2009 champion Francois Calmels (Getty Images)
Frenchman François Calmels followed the example set by his girlfriend, newly crowned Ladies European Tour Champion Jade Schaeffer, to clinch his own maiden European Challenge Tour victory by two strokes in the Telenet Trophy.
Calmels was in the Munich crowd last week when Schaeffer won her first title in the Hypo Vereinsbank Ladies German Open and she was at Royal Waterloo as the 27 year old’s caddie to seal a “magnifique” week for the pair.
The Parisian birdied the final two holes for a round of 70 having been locked in a tie at the top of the leaderboard for much of the final round, first with playing partner and joint over night leader Stuart Manley, then with Carlos Rodiles and Sam Walker when the Welshman slipped away.
Rodiles had set the clubhouse target of ten under par after a course record 65 on La Marache Course and his 278 total was matched by Englishman Walker who posted a 66.
Calmels birdied the 15th to seize the outright lead but surrendered it with a bogey on the 16th before a superb bunker shot on the 17th swung the advantage his way once again. He then stiffed another bunker shot to within three feet for birdie on the last to finish on 12 under par 276 and seal the €24,000 first prize to move to fourth on the Challenge Tour Rankings.
Schaffer was among the first to congratulate her partner, showering him in water, just as he had done to her seven days previously.
“I’m very happy and this means a lot to me,” said Calmels, whose previous best finish was tied - tied runner up in the OPEN DE SAINT-OMER OPEN presented by Neuflize OBC.
“It has been a great week with Jade winning last Sunday and me this today. I don’t know if it can be like this every week but we are both very happy. “
“The victory means a lot as it improves my ranking and means I get into events like Saint Omer. It was very hard out there today. I said I didn’t want to make any mistakes and I only made two bogeys.
“I played the par fives well but it was tough with the crowd. It was a nice crowd but there were a lot of people watching.
“I putted really well today to save some pars and the eight footer on the 17th for birdie was very important. I knew on the last that if I made par I would win unless Stuart (Manley) birdied it so I was delighted when my sand shot landed a couple of feet from the hole.
“Jade said well done and I’m sure we will go out and celebrate tonight.”
Rodiles and Walker finished tied for second place, while Ireland’s Simon Thorton and Chile’s Mark Tullo shared fourth place on nine under with Manley eventually tied sixth after a bogey on the last hole.
Home favourite Nicolas Colsaerts received a loudest cheer of the day when he eagled the last hole in front a packed crowd on La Marache Course for a round of 69 to finish tied eighth on seven under par, along with Richard McEvoy who had led with Calmels until a triple bogey on the par three 12th cost him his chance.