Monday, 23 January 2017
Alexander Knappe (Emanuel Stotzer)  (European Tour)
Alexander Knappe (Emanuel Stotzer) (European Tour)

Alexander Knappe held on to secure a gritty one shot victory at the Swiss Challenge presented by Association Suisse de Golf on the European Challenge Tour.

The German battled the elements in Lucerne, carding five birdies on his way to signing for a three under par 68 which took him to twelve under par overall.

The 27 year old was level with playing partner Paul Howard on eleven under par when the pair teed off on hole 17 at Golf Sempachersee.

And as the heavens opened it was Knappe who managed to stay focused in the rain, picking up a birdie at the 17th which would secure him a maiden Challenge Tour title.

“I can’t believe it at the moment really,” said the German, whose career best finish before today came last year when he finished tied sixth at the GANT Open in Finland on the Challenge Tour.

“It feels really good to get a win on the Challenge Tour and I am delighted that I managed to do it today.

“My round today wasn’t actually as good as those I have played before this week – in particular my first and my third rounds. I hit a couple of bad shots, I missed a few easy birdie putts, but I managed to get a few good up and downs.

“I just thought there were some birdies to be made out there so I kept patient - and that’s what I did today. It all came together in the end.

“This gives me a huge boost for the rest of the season as I was on a medical exemption but now I will be a category one so I can now play in everything which is perfect. I think it can give me a good chance of winning again going forward for the rest of the season.

“I have to drive seven hours to get to Belgium tonight so I don’t know if I will have time to celebrate! But I am sure tomorrow when it sinks in properly I can go out for dinner with my caddie and enjoy it properly then.”

Finishing one shot behind Knappe were both England’s Paul Howard and Norway’s Espen Kofstad – who topped the Challenge Tour Rankings in 2012 after winning twice on Europe’s top developmental tour.

England’s Jordan Smith cemented his place at the top on the 2016 Road to Oman, finishing strongly with a four under par 67 to reach six under par overall and finish the week tied for 12th place.

 

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