Ireland’s Stephen Browne captured the maiden victory of his professional career by winning the European Challenge Tour’s Norwegian Challenge Open, carding a gutsy five under par 67 to win by three shots three shots from Oskar Bergman of Sweden, and the English pair of Denny Lucas and Mark Sanders.
His final round gave the 30 year old Dubliner a three round total of 11 under par 205 to win by three from Oskar Bergman of Sweden, and the English pair of Denny Lucas and Mark Sanders. His win secured Browne a cheque for €16,800, and takes him to 25th on the Challenge Tour Rankings with earnings of €29,844.
Playing alongside Sanders, Browne was well aware of what he had to do for victory, and closed out a fantastic win with an impressive birdie four on the par five 17th to take first prize.
The top 15 players on the Rankings at the end of the season are rewarded with a place on The European Tour, and Browne is hoping that his maiden victory will infuse him with the confidence and belief to continue his golfing ascent.
“I’m over the moon,” said Browne after collecting his trophy. “I played well today. I got a bit of luck on the eighth when my pitch was going way past the hole but hit the flag and stayed right next to the hole, but I was very strong on the back nine.
“I birdied four in a row from the tenth to 13th, and then standing on the par five 17th, I knew a birdie would be good enough to win. It was into the wind and playing long today but I hit one of the best drives of my career, then followed it up with a piercing three wood from 254 yards that landed on the front of the green and gave me a two putt birdie.
“I’m just delighted to have been able to get my first win and it gives me a good chance to really climb the Challenge Tour Rankings.”
Italy’s Alessandro Tadini remains in the Challenge Tour Number One spot, having won €87,949 in 2004.