England’s Phil Archer overcame playing partner Roland Steiner in a final day battle of attrition to lift his second Challenge Tour title at the Allianz Open Côtes d’Armor Bretagne.
Archer grabbed the lead of the €150,000 event with a 61 on the third day, but with howling winds and driving rain making for treacherous playing conditions at Golf Blue Green de Pléneuf Val Andre in Brittany, France, a repeat of that course record round was never likely on the final day.
Instead, Archer carded a round of 76 for a seven under par aggregate total and a one stroke win over Steiner, who also bogeyed the final hole to sign for a round of 75.
His winner’s cheque for €24,000 moved Archer to 13th in the Challenge Tour Rankings, and within sight of securing a swift return to The European Tour.
Archer, whose first victory came at the 2004 Rolex Trophy, said: “Today it was just a battle – the conditions were some of the toughest I’ve played in. It was difficult just to stand up straight in the wind sometimes, let alone try to hit a quality golf shot. It was hard to stay patient, and I almost lost it a couple of times on the back nine. But in the end I limped over the line, which was a huge relief. It’s obviously not how I dreamed it last night, but a win’s a win, and I’m absolutely delighted.
“My golf’s been in the doldrums for a couple of years now, but I feel like I’m getting back on track. This obviously gives my confidence a big lift but also means I can plan my schedule much better now, because before now I wasn’t guaranteed to get into every tournament with my category. And it also gives me a timely boost ahead of St Omer next week, which is a big tournament for us. So all in all, I’m a very happy man right now. I’ve been working so hard on my game lately, so it’s just great to get the rewards and I can really look forward to the rest of the season now.”
After narrowly missing out on his maiden Challenge Tour title, Steiner received the consolation of a cheque for €16,500 which moved the Austrian from 111th to 23rd in the Challenge Tour Rankings.
Third place was shared between Frenchman Adrien Bernadet and Sweden’s Martin Erlandsson, who signed for respective rounds of 73 and 70.
The only man to break par on the final day was England’s Jamie Moul, who carded a superb round of 68 to finish in a tie for eighth place on one under par.