The European Challenge Tour was at Golf International de Pont Royal for the second staging of the Hopps Open de Provence last week. After four sun-kissed rounds in southern France, Dutchman Lars van Meijel reigned supreme for his inaugural victory on the Road to Mallorca.
Did you miss some of the action in France? Do not worry, we have you sorted.
The Hopps Open de Provence was taking place at the Seve Ballesteros-designed Golf International de Pont Royal with the late European legend’s son, Javier, teeing it up. The 29-year-old was playing in his first Challenge Tour event of the season and sat down to speak about life as a golfer and what it was like having Seve as a father.
Stunning Spanish touch
During the final round, the leaderboard was tightly packed with players jostling for position, making birdie after birdie but also aiming to keep big numbers off the card. After a red-hot streak of five birdies in a row, Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez found himself in trouble to the left of the eighth green.
With a tree and bushes in front of him and a bank before the green, the Spaniard was staring down the barrel of a big number, which would undo his fantastic work on the previous five holes. However, instead of making a bogey, double bogey or worse, Garcia Rodriguez made the par save of the season.
Sharing the knowledge
Challenge Tour players battle all season trying to end the campaign inside the top 15 places on the Road to Mallorca to gain a European Tour card for the following season. The competition is fierce, the season is long and tiring, but players are always willing to help each other out, as Duncan Stewart showed to Jonathan ‘Jigger’ Thomson.
French amateur Jeong Weon Ko took everyone by surprise at the Hopps Open de Provence, racing out in front to take the lead after round one. The 21-year-old, playing in only his third event on the Road to Mallorca, carded an opening round of 64, eight under par, and remained at the top of the leaderboard at the halfway stage.
Although he eventually finished tied 18th, he claimed the leading amateur prize, and now heads to European Tour Qualifying First Stage, looking to carry his form into the gruelling process.