Tuesday, 25 July 2017
Richard McEvoy  (Getty Images)
Richard McEvoy (Getty Images)

Richard McEvoy claimed his second European Challenge Tour title in style by carding a five under par 66 to triumph at the SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge hosted by Macdonald Hotels & Resorts.

The Englishman started the day with a one-shot lead which he immediately extended with birdies at the second and third at Macdonald Spey Valley Golf Club.

After coming within inches of a hole-in-one on the par three sixth, the 38 year old bagged further gains at the seventh and ninth to reach the turn in 30. 

McEvoy, who won his first Challenge Tour title at the Panasonic Panama Open in 2004, was four shots clear of the field after picking up another birdie at the tenth – a lead the man from Essex never surrendered as he eased home to finish four ahead of his nearest challenger James Heath.

Having waited 13 years to return to the winner’s circle, McEvoy was delighted to have been able to get over the line in the Scottish Highlands.

“I never stopped believing I could win again,” he said. “I’ve been playing a lot of good golf this year. I came really close to winning in Austria on the European Tour last month, so I came into this week in really good form.

“I kept my composure well all day. I got off to a great start again, I’ve played the front nine fantastically well this week, and I was five under through nine then six under through ten so I couldn’t have asked for a better start.

“I just kept on telling myself ‘I can’t get ahead of myself’. I played some really good golf coming in – I kept hitting fairways and greens – but the putts just wouldn’t drop. I did what I needed to do though so I am very happy.”

Finishing four behind McEvoy was defending champion Heath who carded an excellent seven under par 64 to finish in outright second. 

Matt Ford, who aced the par three sixth after holing out from 194 yards, finished one shot further back in third place after also signing for a final round 64. 

The three Englishmen shared a house throughout the week in Aviemore, something McEvoy believed may have been behind the trio’s outstanding performances.

“The fact we did a one, two, three is unbelievable,” he said. “Both of them shot 64 today so it must have been down to our cooking this week – although we ate out last night!

“I was looking at the leaderboard as I was going round, so to see the boys up there at the end of the day was brilliant. It was a great week with very good company.”

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