Brad Sutterfield of the USA secured his second European Challenge Tour victory of the season at the Open de Toulouse after an outstanding final round of six under par 66 saw him take the title an €18,400 top prize by two strokes from a group of four players tied together on 15 under par.
Sutterfield, who began the final round four shots off the pace in a tie for sixth place, put on a flawless last day display, carding six birdies and 12 pars to finish ahead of overnight leader David Dixon of England, Sweden’s Steven Jeppesen, Norway’s Jan Are Larsen, and the Argentine Andres Romero, all of whom shared second spot.
Playing against some strong winds at the Golf de Palmola, Sutterfield managed to repeat the 66 he had posted during Saturday’s third round to cap a brilliant weekend performance in the south of France.
The 36 year old from Utah joined the Challenge Tour at the beginning of the season after winning the TIM Peru Open, a co-sanctioned event with the Tour de las Americas. Following that win, the American decided to come over to Europe and chase the dream of a place on The 2006 European Tour.
After victory in Toulouse, he is in a great position to fulfil that dream of making it to The European Tour. Sutterfield began the week in 29th position on the Challenge Tour Rankings, but with his win has brocken in to the all important top 20 and now lies 18th.
“It feels good to have won again,” said Sutterfield. “It was just one of those weeks when the breaks went my way. I didn’t get any outrageous luck or anything like that, but I putted great all week, got up and down when I had to and chipped in a couple of times.
“I think you need to have all of those things going for you if you are going to win any golf tournament and it went my way this week.
“I didn’t really come here expecting to win. You always hope that you will play well enough to give yourself the chance of a win but it still comes as a little bit of a shock when you do win.
“I won in Peru at the start of the year and it means a lot to me to have been able to come over to Europe and play full time and prove that I could win again in the same season.
“It’s strange because I have the feeling that I haven’t really got going this year. I haven’t played badly but it’s never really been my best golf. The putting was so important this week and I managed to really just keep out of my own way and not think too much about it – I just played my golf and thankfully it was good enough.
“Hopefully I can push on from here and get the job done in terms of getting my card for The European Tour next year. I have moved up a lot of spaces by winning here and with two really big events coming up in the Canaries and the Grand Final, hopefully I will be able to continue to play well over the next few weeks and break into the top ten on the Rankings.”