record-breaking performance at Heythrop Park Resort, England, saying: “I talked to my caddie earlier and said ‘this is what I play golf for’. This is what drives me to play golf. There is no point in being nervous and being under pressure, just go out there and enjoy yourself.
“I think this win will mean I move up in the Rankings but I still need to go out there and put some numbers on the board. I am taking a week off next week – a much needed week off I think – but I am really looking forward to playing in the last five or six events.”
As well as a share of a €400,000 prize fund on offer for victory in the prestigious NBO Golf Classic Grand Final, the top 15 players on the Road to Oman Rankings following the conclusion of the tournament will earn their playing cards for next season’s European Tour International Schedule. In addition, the top three players will also win a share of the lucrative €60,000 Bonus Pool.
South African Thriston Lawrence, who was the winner of the Ras Al Khaimah Classic in 2005 on the MENA Tour, finished runner-up on 19-under to earn his first points on this season’s Road to Oman. He had featured in two other events earlier this year but failed to make the cut in both. However, the 19,800 points he earned from this tournament have helped him catapult up to 56th in the Rankings.
Denmark’s Martin Ovesen also made a phenomenal climb in the Road to Oman, shooting up from 192nd to 69th after finishing third. This was an incredible performance from the 24 year old as he had failed to finish higher than 43rd so far this season.
At the summit of the Challenge Tour rankings, Englishman Jordan L Smith and Frenchman Joël Stalter increased their chances of finishing in the top three as they have moved from fourth and ninth to second and fifth respectively. Stalter’s compatriot Romain Langasque still leads the Road to Oman with seven events to play before the grand finale takes place in Muscat.