Nicolas Colsaerts (Getty Images)
Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts captured his second European Challenge Tour title in just over a month after recovering from a shaky start to win the Dutch Futures by four strokes from Julien Quesne and Andrew McArthur.
Colsaerts, who began the final round with a one stroke advantage over Challenge Tour Rankings leader Edoardo Molinari, opened with a bogey – his first in 34 holes - and dropped another shot on the fourth hole.
That saw him slip from the top of the leaderboard after Molinari had birdied the second hole but the Italian had back-to-back bogeys on the sixth and seventh holes, while Colsaerts eagled the eighth hole, draining a 30ft putt, to reignite his title hopes.
He maintained his lead with four straight pars before stepping it up a gear with back-to-back birdies on the 13th and 14th holes.
The 26 year old sealed his second victory of the season, following the SK Golf Challenge in Finland at the start of August, with a birdie on the last hole to card a 69 and finish on 17 under par 271, becoming the third player to win two times on the Challenge Tour in 2009 after Robert Coles and Rhys Davies.
“It feels great to win again, especially as it means I have just about secured my European Tour card now,” said Colsaerts. “My parents celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary last week so this is the best present I could give them.
“I got off to a terrible start and was two over par after four holes. I was hitting bad shots and not feeling comfortable out there. Then Edoardo bogeyed two in a row and I holed a monster putt for eagle on the eighth and from there I played like I did on the first three days.
“I hit a bad drive on the 16th but then played the shot of the day from 180 yards to land it stone dead. That was the key really as I could breath easily going down the last two after that.
“I said yesterday it wouldn’t just be a two horse race between myself and Edoardo and it proved that way. It was more difficult out there today because of the conditions but I’m delighted with the victory. It has been a great year for me so far.”
Colsaerts’ victory moves him up to third in the Challenge Tour Rankings with €94,374, behind Molinari, who closed with a 74 to finish tied sixth, and England’s Andrew Butterfield, who shared fourth place with José-Filipe Lima.
Scotland’s McArthur shot a final round 70 to finish in tied second on 13 under par, his best performance of the season so far which boosts his chances of making the all important end of season top 20 which would secure a European Tour card for 2010.
Frenchman Julien Quesne, winner of the Trophée du Golf de Genève, signed for a final round 69 to share second spot with McArthur and continue his fine run of recent form on the Challenge Tour.