Sunday, 22 June 2014
William Harrold - Belgian Challenge Open Champion (courtesy of golfsupport.nl) ()
William Harrold - Belgian Challenge Open Champion (courtesy of golfsupport.nl) ()

William Harrold won his maiden Challenge Tour title at the Belgian Challenge Open after prevailing in a play-off against Florian Fritsch at Cleydael Golf and Country Club.

The overnight leader held his nerve to card a five under par 66 on an enthralling final day, however Fritsch forced a play-off by going one lower, courtesy of his 65.

Harrold, twice a winner on the satellite EuroPro Tour this year, showed composure when it mattered most to eventually triumph with a par which Fritsch could not match. 

"It was a tough day,” said Harrold. “In addition to all the drama, Florian is a friend of mine, so winning like this after he made a bogey wasn’t ideal. But that’s what happens in golf and I'm very happy with this victory. "

The win, which sees the Englishman climb up to 13th on the Challenge Tour Rankings, will put Harrold in the spotlight. However, not much seems to faze the new Belgian Challenge Open Champion.

“My game is all about staying cool as much as I can,” he said. “It is never over until the last putt and my last putt was a foot and a half, but I have to admit, it felt longer than it looked. My life won’t change with this victory, although I imagine my schedule might."

Although Germany’s Fritsch came so close to winning, he will be more than satisfied with the consistency he’s shown in northern Belgium this week, which saw him card four rounds in the 60s. 

In a tie for third, only two shots back from Harrold and Fritsch, were English pair Dave Coupland and Jason Palmer. 

Both men had held the lead at various stages before the weekend, and a pair of 66s meant they finished up on 16 under par.

Elsewhere, Joel Stalter continued his impressive display over the tricky lay-out in the suburban town of Aartselaar, with a final round 67.

Stalter, who was making only his second appearance as a professional, has a lot to feel pleased about.

“I am proud of this result,” said the confident Frenchman. “I am only a rookie and I am learning my job. I played really well over the first nine, but everyone else made a lot of birdies too. I was a bit disappointed with my three bogeys coming home though. I paid quite a heavy price for two bad shot. 

“But I am happy with the way I finished, with two birdies on the last two holes. I was not sure about where I finished up on the leaderboard, but it could’ve been worse than fifth for my second week on the Challenge Tour. Next week, why not a win?”

With plenty more quality golf to come from the Challenge Tour this season, there’s more than a few players to keep an eye out for.

However, this week it’s all about William Harrold, the new Belgian Challenge Open champion. Congratulations.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1HARROLD, WilliamENG18-18
2FRITSCH, FlorianGER18-18
T3PALMER, JasonENG18-16
T3COUPLAND, DaveENG18-16
5STALTER, JoëlFRA18-15
T6LEE, TainUSA18-12
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