Before the new European Challenge Tour season gets under way, we profile some of the hottest stars from Europe’s four satellite tours. Here we take a look at Santiago Tarrio Ben, the 2018 Alps Tour Number One.
Tarrio Ben became the second successive Spaniard to top the Alps Tour’s Order of Merit, following in the footsteps of Adri Arnaus. The 28 year old will hope to be as successful as his compatriot, after Arnaus graduated to the European Tour in his rookie season on Europe’s top developmental circuit.
It was a slow start to the season for Tarrio Ben, who finished tied 32nd and tied 19th in the opening events of the year in Egypt. However, the Spaniard picked up his first professional win on the Alps Tour in his next event, to kick-start his season.
Rounds of 67-68-68 saw him clinch a three-shot victory at the Gosser Open in Austria, signalling his move up the Order of Merit.
A share of 28th place in Guadeloupe and a missed cut at the Alps de Andalucía looked to have dented Tarrio Ben’s progress, but he bounced back immediately by lifting his second title of the season in his next event at the Open de la Mirabelle d'Or.
That five-stroke victory in France saw him become the first multi-winner of the campaign as held the top spot in the Rankings for the rest of the season. Following his wins, the Spaniard added a further five top tens to his name, including runner-up finishes in France and Italy to take the Alps Tour crown, following the conclusion of the 2018 Alps Tour Grand Final.
With a Challenge Tour card guaranteed, Tarrio Ben won the European Tour Second Qualifying Stage at Las Colinas, but his journey to the world stage will have to wait at least one more season as he missed the cut during the Final Qualifying Stage.
2018 Alps Tour graduates: Santiago Tarrio Ben (Spain), David Borda* (Spain), Alexandre Daydou (France), Louis Cohen Boyer (France), Marcus T Mohr (England), Andrea Saracino** (Italy).
*Borda finished inside the top 25 places at the European Tour’s Final Qualifying Stage to gain his European Tour card.
**Saracino finished sixth on the Alps Tour Order of Merit but gained Challenge Tour status following Borda’s Qualifying School success.