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Sunday, 21 July 2002
Iain Pyman collected his fourth Challenge Tour title in as many years when he won the Golf Challenge by three strokes at Brunstorf near Hamburg. The 29 year old Englishman carded a closing 72 for 204, 12 under par, three ahead of Ulsterman Graeme McDowell, and four clear of the rest of the field.

Pyman's performance hoists him from 31st to seventh on the Order of Merit, and well on course for a return to the European Tour.

After the heavy rain of earlier in the week had forced officials to reduce the tournament to 54 holes, the final round took place in damp conditions.

Pyman, who began three ahead, said: "My plan was just to hit the fairways and greens but I didn't hole a thing all day. I hit three bad shots and took bogey each time, but a win is a win and now I'm in the top 15 on the Order of Merit and hopefully I can stay there for the rest of the season."

Pyman, who won twice in 1999 on the way to securing his tour card, also claimed victory in last year’s PGA of Austria Masters but he failed to finish in the top 15 at the end of the season.

He returned to the European Tour Qualifying School last November to earn the 19th place card but he hasn’t enjoyed that many starts this year, so he decided to return to the Challenge Tour. It proved a wise move as his victory follows a third, fourth and ninth place finishes in just six starts.

His closing round was nothing spectacular. After two 66s he did enough to see him home. A birdie from eight feet at the fifth was followed by bogeys at the sixth and ninth for an outward 37.

Another bogey at the 13th saw him back to ten under but still comfortably ahead as his rivals were also spilling shots. However, further birdies from a foot at the 14th and from 30 feet at the 16th was more than enough to seal that fourth title.

McDowell, a member of the victorious 2001 Walker Cup team, marked his Challenge Tour debut with birdies at the final two holes for a 70 and second place on his own on 207.

Denny Lucas from England, who began the day in second spot, slipped back with 73 to finish third on 208 alongside South African Hennie Walters, who returned 68 with four birdies and no dropped shots.

Jean Pierre Cixous from France looked to be Pyman’s main rival, but after getting to ten under at the turn with birdies at the eighth and ninth, he finished with 72 to fall back to fifth.

Another Englishman, Mark Sanders, carded an eagle and three birdies in a 68 to climb to sixth on 210, but Martin Maritz from South Africa, fifth at the start of the round, dropped back with 75 for 213 and equal ninth.

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