The 2019 European Challenge Tour season came to an enthralling end over the weekend, with 15 players graduating to the European Tour. If you missed the excitement from the last few days, we’ve got you covered…
Lapo laps up the glory
Francesco Laporta only sealed his first Challenge Tour three weeks ago, but two starts later, the Italian was celebrating once again – for two reasons.
Laporta clinched the Challenge Tour Grand Final for his second win in three starts on the Road to Mallorca, and with that was crowned 2019 Challenge Tour Number One, capping off a stunning run of form, which started with a tied seventh finish at the Italian Open, a Rolex Series event, four weeks earlier.
Worth the wait
Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez secured the 15th and final European Tour card following his tied 35th finish at Club de Golf Alcanada. The Spaniard carded weekend rounds of 76-77 and had a nervous wait for confirmation of his European Tour status.
Frenchman Robin Sciot-Siegrist, who started the week in 37th place, needed to win or finish in outright second to stand a chance of leapfrogging Rodriguez and graduating to the European Tour. However, when his birdie putt on the final hole slid by all eyes were then fixed on Sebastian Heisele, who occupied tied second, and was playing in the final group of the day.
If the German dropped a shot, then the Frenchman would occupy second place on his own and have done enough to replace Rodriguez in the top 15. However, it was elation for the Spaniard and commiserations for Sciot-Siegrist as Heisele made par on the last to finish in a share of second to see the left-hander miss out on a top 15 spot by 1,369 Ranking points.
Adrian Meronk became the first-ever Polish player to obtain full European Tour playing privileges when he finished fifth on the Road to Mallorca. The 26-year-old had a stunning season, securing ten top ten results, including the first European Tour-sanctioned event won by a Polish player as he won the 57º Open de Portugal @ Morgado Golf Resort in September.
What a season it has been. I’m officially a member of the @EuropeanTour. I’m extremely happy & so proud to be the first one from Poland to do it!— Adrian Meronk (@AdrianMeronk) November 11, 2019
I couldn’t have done it without the team around me and everybody that has been supporting me. Congrats to my fellow graduates too 🇵🇱 pic.twitter.com/ktTAUUlvDJ
His tied ninth result was his fifth top ten in six events and his third in-a-row. Needless to say he was thrilled to claim his European Tour card.
The 2019 Challenge Tour Grand Final found a new home this year, when the top 45 players teed it up at Club de Golf Alcanada for the first time. The Mallorcan venue was home to the 20th staging of the Grand Final and it gave the players a stern test when they battled an array of conditions during the four days.