Nouvelle victoire française sur le Challenge Tour. Damien Perrier s’impose en République tchèque, un coup devant son compatriote Adrien Saddier. C’est la première victoire sur le challenge Tour pour le Breton de 26 ans.
Champagne pour @DAMIENPERRIER au #CzechChallenge ! @Challenge_Tour #ffgolf https://t.co/PNJiq9OZvZ pic.twitter.com/ttf067qaoS
— ffgolf (@ffgolf) 29 mai 2016
Septième à mi-parcours du D+D Real Czech Challenge, Damien Perrier a sorti un grain de folie samedi à Dritec. Le Français a rendu une carte fantastique de 62 (-10), avec onze birdies pour un seul bogey concédé. C’est le record du parcours égalé depuis le 62 de Brooks Koepka lors du 4e tour en 2013.
Un troisième tour très solide en 62 (-10) avec 11 birdies contre 1 bogey, me place en tête du D+D Real Czech Challenge à -20 total !! J’égalise ainsi le record du parcours détenu par Brooks Koepka. Une journée où tout s’est bien déroulé avec un chip putt délicat dès le 1 pour sauver le par, ce qui sera l’unique green raté de la partie. Un bilan de 17 greens touchés et un par 5 en 2 pour 26 putts
What a day
What a winner!
Watch @damienperrier win his maiden title at the #CzechChallenge after a thrilling finalehttps://t.co/Ocbpkqd41z
— Challenge Tour (@Challenge_Tour) 29 mai 2016
Avec cette victoire, assortie du plus gros chèque de sa carrière (28 000 euros), il grimpe au 8e rang de la Road to Oman et peut désormais caresser le rêve d’évoluer sur le circuit européen l’an prochain.
« C’est un grand pas dans ma carrière, car ça me donne beaucoup de points au ranking, et beaucoup de confiance », a-t-il admis.
L’élève de Benoît Teilleria n’a pas manqué de remercier Marina Rinaldi, sa compagne qui portait son sac cette semaine à Dritec :
« C’est la première fois qu’elle me caddeyait cette année. L’an dernier elle était avec moi sur l’Alps Tour. Nous n’avons pas gagné, mais nous avons été solides et fini par décrocher une carte pour le Challenge Tour. Un grand, grand merci à elle, car elle m’a vraiment aidé aujourd’hui, malgré toute la pression, à rester concentré sur chaque coup jusqu’au dernier. » FFGOLF
Damien Perrier equalled the course record 62, set by Brooks Koepka in 2013, at Golf and Spa Kunetická Hora to move into position for a maiden European Challenge Tour title at the D+D REAL Czech Challenge.
The Frenchman carded 11 birdies and one bogey en route to a ten under par third round which elevated him to a 20 under total, one shot clear of Englishman Jordan L Smith - who is chasing a second victory of the season.
Perrier - whose best Challenge Tour result to date in 61 appearances is a tied ninth finish back in 2010 - followed current World Number 16 from the USA, Koepka, into the history books at the Czech venue with a round which set fire courtesy of three successive birdies from the second and finished with three birdies in the final three holes.
The 26 year old was delighted to be in such esteemed company and called it the best round of his career.
Love is all you need ❤️👫🏆@DAMIENPERRIER had his girlfriend Marina Rinaldi, also a golf pro, on the bag this week pic.twitter.com/Z2Uux9KT55
— Challenge Tour (@Challenge_Tour) 29 mai 2016
“It’s such a good feeling,” said the former British Boys Amateur Champion from Brittany. “It’s not every day you play this kind of golf, so I’m really happy with the round and to tie the course record with Koepka.
“I played really solid but it’s really weird - since the beginning of the year I have felt like I’m playing well but I’m just finishing 30th or 40th.
“I had my best score of the season yesterday with a seven under round. Then I was talking to Marina, my girlfriend and caddie, saying, ‘I can go lower than this’, because I had a lot of opportunities between eight and ten feet. I kept playing with that same strategy today and it’s just a great feeling to make 11 birdies.”
Having shone in the amateur scene and played in teams alongside the likes of Victor Dubuisson and Romain Wattel, Perrier believes it is high time he began to make bigger strides in his professional career.
“I turned professional eight years ago and I’ve only had two seasons so far on the Challenge Tour,” he said. “I have always played well and put myself into contention on the smaller tours – I’ve graduated twice from the Alps Tour.
“At 26 years of age, turning 27 soon, I want to start doing that on this tour. This is the next step for me in my career and I am still waiting for it to happen, so I’m happy about these three rounds.
“I have put some pressure on myself because I really want it, and I see my friends like Romain Langasque, Clément Sordet and Matthieu Pavon doing well, so I want to follow them but finally I am not so far away from where they are.
“I’m a little bit older than those guys though. My generation is more Dubuisson and Wattel and I played in boys’ teams with those guys, who have been on the European Tour for many years and winning there, so it’s time for me to go.
“It’s time to get results like the guys are doing this year, not just feeling like you’re not far away but not at the top. It’s an important round and a good score for three days.”
Smith, winner of the inaugural Red Sea Egyptian Challenge Presented by Hassan Allam Properties last month, is happy to once again be in contention following a five under par 67 which earned him outright second place.
“I didn’t hit it quite as well as I did in the first few days,” said the 23 year old. “On the front nine I played really nicely and then on ten, 11 and 12 I had three putts inside 12 feet which were makeable, but I missed all of them.
“Then, unfortunately I made bogey at the 14th but finished nicely with eagle-par-birdie. I could have done with that in the middle of the round to build momentum.
“I’m really enjoying this course at the moment. There are lots of birdies to be had so I’ve just got to go out there and shoot as many under as I can. I don’t have to scoreboard watch tomorrow because I’m not leading so I can just go out and play my own game and fire at the pins. I’m looking forward to it.”
Perrier and Smith with be joined in the final group by another Frenchman Adrien Saddier, who led after the third round and was at one point in the day three shots clear, negotiating the first 12 holes in five under par, but the wheels came off somewhat with a double bogey at the 17th.
The 24 year old’s three under par 69 kept him in touch with the lead, however, as he sits two shots back on an 18 under total, with Welshman Oliver Farr (66) and Swede Christofer Blomstrand (68) two shots further back in a share of fourth place.
As with moving day, play on the final day will tee off early with a view to an early finish due to the threat of thunderstorms in the afternoon – the final group tees off at 9:10am local time.
196 D Perrier (Fra) 69 65 62,
197 J Smith (Eng) 64 66 67,
198 A Saddier (Fra) 65 64 69,
200 C Blomstrand (Swe) 69 63 68, O Farr (Wal) 69 65 66,
201 D Gaunt (Aus) 70 64 67, D Bransdon (Aus) 67 68 66, R Saxton (Ned) 65 68 68,
202 D Stewart (Sco) 68 68 66, B Eccles (Aus) 65 69 68, M Wiegele (Aut) 68 66 68, M Lampert (Ger) 72 66 64, F Fritsch (Ger) 67 67 68, A Pavan (Ita) 65 67 70,
203 R Santos (Por) 67 67 69, F Laporta (Ita) 70 66 67, F Bergamaschi (Ita) 71 68 64, B Stow (Eng) 67 67 69,
204 J Senior (Eng) 66 69 69, A Velasco (Esp) 69 68 67, M Nixon (Eng) 66 72 66, J Dantorp (Swe) 66 69 69, S Fernandez (Esp) 71 68 65, M Armitage (Eng) 69 67 68, J Garcia Pinto (Esp) 66 69 69,
205 D Wright (Eng) 68 69 68, C Sordet (Fra) 69 68 68, M Tullo (Chi) 67 69 69, P Whiteford (Sco) 66 67 72, J Lima (Por) 69 67 69, M Trappel (Aut) 67 68 70, T Remkes (Ned) 69 67 69,
206 E Cuartero Blanco (Esp) 69 70 67, G Murray (Sco) 67 70 69, S Forsstrom (Swe) 67 67 72, J Van Der Vaart (Ned) 70 65 71, C Ford (Eng) 66 69 71, S Soderberg (Swe) 69 67 70,
207 J Lando Casanova (Fra) 70 69 68, J Barnes (Eng) 69 69 69, T Murray (Eng) 66 73 68, S Hutsby (Eng) 67 71 69, J Doherty (Sco) 69 69 69, D Lloyd (RSA) 69 69 69, A Perrino (Ita) 70 67 70,
208 P Angles (Esp) 70 66 72, A Tadini (Ita) 69 70 69, P Mejow (Ger) 68 71 69, R Roussel (Fra) 71 68 69, S Connor (Eng) 68 71 69, L Canter (Eng) 68 70 70, P Oriol (Esp) 71 68 69,
209 P Widegren (Swe) 70 67 72, G Hurley (Irl) 68 69 72, M Schneider (Ger) 75 64 70, S Fallon (Eng) 68 68 73, J Makitalo (Fin) 68 71 70, K Hesbois (Bel) 70 67 72, N Quintarelli (Ita) 70 68 71,
210 R Coles (Eng) 72 67 71, C Selfridge (Nir) 73 66 71, V Novak (am) (Cze) 69 69 72,
211 S Henry (Sco) 68 69 74,
213 R Kind (Ned) 67 70 76,
214 T Sinnott (Aus) 68 69 77,
215 E Porter (Aus) 71 67 77,