England’s Matt Ford attained his strongest European Challenge Tour Ranking to date as he finished fifth on the 2020 Road to Mallorca Rankings.
Ford had only one weekend off in 2020, missing the cut at the RAM Cape Town Open, and after that finished outside the top 30 on just one occasion all year.
Top 20 finishes at the Dimension Data Pro-Am, Austrian Open and the Open de Portugal at Royal Óbidos meant he was solidly placed on the Road to Mallorca, but then back-to-back top fives gave him a sniff of top spot.
The 42-year-old forced a play-off at the Italian Challenge Open Eneos Motor Oil and after he and Hurly Long parred the first extra hole, with Marcel Schneider bogeying, they took another trip down the 18th at Golf Club Castelconturbia.
Ford marginally missed the green with his approach shot and then his superb chip for birdie burned the edge of the hole, meaning Long’s holed birdie putt secured the title and forced Ford to settle for a tie for second place.
In his next start at the Andalucía Challenge de España, Ford rode the wave of momentum in securing a tie for third place following a seven under par final 36 holes. He finished in a tie for 26th place in the Andalucía Challenge de Cádiz the following week meaning he went into the Challenge Tour Grand Final with top spot in his sights.
As it transpired, Ford never truly challenged for the title, despite finishing the week in a tie for 14th place. It was a nervous wait to find out if he had indeed secured fifth place on the Road to Mallorca Rankings, but the relief was there for all to see when it was confirmed that he had indeed secured fifth spot by just 300 points – the difference of just a single shot.