Englishman Matthew Morris put on a mighty display of resistance to complete a fantastic wire to wire victory at the Nykredit Danish Open – the first Challenge Tour win of his career that secures him a cheque for €22,000 and places him in sixth position on the European Challenge Tour Rankings.
The 26 year old from Birmingham led the tournament from day one, and thoroughly deserved the win with rounds of 67 68 68 72 for a four round aggregate of nine under par that left him three shots clear of second placed Simon Dyson.
Playing together in the last group, as they had done on Saturday, Dyson and Morris enjoyed a thrilling battle for the number one spot.
Dyson, who began the final round three shots behind Morris, got his round going at the third hole with a great 15 foot putt for birdie to reduce the deficit to two shots, before another birdie on the eighth brought him within one and piled the pressure on his fellow countryman.
Morris had been steadiness personified up until that point, racking up nine straight pars on the front nine, but as Dyson closed the gap, Morris dropped a shot at the tenth to bring the players level on nine under par.
They stayed together for just one hole as Dyson bogeyed 11 and then 13 to fall two back once more, and then Morris moved up a gear with a brilliant chip in for birdie on 15 to move three ahead and give himself some breathing space with three holes to play.
He breathed freely for just one hole as Dyson picked up a shot on 16 to get within two with two holes to play, but when both players bogeyed the 17th, Morris knew he was home and dry with a two shot lead coming down the par three 18th.
“I just don’t know what to say at the moment – I am absolutely over the moon,” beamed Morris. “I had never been in that situation before so it was all new to me – this is the first cut that I have made on the Challenge Tour so it has been a pretty steep learning curve this weekend!
“I just tried to play my normal game – as I had done all week – but I have to admit that there was definitely an added pressure out there today, I even felt sick at one point but I stuck at it and am delighted to have won.
"I think I finally realised that I was going to be hard to beat when I chipped in at the 15th. I was just off the edge off the green and I had a good look at it and knew it had a chance of going in.
“Then Simon birdied 16 but we both dropped shots on 17 and all I had to do was par the 18th, where I probably hit my best shot of the day given the circumstances – a seven iron to 15 feet.”
Dyson was the first person to congratulate Morris and paid tribute to his consistency over the four rounds at the tricky, Esbjerg Golfklub.
The 26 year old was pleased to return to form in time for next week’s Diageo Championship on The European Tour, and the Englishman will now head to Gleaneagles with a spring in his step.
“I though Matt deserved to win,” said Dyson. “He played the best golf over the four days and I am happy for him. From a personal point of view, I am happy with the way I have played this week and can now go to Gleneagles with a lot of confidence.”
Sweden’s Paul Nilbrink, who currently leads the Central European EPD Tour Order of Merit, finished in joint third place on four under par alongside Zimbabwean Marc Cayeaux after the 2004 Stanbic Zambia Open Champion chipped in for birdie at the 18th.
Englishman Shaun P Webster and Sweden's Leif Westerberg tied for fifth place, both players receiving a cheque for €6,187 - which allowed westerberg to maintain his Number One spot on the Challenge Tour Rankings.