Liam Johnston wins on the Challenge Tour
The current number 1 of the Pro Golf Tour Order of Merit Liam Johnston secured himself the trophy of the Challenge Tour event Andalucía Costa del Sol Match Play 9. By that the Scotsman earned a category on Europes second-highest Golf tour.
Estepona/Spain – Only one meter separated the man with the blue poloshirt from winning his first title on the Challenge Tour. A calm swing, the ball goes straight in the cup and the fist raises towards the sky. Liam Johnston may now call himself a Challenge Tour winner, already at his third start on the tour.
His opponnent at the matchplay tournament in the Valle Romano Golf Club was a special one to him: After Johnston had already eliminated José-Filipe Lima with 3&2 in the quarter-final Jacopo Vecchi Fasso brought him an extra-challenge in the semi-final as the match was decided at the fifth extra-hole of the playoff. His opponent in the final was surprisingly his close friend and roommate Grant Forrest. It became a tough contest between the two professionals but a birdie on hole 8 by Johnston brought him in the lead. As the par-putt on 9 went straight in, Johnston showed himself overwhelmed over victory: “It's a dream come true, to be fair. It's a stepping stone towards where I want to be in golf,” he said. “It has totally exceeded my expectations for the year, as I started out with no status on the Challenge Tour and playing off invites. To get the win so early is fantastic and the fact I'm now able to play the remainder of the season of the Challenge Tour means I'm in a good spot for the rest of the year“, the Scotsman said. “It was obviously tough as I've known Grant for a long time. But it's golf and you’ve just got to hope it works out in the end. It did make it a bit tougher as you want him to do well as well, but once it's down to one versus one, you have to get on with it.
Johnston’s victory in Spain sees him rocket up the Road to Ras Al Khaimah Rankings from 120th to ninth and he also earned a spot in category 1 which guarantees him a tee time at any Challenge Tour event during the next 365 days.
A comeback to the Pro Golf Tour now seems unlikely, which means the Top Spot in the Order of Merit waits for the next player to capture it. Good luck on the Challenge Tour, Liam!