David Geall found the perfect way to end his life as a bachelor by capturing the Kitzbühel Golf Alpin Open – and secure his first victory on the European Challenge Tour.
The Englishman, who will marry his German girlfriend Nikki Kern in Gissen, Germany, next week, continued his superb form to fire a closing round 63 at the Kitzbühel Schwarzsee course for a 261, 23 under par total and win by three shots from South African Michael Kirk.
Geall, whose previous best Challenge Tour finish was losing out in a play-off for the 2002 Charles Church Challenge Tour Championship to John E Morgan, set a tournament record 61 in his opening round but always knew he would have to compile another three low rounds to take the title.
He did exactly that – supplementing that 61 with further scores of 67, 70 and 63 to take the Kitzbühel Golf Alpin Open title and the first prize of €18,330 that puts him into the top 25 of the Challenge Tour Rankings.
“It feels great to win my first Challenge Tour event – and it’s not a bad early wedding present either!” said Geall.
“I played really well all week here and hit some seriously low scores. But I knew I would have to do that, even after opening the tournament with a 61. I remember losing that play off to John Morgan and feeling pretty disappointed so this feels good.
“I chipped in on the ninth for a two today and that started a run of five birdies for me. I had even more chances for birdies on the 14th and 16th but I’ll settle for coming back in 30 to win it.
“I can go home to Germany now and look forward to getting married to Nikki now. I suppose I should be going to Italy next week considering how well I’ve been playing but I think it might be a bit late to cancel the wedding!”
Kirk secured his fourth top ten finish in this his rookie season on the Challenge Tour and with it moved to ninth on the Rankings with €40,515.
The South African is walking proof that the Challenge Tour will always reward the most consistent players.
“I’d like to congratulate David on a great win first and foremost,” said the 26 year old.
“I think I’m getting closer all the time – I’ve already finished second and third this season and I think if I keep putting myself in good positions coming down the stretch then eventually I’ll have my day.”
German Kierem Baraka – securing his first top ten finish of the season - and the Swedes, Peter Hanson and Michael Jonzon, all tied for third place on 264, 19 under par.
A further shot back was South African Luis Ooshuizen on 18 under, while Peter Gustafsson couldn’t recapture his blistering form from the first two rounds when he shot 62, 64, and ended the week in seventh place on 17 under par.