It was a season that would go all the way to the wire for Darius van Driel and it finished with the Dutchman proudly clutching his European Tour card for the first time.
2019 had it all for the 30-year-old, who would triumph at one of the most prestigious events on the Road to Mallorca International Schedule, the Rolex Trophy, and turn heads with a runner-up finish on the European Tour, at the Belgian Knockout.
The Dutchman came into the season knowing he had the game to contend after securing his maiden European Challenge Tour win at the 2018 Euram Bank Open, and it was not long before he was demonstrating that form again, recording a tied third finish in the opening event on the Road to Mallorca, the Turkish Airlines Challenge.
Before long he was replicating that performance on the European Tour, as he took his game to the next level with a runner-up finish at the Belgian Knockout, defeating Italians Nino Bertasio and Edoardo Molinari, Dane Jeff Winther, England’s Matthew Southgate and three-time European Tour winner Grégory Havret on his way to the final.
The 30-year-old turned his attention back to the Challenge Tour as he looked to secure a permanent home on the European Tour for 2020, and quickly took a big step towards that goal when he claimed his second-career Challenge Tour victory at the Rolex Trophy.
Heading into the weekend at Golf Club de Genève seven shots off the lead, van Driel carded rounds of 63-64, the lowest final 36 holes of the 2019 Challenge Tour season, to seal the comeback victory and fly up the Road to Mallorca Rankings.
His eight under par 64 was the lowest finish by a winner on the Road to Mallorca, but the round also further validated his ability to go low, which became evident throughout the season, with the fourth year Challenge Tour player carding five rounds of 64 or better throughout the season, including a pair of 63s in the opening round of the Vierumäki Finnish Challenge and closing day of the Euram Bank Open.
Despite winning in Switzerland, van Driel entered the Challenge Tour Grand Final knowing he needed a strong performance to cement his place in the top 15 and again he delivered, overcoming tough conditions to cap his year with a top ten finish and book his ticket to the European Tour for the 2020 season.