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Monday, 10 June 2019
Ricardo Santos (credit: Emanuel Stotzer) ()
Ricardo Santos (credit: Emanuel Stotzer) ()

The Swiss Challenge Presented by Swiss Golf is over for another year with Portugal’s Ricardo Santos joining the illustrious list of winners following four excellent rounds of golf. However, here’s five things you might have missed from an action-packed week.

We love you!

One of the best-attended events on the European Challenge Tour International Schedule, the Swiss Challenge Presented by Swiss Golf welcomes scores of members and volunteers throughout the week. However, it was on Saturday when the crowds were at their peak, with many local schoolchildren lining the fairways to watch some of the world’s best golfers. French duo Ugo Coussaud and Robin Sciot-Siegrist experienced the hysteria first-hand when a mob of youngsters waited for them outside the recording area.

Suchan’s first sub-70 round

Daniel Suchan had played 49 events on the European Tour and the Challenge Tour combined before the Swiss Challenge and had been unable to break 70 in any of his appearances. However, he certainly broke 70 on the opening day at Golf Sempachersee – and in some style. The Czech Republic native posted a stunning eight under par 63 to tie the lead with Minkyu Kim and at one point reached nine under par, before a late bogey meant he had to settle for just 63.

Give me a hand, mate

The Challenge Tour is fiercely competitive with each and every player thinking, hoping, and believing they can win each week. There are, however, some good friendships forged on the circuit and that was made quite clear during the third round of the Swiss Challenge. Sweden’s Oscar Lengden hit his ball into the water on eighth hole and was required to take a drop on a steep hill which could have ended with his ball rolling back into the water. Step up Christofer Blomstrand. Lengden’s countryman took on the role of backstop and positioned himself to stop the ball from going into the hazard after Lengden dropped. Friends first, opponents second.  

Story of the Day

Marcel Schneider triumphed at the 2018 Swiss Challenge in wire-to-wire fashion and the Challenge Tour subsequently decided to focus on the German for their Story of the Day feature on the opening day of the 2019 edition. Schneider put on a good show for the cameras, posting a three under par 68 before finishing the week in a tie for 13th place on eight under par.

Santos’ tournament-winning shot

No, not the final putt of his closing 65. No, not his birdie putt on the first. Or second. Or any of the four other birdies he carded on the final day. No, the shot which ultimately won Ricardo Santos the Swiss Challenge Presented by Swiss Golf crown was his approach from the fairway bunker on the 18th. Playing partner Richard Bland had holed a monster birdie putt on the 17th to ensure Santos only had a one-shot lead going into the final hole and after the Englishman smashed his drive down the fairway, Santos put his tee shot in the bunker on the left-hand side of the 18th fairway. With the tournament almost being blown wide open at the final hurdle, Santos composed himself and hit a superb shot to the fringe of the green. And the rest, as they say, is history. Click the below video to watch the highlights from the final day of the Swiss Challenge, with Santos' superb bunker shot at 2:46.

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