Robin Roussel wasted no time in getting his second season on the European Challenge Tour off to a flying start, recording top ten finishes in each of his first three starts.
In his fifth event of the season, the Frenchman endured the first of only three missed cuts all year, but in his very next appearance, on home soil at the Hauts de France – Pas de Calais Golf Open, the then 25-year-old bounced back in style, firmly establishing himself as one of the premier players on the Challenge Tour when he won a thrilling battle on arguably the Tour’s most difficult course, Aa Saint-Omer Golf Club.
In that final round battle, Roussel and Englishman Richard Bland separated themselves from the field and by the time the tournament had reached the final nine, it had become a two-horse race. Separated in age by over 20 years, the two golfers exchanged brilliant shots down the stretch and when the battle arrived on the 18th tee, Roussel held a narrow one shot advantage.
Bland played first into the final green, and when his approach shot landed pin-high and only 12 feet away, it appeared he might have a chance of forcing a play-off or even winning the tournament outright.
With the tournament on the line, Roussel responded brilliantly, taking dead-aim at the tucked, back-left hole location, which sat on an elevated tier of the green, and sticking his approach to inside three feet before sealing a two-stroke victory by converting the short birdie putt.
Firmly inside the coveted top 15 on the Road to Mallorca Rankings after his win, Roussel did not slow down, and recorded three further top five finishes, including a runner-up finish at the lucrative Hainan Open before earning a rookie season on the European Tour by graduating as Road to Mallorca Number Seven.