Ar­naus thanks fam­ily af­ter thrilling vic­tory


Gulf News - - News - BY MATTHEW SMITH

Deputy Edi­tor Sports

Adri Ar­naus held his nerve to claim the sea­son-con­clud­ing Ras Al Khaimah Chal­lenge Tour Fi­nal at Al Hamra Golf Club yes­ter­day in the north­ern emi­rate with a nail-bit­ing birdie on the last hole.

It was a bit­ter­sweet mo­ment for the Spa­niard as he came tan­ta­lis­ingly close to claim­ing the Chal­lenge Tour’s sea­son­long Road to Ras Al Khaimah ti­tle from Den­mark’s Joachim B Hansen, who clung on to win by €13,000 in prize earn­ings.

It was a test­ing day for Hansen, who was in dan­ger of let­ting his lead slip in the race — thanks to five bo­geys and zero birdies on his card through 13 holes be­fore three mas­sive birdies got him across the line.

But the day, and the week, be­longed to Ar­naus, who saw his week-long lead dis­ap­pear when he bo­geyed the 17th on Satur­day and France’s Vic­tor Perez picked up a birdie to level things at the top of the leader board on 16-un­der.

But the Spa­niard was not go­ing to let this one slip and he fired his sec­ond shot within 25 feet on the 18th and two-putted to claim the Chal­lenge Tour Fi­nal tro­phy.

“I could not have done this without the help and sup­port of my fam­ily,” he said.

“Win­ning the tour­na­ment wire-to-wire is some­thing that I have never done be­fore in a pro­fes­sional level, and it is even more spe­cial be­cause from the first day I was able to main­tain the in­ten­sity and play some good golf, that makes this day even more mem­o­rable.

“It is my first full year as a pro­fes­sional golfer and my main goal has al­ways been to get to the Euro­pean Tour, and to be able to do that in this way is just won­der­ful.”

Feels un­real

Hansen was de­lighted to hold on to win the sea­son-long race. “Top­ping the Road to Ras Al Khaimah rank­ings has been the goal since se­cur­ing my Euro­pean Tour card and to achieve that feels un­real,” he said.

“I have played in the Euro­pean Tour for three years be­fore and have learnt a lot from that ex­pe­ri­ence. Now that this sea­son has ended it is time to aim higher and look at big­ger goals.”

Pe­dro Figueiredo grabbed the 15th and fi­nal Euro­pean Tour card, thanks to a fi­nal-round 67 that in­cluded six birdies.

“It feels amaz­ing to fin­ish on the top 15 in the Road to Ras Al Khaimah Rank­ings. I still can’t be­lieve it,” he said. “I can’t de­scribe how happy I am, to get on to the Euro­pean Tour, it’s a dream come true. We will head to Dubai to cel­e­brate, din­ner is go­ing to be on me tonight so who­ever wants to join is more than wel­come.”

Cour­tesy: Or­gan­iser

Adri Ar­naus with the tro­phy af­ter win­ning the Ras Al Khaimah Chal­lenge Tour Grand Fi­nal at Al Hamra Golf Club yes­ter­day.

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