It may be unlucky for some, but 13 proved the magic number for England’s Gary Clark after he finally ended his drought with victory at the inaugural DHL Wroclaw Open on the European Challenge Tour.
Since turning professional 13 years ago, the Londoner has finished runner-up three times on the Challenge Tour but never entered the winner’s enclosure – until now.
Clark held his nerve and fended off a late surge from his compatriot Gary Boyd to pick up a winner’s cheque for €24,000 and go second in the Challenge Tour Rankings.
His 18 under par total featured a staggering 20 birdies and just two bogeys across four days at the picturesque Toya Golf and Country Club in Wroclaw, Poland.
Clark said: “It's taken a while, but we got there in the end. What a relief! They say good things come to those who wait, but I was starting to doubt them. It’s a great feeling.
“I knew I had a two shot lead coming down the last, so it was just a case of not making any silly mistakes and just holding it together. Fortunately I did.
“I didn’t look at the leaderboard on the front nine, because I was only one under par so I was worried someone might’ve overtaken me. But then a couple of birdies after the turn got me going, and I holed a key putt for par on the 13th which held me together. After that, I never really looked back. I knew once I got going it would've taken an unbelievable round to overtake me - and fair play to Gary [Boyd], because he nearly did.
“I've played very well all week really, and carried that into today's round. I only really struggled on two holes - on most of the rest, I probably had birdie chances. If I'd putted better maybe I would've won by more, but I'm not going to worry about that. I'm just going to enjoy the moment.
“I'll head to Manchester next week in good spirits, and see where it takes me. But having waited 13 years for my first win, hopefully I won't have to wait another 13 for my next one. Winning this event has given me great confidence, and hopefully now I can carry that with me through the rest of the season.”
Rising star Boyd posted the lowest round of the day, a 63, to finish in second on 16 under par, with Germany’s Richard Treis and Scotland’s Richie Ramsay two shots further back in a tie for third.
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