Wednesday, 27 December 2017
Challenge Tour players in kilts  (European Tour)
Challenge Tour players in kilts (European Tour)

Introducing our second top 15 of 2017: the 15 top photos from 2017. 

15) Suri celebrates 

Teeing up in his first event of 2017 in March in Kenya Julian Suri sat in 1132nd in the Official World Golf Ranking. Nine months later and he is now 63rd in the world after an outstanding season which included wins in the D+D REAL Czech Challenge and the Made in Denmark. Here he celebrates after claiming his first European Tour title. 

Julian Suri

14) de Los Santos in action 

14 years after losing a leg in a motorbike accident Dominican amateur Manuel de Los Santos made his first Challenge Tour appearance earlier this season at the Hauts de France Golf Open. The 33 year old wowed his competitors throughout the week with his incredible technique plus the fact he walked unaided during the two rounds he played on one of the hilliest courses on the Challenge Tour circuit. 

Manuel de Los Santos

13) Battle of the hats  

In Turkey this season two of the Challenge Tour's finest players went to head to head - and hat to hat. Playing together in both the third and final rounds in Antalya, Evans eventually prevailed after a back-nine battle that will live long in the memory of all involved.  

Ryan Evans

12) Eggenberger likes cheese 

In a country famous for its cheese it was fitting that each tee marker at this season's Swiss Challenge presented by ASG was a wedge of the dairy product. Below home favourite Matthias Eggenberger clearly got a bit hungry while competing... 

Matthias Eggenberger

11) Wallace vs Heisele 

You would be forgiven for thinking that this picture was taken from the final round of a boxing match, but the below snap was in fact taken prior to the final 18 holes of the Open de Portugal at Morgado Golf Resort. Matt Wallace (left) eventually won the tournament but with both him and Sebastian Heisele now European Tour players we could be in for many more match-ups next season.  

Heisele and Wallace

10) Kakko the family man  

European Tour winner Roope Kakko teed it up earlier this season in his homeland at the Vierumäki Finnish Challenge, where it was truly a family affair. His wife Minea caddied for him throughout the tournament and below shows the moment he stopped playing to hug his seven year old son Elmeri.

Roope Kakko

 9) Synchronised signalling 

Before winning his debut European Tour title in Denmark Julian Suri also competed in the Made in Denmark Challenge - presented by Ejner Hessel. During that tournament this fantastic photo was taken.
Julian Suri

8) Sjöholm in the commentary box 

Joel Sjöholm is well-known for his larger than life character on Tour. During the Swedish Challenge hosted by Robert Karlsson he swapped his golf clubs for the commentary booth, and looked very much at home alongside C More's Matts Hallberg.

Sjoholm commentary

7) Men in kilts 

Prior to the SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge hosted by Macdonald Hotels & Resorts a number of Challenge Tour players sported kilts. Below 2016 champion James Heath, Aaron Rai, Ewen Ferguson, Julian Suri and Grant Forrest all tried on the traditional Scottish clothing.

CT players in kilts

6) Aaron at the U.S. Open

Aaron Rai had an outstanding 2017. As well as winning three times on the Challenge Tour to graduate to the European Tour by July, he also won a qualifier at Walton Heath to reach his first Major Championship - the U.S. Open. Below is a shot of Rai in action at Erin Hills. 

Aaron Rai US Open

5) Li the record-breaker

At this year's Hainan Open local player Li Linqiang wrote his name into the history books by becoming the youngest player to ever make a cut in a Challenge Tour event, aged just 13 years and 345 days old.

Li Linqiang

4) Sordet the Viking 

​After becoming the inaugural winner of the Viking Challenge Clément Sordet received the best prize of the year - a Viking helmet and sword. 

Clement Sordet

3)  Battle to be Number One

In Justin Rose and Tommy Fleetwood the Challenge Tour has two world-class alumni. Rose, who competed on the Challenge Tour in 1999, took the battle for the Race to Dubai title right down to the wire against 2011 Challenge Tour Number One Fleetwood. This picture shows just what can be achieved after graduating from the Challenge Tour. 

Fleetwood and Rose

2)  Pulkkanen crowned king of Kazakhstan

A huge part of Tapio Pulkkanen topping the Road to Oman Rankings was his victory in Kazakhstan - which this picture captures perfectly. After holing a tricky putt at the 18th for par, Pulkkanen celebrates as he plays his way into a play-off against Chase Koepka. The Finn went on to win that play-off on the third extra hole - and the rest is history. 

Tapio Pulkkanen

1) Koepka a Major Champion 

This year Brooks Koepka wrote his name into Challenge Tour folklore. Widely tipped for great things after winning three times on the Challenge Tour in 2013, Koepka is now a Major Champion four years later. His U.S. Open triumph is the eighth Major win by a former Challenge Tour player, and he is the seventh Challenge Tour player to win one of golf's greatest prizes.

Brooks Koepka

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