Alexander Bjӧrk made it three Swedish golfing successes in as many weeks as he followed Henrik Stenson’s victory at the Open Championship and Alex Noren's Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open triumph by winning Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge.
Trailing by two shots heading into the final round at Golf PGA France du Vaudreuil, the Swede held his nerve to card a two under par 69 and finish on 14 under par overall, one shot clear of Nick Cullen and Aaron Rai.
Bjӧrk, who is now third in the Road to Oman Rankings, has been on great form recently, with top 15 finishes in all four of his previous tournaments, and a maiden Challenge Tour win is a deserved breakthrough for the 26 year old.
“Henrik was such an inspiration,” he said. “I was back in Sweden last week playing a team competition for my home club and I was really tired after that, but when he won this spirit started inside me and I thought, ‘I’m so looking forward to playing next week.’
“He was former Challenge Tour as well, so he’s really inspiring me right now. I had him in mind today, me and Nick going out there like Henrik and Phil [Mickelson] last week in that battle – I was thinking more about that than what the other guys were doing.
“Now I’m just relieved. I’m so happy – I may have made it a little bit too exciting in the end! I was three up with two to go and missed a short one on 17, then had a good chance on 18 and thought Nick was going to hole his putt for eagle so I had to go for it.
“I knew one guy was 13 under so I knew if I made par I would be ahead of him but if Nick makes eagle I’m in a play-off, so it was like matchplay at the end there and I’m so glad I just came out on top.
“I kept an eye on the leaderboards. I knew I was up there and that I was leading or in second place all the time so I was thinking that a lot of pars would be enough because a lot of the holes are tough coming in.
“My game is in a good place, and it started at the Nordea Masters on the European Tour. I had a bad Sunday but I learned from that and I knew my game was good enough to be at the top of the European Tour, so I then thought if I can do that there I should be able to do it on the Challenge Tour too, so I’ve been more confident since that.
“I was trying to keep calm and just hit my full shots, aiming at the middle of the green and putt well from there – I holed a few very good putts for par today which was key as well.
“The top 15 is the goal from the start of the year so it feels great to have put myself in a great position now and I just need to keep it going until the end of the season.”
Englishman Rai birdied three of his last four holes to share runner-up spot with third round leader Cullen, the Australian unable to hole for an eagle on the 18th that would have taken him into a play-off.Germany’s Sebastian Heisele was one shot further back in fourth place, with Ross Kellett, Matthew Nixon and Clément Sordet sharing fifth spot on 11 under par overall.