Steven Tiley claimed his first win on the European Challenge Tour with a wire-to-wire victory at Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge.
The Englishman, playing his 11th season on the Challenge Tour, finished runner-up to last year’s wire-to-wire champion Richard McEvoy, but went one better this time, recording a final round of 72, one over par, for an 11 under par total to seal a debut victory.
After opening rounds of 64-68-69, the 36-year-old held off the challenge from compatriot Richard Bland to become the third successive Englishman to lift the trophy at Golf PGA France du Vaudreuil following in the footsteps of McEvoy and Aaron Rai.
“It sounds fantastic. I came close last year and finished runner-up to my good friend Maccas, so it was nice to seal the deal this year,” Tiley said.
“I was feeling nervous on the first tee. I’d slept on the lead for the last two nights and that is always hard because you wake up thinking about the different scenarios.
“It’s a tough tee shot on the first hole and I didn’t want to put myself in the bunker or up the lip of it. It was a nervous start and I was pretty nervous all day, but I slowly got into the round, playing a few holes without nerves helped a lot.”
Tiley’s final round featured four bogeys alongside three birdies as he clinched the victory, however, it was his short game which helped him claim a memorable triumph at a favourable venue.
“I think I only missed five putts inside ten feet all week, so I holed out really well, which was great,” he said. “There were a lot of key saves today, but the birdie on ten was pretty good and that helped me take charge a little bit.
“Early in the round the chip on the eighth was good and that steadied the ship. The greens are so small that if you miss them you end up in the rough, which is very difficult, because sometimes the ball will fly and sometimes it’ll end up short. But I played that chip nicely and holed the five-foot putt.”
Bland recorded a final round of 68, three under par, to finish runner-up to Tiley, while home favourite Grégory Havret, aiming to become the first French winner of the event, finished a further stroke back in third place on a nine under par total.
With his win, Tiley races up the season-long Challenge Tour Rankings from 126th to 11th. While Bland returns to second position in the Rankings with Havret jumping to eighth place from 25th.