Brooks Koepka (EuropeanTour)
A final round of five under par 66 helped Brooks Koepka set a new record for the largest winning margin in the 25 year history of the Challenge Tour with an incredible ten-shot victory at the Fred Olsen Challenge de España.
The 23 year old American’s total dominance at Tecina Golf in the Canary Islands was stamped in the most emphatic fashion in the final round. Koepka started the day four shots clear of his nearest challenger, Edouard Dubois, and ended it as the most dominant victor the Challenge Tour has ever witnessed.
An early dropped shot from Koepka at the second hole gave Dubois and the rest of the chasing pack the faintest glimmer of hope, but the American’s response was instant and fatal as he quickly reduced his rivals to battling it out for second place.
A birdie on the third was followed by a clinical hat-trick between the fifth and seventh, before yet another birdie on the ninth turned the back nine into a victory stroll. Dubois eventually finished alongside Germany’s Bernd Ritthammer and home favourite Luis Claverie in a tie for second place.
“It was tough out there today,” said Koepka, who won €25,600 to extend his lead at the top of the Challenge Tour Rankings.
“I gave away a couple of shots early and I was coming down but then holed the putts I needed to. It feels great to win again. It's been a great week, to play at the top of the mountains here in such beautiful surroundings, the place is unbelievable.
“It feels great to break the record for the biggest win on the Challenge Tour. That’s a pretty cool record to have.”
Kopeka’s ten-shot margin of victory beats the previous record of eight strokes, shared by Bradley Dredge (2003 Madeira Islands Open) and Markus Brier (2004 Austrian Open).
He now leads the Rankings by €27,618 from Mark Tullo of Chile and Morten Ørum Madsen, and can win immediate promotion to The European Tour if he can secure a third Challenge Tour victory before the end of the season.
Koepka is not bothered about which route he takes to The European Tour; he just wants to get there.
“I will go straight to the Czech Republic and then play every event up until the Scottish Challenge. Hopefully I can keep playing like I did this week and try to get the third win,” said Koepka.
“If I don’t win a third tournament then I want to play well and stay at the top of the Rankings so that I can guarantee a place on The European Tour next year.”