England’s Iain Pyman has set his sights on landing his first European Tour title after clinching victory at the Tusker Kenya Open on the Challenge Tour.
The Yorkshireman’s final round of 68 at Nairobi’s Karen Golf Club, for a 12 under par aggregate score of 272, was enough to hold off the challenge of Austria’s Thomas Feyrsinger, who finished three shots back.
Overnight leader Daniel Barbetti of Argentina was unable to maintain his momentum, dropping back into a share of fifth place alongside a quartet of Brits: England’s Gary Boyd and Gary Clark, and Scotland’s Greig Hutcheon and Scott Henderson.
Pyman’s triumph was the eighth of his Challenge Tour career but the 35 year old, who pinpointed a “gutsy” round yesterday as the key to his success, is yet to land a European Tour title.
Having recovered from a shaky start to the tournament to take the €28,800 winner’s cheque, Pyman is now confident of acquitting himself well at his next European Tour event, the Madeira Islands Open BPI in Portugal.
He said: “It was nice to get the winning feeling back, and hopefully I can now take that form and confidence into my next event on the European Tour.
“After being three over par through six holes on the first day, winning the tournament was probably the last thing on my mind – I was more worried about making the cut!
“Obviously after my 63 on the second day, I knew I was in with a chance of winning. But it was probably my gutsy round yesterday, when I didn’t play well at all but still shot one under, which set me up for the win.
“My mindset this morning was to attack, and maybe that was what cost me my dropped shots at five and six. I thought I’d probably blown my chances at that point. But my birdies on 11 and 12 were probably the turning point, and it was nice to finish the tournament on a high with another birdie at the last.”
Pyman also had some words of consolation and encouragement for the vanquished Barbetti, alongside whom he played yesterday.
Following an opening day 65 and subsequent sub-par rounds Barbetti had led going into the final day's play, but Pyman felt a lack of experience may have scuppered the young Argentine's hopes of landing his maiden Challenge Tour title.
He said: “I was in the same group as Daniel yesterday, and he played very well. Maybe his inexperience counted against him today, but he’ll learn from that. Sometimes you need to go back in order to move forwards.”
Spain’s Rafael Cabrera Bello and Alexandre Rocha of Brazil were tied for third on seven under par after shooting final day rounds of 67.