Teenage sensation Alan Wagner capped a day to remember for Argentine golf when he clinched his maiden Challenge Tour title at the Club Colombia Masters presentado por Samsung.
Hours after his compatriot Estanislao Goya – who graduated from the Challenge Tour last year – had registered his breakthrough European Tour victory at the Madeira Islands Open BPI – Portugal, Wagner entered the winner’s enclosure for the first time at Country Club de Bogotá in Bogotá, Colombia.
On a dramatic final day when the lead changed hands several times and torrential rain led to a two-hour suspension in the afternoon, Wagner eventually emerged triumphant after signing for a round of 68 to close on 13 under par.
That left the 19 year old, whose winner’s cheque for US$32,000 catapulted him to the top of the Challenge Tour Rankings, one shot clear of his nearest challenger, overnight leader Edoardo Molinari of Italy.
Wagner flew out of the blocks with three birdies in his first four holes to surge to the top of the leaderboard at the expense of Molinari, who in contrast started his level par round of 72 with a bogey.
France’s Julien Guerrier soon overhauled the Argentine with five birdies in his opening ten holes, but an eagle at the 13th hole – allied to a bogey at the 15th for the Frenchman – saw Wagner regain control, and it was a lead he would never relinquish, despite a late rally by Molinari.
Wagner said: “I can’t believe it’s actually happened. The key for me today was to try to not get too anxious and stay focused, especially with the rain delay. I tried not to think about winning the tournament and what it would mean, but now that I have I’m in dreamland. And for my close friend Estanisloa [Goya] to win on The European Tour on the same day makes it extra special.
“Now I hope to play a full season on the Challenge Tour, and hopefully if I play well enough I can one day follow him onto The European Tour. But that’s for another day – for now, I’m just going to enjoy the moment.”
Guerrier finished in third place on 11 under par, one shot ahead of Argentina’s Julio Zapata and England’s Jamie Moul, who climbed from 20th place at the start of play to a tie for fifth after his round of 66, the lowest of the day.