Sam Bairstow, first title on the Challenge Tour

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Sam Bairstow, first title on the Challenge Tour

First title on the Challenge Tour for the Englishman Sam Bairstow, who won the Farmfoods Scottish Challenge with 269 (70 68 66 65, -15) strokes on the Newmachar Golf Club course (par 71), in the city from which the club takes its nome, near Aberdeen in Scotland, where Aron Zemmer offered good performances, ninth with 274 (-10), and Jacopo Vecchi Fossa, 17th with 276 (-8).

Sam Bairstow, results

Bairstow, 25 years old from Sheffield, neopro in his first year and at his 18th race on the circuit, overtook the French Romain Wattel, second with 270 (-14).

In third position with 272 (-12) the Northern Irishman Jonathan Caldwell, the American Jordan Gumberg and the Englishman Brandon Robinson Thompson, who came back from 23rd with a 64 (-7, seven birds), best run of the day, and scored in the Irish Challenge at the end of July, in his first appearance on the Challenge Tour.

In sixth with 273 (-11) the South African Keenan Davidse and two other Englishmen, Steven Brown and Dave Coupland, and in 32nd with 278 (-6) the South African Brandon Stone, the other scores a 64 (eight birds, one bogey ).The winner took the lead in the third lap, together with the Scot Craig Lee who immediately lost ground at the beginning of the fourth (then 12th with 275, -9) in the face of the pace imposed by the Englishman.

Three birds on the first six holes, then a safe path with three others, without bogeys, and also the par on the 18th hole was important, for the final 65 (-6), with which he prevented Wattel, who closed his 65 with a birdie (the seventh against a bogey), to go to the playoffs.

Bairstow received a check for €42,467 out of a prize pool of around €270,000 (£230,000 the official figure) and rose from 43rd to 18th place in the Road To Mallorca (order of merit) which at the end of the year will grant the top 20 the ‘card’ for the DP World Tour 2024. Zemmer (71 64 70 69) and Vecchi Fossa (71 69 68 68) both started in 68th place.

The first with a 64 (-7) in the second round moved up to the third, which he maintained in the next round to then end up with a run of 69 (-2, four birds, two bogeys). He lost six positions , but these are steps backwards that don’t detract from his tonic performance.

Vecchi Fossa patiently climbed back up passing through 49th and 23rd place and arriving at 17th with a 68 (-3, five birds, two bogeys) to close. Matteo Manassero and Gregorio De Leo came out, 75th with 142 (par), and Stefano Mazzoli, 110th with 145 (+3). Same fate for the Spanish Javier Sainz, who was defending the title, 63rd with 141 (-1).

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