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Monday, 06 May 2019
Antoine Rozner wearing the winner's txapela   (European Tour)
Antoine Rozner wearing the winner's txapela (European Tour)

The European Challenge Tour headed to Spain for the second event of the season, where Antoine Rozner reigned victorious at Izki Golf. Here’s five things you might have missed from an exciting week in Spain.

Rozner roared home

Winning a tournament is always a memorable occasion, however, Rozner’s victory on Sunday afternoon will live long in his memory. The 26-year-old claimed his debut Challenge Tour title in Spain and did it in fantastic fashion.

A four-hole stretch on his back nine saw him pick up five title-winning shots, including holing out for eagle from 123-yards on the 15th fairway. It was a stunning way to seal a maiden victory and the Frenchman will be replaying those four holes in his mind many, many times.

Spanish hands

The standard of short game shots was high at the Challenge de España with plenty of fantastic up and down birdies and par saves, including delicate touches from this Spanish duo, showing their Spanish hands.

While England’s Ben Stow was getting amongst Spanish hands action following this fantastic bunker shot on the 18th to end his third round with a birdie.

Jigger makes the move

Jonathan Thomson needed something special to make the cut on Friday following his opening four over par round of 76, and the Englishman delivered in style.

He shot the joint low round of the day on Friday, an impressive round of 67, five under par, in wet and cold conditions to rise up the leaderboard and force his way in for the weekend.

Thomson began the day tied 127th but following his round, which included one bogey and six birdies with his final gain coming on the 18th, last year’s Made in Denmark runner-up jumped to a share of 36th – a huge leap of 88 places.

Time to celebrate

The Challenge de España celebrated its 20th anniversary last week with Rozner becoming the fifth French winner of the event. The first edition of the Challenge de España took place in 1999, when Spain’s Carl Suneson became the inaugural champion.

There were more celebrations during the week, as Izki Golf, who have hosted the last three editions of the event, celebrated their 25th year. The Urturi club opened in 1994 and have held five Challenge de España; 2002, 2003, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Santi swaps Tours

At the age of 56, Santiago Luna was the oldest competitor in the field, and had taken the opportunity to play on the Challenge Tour before the over-50s circuit gets into full swing. The four-time Staysure Tour winner last played on the Challenge Tour in 2015 but received one of the 47 national/invite spots to play at Izki Golf.

Luna carded rounds of 78-75 and missed out on the weekend’s action, but now heads to America for the opening Senior Majors of the over-50s circuit. 

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