Zimbabwe’s Marc Cayeux became only the second double winner of the 2004 European Challenge Tour season at the Open de Toulouse with a tense sudden-death play-off victory over Scotland’s David Drysdale that will secure him a European Tour Card for 2005.
Drysdale and Cayeux played together during the final round at the Golf de Toulouse-Palmola, and 29 year old from Edinburgh looked to be on the way to securing the first Scottish Challenge Tour win of the season until a Drysdale bogey and a Cayeux birdie saw a two shot swing on the 17th and brought the pair level on 12 under par.
Both players made par threes on the 18th, meaning they went back to the 18th tee for the first extra hole, which Drysdale bogeyed and allowed Cayeux to sink a ten foot par putt for his second victory of the season which guarantees his European Tour Card for 2005 as one of the top 15 Ranked Challenge Tour players of the year.
With his first prize of €17,600, Cayeux is now third on the Challenge Tour Rankings with accumulated earnings of €68,835 and he was delighted to secure his second victory of the year, following Frenchman Philippe Lima who won in consecutive weeks at the Segura Viudas Challenge de España and the dual ranking Aa St Omer Open back in June.
“It feels great to have done it,” said the 26 year old Cayeux, who won the Kenya Open earlier in the 2004 season. “I’m delighted to have won because it was a tough battle with David all day and I am glad to have come through it.
“We were playing together all day, and David made a great start to the day, going four under after six holes. So I was really just trying to keep clawing my way back into it and managed to birdie the 12th and the 15th before he dropped a shot and I birdied the 17th which brought us level.
“We both made par on 18 and then in the play-off David missed from around 15 feet for his par and I managed to roll my ten footer in which was really pleasing because it was a tough putt under pressure.”
Tied for third place on 11 under par 277 were Denmark’s Jeppe Huldahl and the Englishman Lee Slattery, who continued his astounding run of form on the Challenge Tour with his six top-three finish in the past ten events.
Slattery’s unbelievable sequence of results has secured his place on next season’s European Tour. In just ten tournaments since July, the 26 year old has registered his first Challenge Tour win at the Telia Grand Prix – as well as five other top three finishes at the JJB Northwest Challenge, the Ryder Cup Wales Challenge, the Rolex Trophy, the BA-CA Golf Open presented by Telekom Austria and here at the Open de Toulouse.
He is now second on the Challenge Tour Rankings with €86,255 and – alongside Number One Alessandro Tadini of Italy and Cayeux – has guaranteed a place on The European Tour as on of the top 15 Challenge Tour players in 2004.