American Brooks Koepka claimed his second Challenge Tour title in swashbuckling style with a seven shot victory in the Montecchia Golf Open presented by POLAROID.
Having gained a considerable advantage with a nine under par 62 in the third round, the 23 year old continued in the same vein in the final round, showing no sign of nerves to post a joint-best-of-the-day five under par 66.
With a 23 under par total, he finished well ahead of second-placed Agustin Domingo, who signed off with a 68, and Italian Andrea Rota, who also had a 68 to finish third.
Koepka is playing his first full season on the Challenge Tour but has already signalled his potential, winning the Challenge de Catalunya last September and taking 43rd spot in the 2012 Rankings despite only playing ten events.
Now he is the new Rankings leader after pocketing the €25,600 first prize at Golf Club della Montecchia, near Venice, Italy.
“It’s awesome,” said the Floridian. “I’ve played pretty much flawless golf all week and only made three bogeys. That just shows I was very consistent in all four rounds.
“I was pushing myself today, trying to get as many under as I could. It was disappointing to finish with a bogey at the last but I don’t think that will take the shine off this win. You can’t complain about shooting 66 in the final round. It’s been a great week.
“It’s getting close to the best golf I’ve ever played. I switched coaches a month and a half ago and made a bunch of changes. I also started working out with a new strength trainer, and everything is coming together.”
Asked what his motivation was for leaving the United States for Europe after graduating from college last May, Koepka replied: “I thought the World Ranking points would be bigger over here.
“At the moment I see my future in Europe. I wanted to become a well-rounded player. A lot of the guys want to play in the States, but I believed coming over here would help me be a more well-rounded player and able to compete in Open Championships.”
Domingo was effusive in his praise of his rival, saying: “I think he was playing a different course from the rest of us. He played brilliantly and deserves this win. I knew it would be tough to catch him as he was five shots ahead, and I did my best but he was on another level.”