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Heroic Hundebøll secures maiden Challenge Tour title in Bloemfontein

Heroic Hundebøll secures maiden Challenge Tour title in Bloemfontein

Oliver Hundebøll carded a six under par final round 66 to secure a dramatic maiden European Challenge Tour victory at the Mangaung Open with a 21 under par total.

Hundebøll - Mangaung Open

The Dane entered round four five shots off the pace but carded seven birdies and just one bogey in difficult conditions at Bloemfontein Golf Club to record a one-shot victory over South African duo Luke Jerling and Tristen Strydom, who shared second place on 20 under par.

The 22-year-old started the final round slowly before a birdie at the tenth hole ignited a back nine of 31 to set the target in the clubhouse.

Hundebøll watched on as players in the final three groups failed to convert birdie chances, and the Dane admitted he was not expecting to have his hands on the trophy when he signed his card.

“It feels amazing,” he said. “I still don’t quite believe it to be honest, especially after the front nine. I managed to put together a strong back nine and the conditions felt like I was playing in Denmark. I’m used to these conditions and the key moment was making a birdie at the tenth hole after my bogey at nine. The putts started to roll in after that and it felt amazing.

“I hit a great drive on 18 and unfortunately it just found the semi-rough. I hit a four iron to try and attack the green in two but just came up short in the bunker. I hit a great bunker shot and rolled in a nice putt for birdie.

“It felt strange watching the other groups finish. When I came in I didn’t really think I could win but luckily a couple of the guys made mistakes on the last hole.

“I have loved my time in South Africa. I have seen so many amazing things and it is such a nice country. I have a flight tonight but I may choose to stay here instead.”

Overnight leader Craig Ross and Spaniard Scott Fernandez shared fourth place on 19 under par, while English pair Jamie Rutherford and John Parry shared sixth position with South African duo Keenan Davidse and Jbe Kruger on 18 under. Englishman Mitch Waite and Dutchman Lars Van Meijel finished in tenth place on 17 under par.

Hundebøll moves to fourth place on the Road to Mallorca Rankings, 49,972 points behind Road to Mallorca Number One JC Ritchie, with Dimension Data Pro-Am winner Alexander Knappe and Belgian Christopher Mivis occupying second and third place respectively after the opening four events.

The Road to Mallorca will take a two-week break before heading to Limpopo for the SDC Open, which gets under way from March 24-27, followed by the Limpopo Championship.

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