A dramatic late surge on the back nine gave Jordan Smith a second European Challenge Tour win of the year at the Ras Al Khaimah 2016 Golf Challenge and secured him the Road to Oman top spot heading into the season finale.
The Englishman made four birdies in five holes to take a one-shot lead down the last hole at Al Hamra Golf Club, and a safe par meant the 23 year old edged José-Filipe Lima into second place with a final round 66 and an overall total of 20 under par.
The win returns him to Number One spot in the Rankings – meaning his caddie will wear a golden bib at the NBO Golf Classic Grand Final next week – and he was delighted to match his early season victory in Egypt with another trophy in similarly hot conditions.
“I’m over the moon to be honest, really happy,” he said. “I missed the last two cuts but I knew my game was there or thereabouts and I actually played really well last Friday in China so I wasn’t far away.
“I just came out this week and relaxed, took my mind of things, and gave it my all, and it all paid off today – the course suited my eye and I really enjoyed it, and of course I’m delighted with the end result.
“It feels very similar to that win in Egypt – Ras Al Khaimah and this course remind me a lot of that week, which is probably a good thing. I sweat just as much as anybody else but the heat seems to suit me.
“I did something similar a year ago, winning late to win the Order of Merit on the EuroPro Tour, and I’m really targeting that top spot in the Road to Oman Rankings now – I got my caddie the gold bib for next week at least, so that’s the first job done and he’s happy about that!
“I think we’re going to go into Dubai tonight to celebrate a bit, have a few drinks I’m sure
“I definitely want to win the Rankings but I’m just going to go out there in Oman, not think about it too much about finishing on top, I’m just going to go out there and play my game.
“To be honest I never expected a year as good as this one so early into my Challenge Tour career. I knew my game was in the right shape to compete and that win early on just boosted my confidence and it’s gone pretty well since!”
Lima’s outstanding weekend rounds of 66 and 65 took the Portuguese into outright second and have lifted him into the top 16 of the Rankings at the timeliest moment of the year, with European Tour cards decided in seven days’ time.Former Dubai resident Johan Edfors was right at home as he closed with a 67 to take third place on 17 under par, with his fellow Swede Marcus Kinhult and Spaniard Pedro Oriol sharing fourth place to secure top 70 spots on the Road to Oman and secure their Challenge Tour status for next season.