Nacho Elvira claimed a stunning two shot victory in the ROLEX Trophy at the Golf Club de Genève to earn immediate promotion to The European Tour after his third European Challenge Tour win of the season.
The Spaniard previously triumphed in the Challenge de Madrid and the Kӓrnten Golf Open presented by Mazda and this composed win in Geneva – holding off Road to Oman Rankings leader Ricardo Gouveia – sees him return to The European Tour having played there in the 2014 season.
The 28 year old becomes the third player after Frenchman Benjamin Hebert and Swede Kristoffer Broberg to claim their career-changing third title at the prestigious ROLEX Trophy, where only 42 players make up the field and compete concurrently in a Pro-Am for the duration of the tournament.
Elvira was overwhelmed by his accomplishment after his final round of 67, five under par, took him to 24 under par for the week.
“It is unbelievable, it’s hard to describe,” he said. “I have been working for this very hard this year and it finally paid off. I feel very excited and I am very happy.
It is a dream to be back on The European Tour - it is beyond my expectations
“It is a dream to be back on The European Tour so soon. After I got my second win I got a bit too worked up trying to get the third win but I then started to relax and it went better.
“My aim for the season had been to get in the top 15 in the Rankings, so this is beyond my expectations but so much better.
“The turning point of the round was when I holed for eagle on the 13th. I saw Ricardo was one ahead of me and I had to make something happen, and I hit a beautiful drive, great shot at the hole and holed the putt. That really got me going and I made three birdies in a row after.
“It’s a bit too soon to talk about my schedule for the end of the year but I want to try to play as much as I can on The European Tour, every tournament I can.”
Portugal’s Gouveia could not have done much more, his 66 his fourth round below 70 this week, and when he took the lead with nine holes remaining it seemed likely he would add another title to his win in the AEGEAN Airlines Challenge Tour by Hartl Resort.
The 23 year old consolidated his commanding lead in the Road to Oman Rankings with another top five finish, his sixth this season, and was circumspect after coming so close to victory.
He said: “I played one of the best rounds of my career but I think the three putts on the 15th knocked me out a little bit – I had a good chance for eagle and I ended with a par.
“I tried to make three birdies to finish and I did make them but when you shoot 22 under and you do not win there is no much more you could have done.”
New Zealand’s Ryan Fox took third place, finishing five shots adrift of Elvira after starting the day within two of the lead, to continue his fine form since coming to Europe this summer – this was his fifth top ten finish in six Challenge Tour events, including one victory.
England’s Gary Boyd fired the round of the day, his 64 earning him a share of fourth place with compatriot Ryan Evans on 17 under par.