Victory for Vahlenkamp, Etchenique goes to KLM Open
FaberExposize Gelpenberg Open 2023
Timo Vahlenkamp impressively recovers from a bogey series and secures his second title on the Pro Golf Tour with a 70 on the final day of the FaberExposize Gelpenberg Open 2023. Andoni Etchenique, who has already been promoted to the Challenge Tour after last week's victory at the Staan Open, is delighted to be the winner of the Dutch Swing special classification and to have a starting place in the elite field of the KLM Open 2024.
Aalden, Netherlands -Special excitement at the penultimate event of the season: The Dutch Swing of the Pro Golf Tour came to an end with the FaberExposize Gelpenberg Open 2023 at De Gelpenberg Golf Club. A lot was at stake at the third stop within three weeks in the Netherlands. In addition to the tournament victory and important points in the race for the five promotion places, a ticket for the KLM Open 2024 was at stake. The winner of the special ranking specially introduced for the three Dutch stops may try his hand on the big stage of the DP World Tour next year.
The race for the €5,000 prize at the FaberExposize Gelpenberg Open 2023 was not decided until the last few holes. Timo Vahlenkamp had started the final round as the leader and opened the hunt for the title with a birdie. However, the game of the 25-year-old from Berlin's GC Stolper Heide cooled off somewhat as the round progressed. After three bogeys in a row on holes eleven to 13, the Westphalian had to watch Owen Edwards (Wales), who managed a fabulous 64 on Saturday, pass him by.
Vahlenkamp ahead of Katich and Edwards
But Vahlenkamp found his way back to the form that had distinguished him for much of this week. Two birdies on the 15th and 16th holes saw him climb back to the top and two commanding pars at the end were enough to win by a razor-thin margin of one stroke over Edwards and compatriot Philipp Katich with a total score of nine under par. Tadeas Tetak crossed the finish line in fourth place.
"I noticed in between after my bogey series that I was lagging behind a bit. Then I stepped on the gas a bit more and luckily I managed two birdies relatively quickly," the winner summed up. "I travelled here knowing that I had to win again this year to still have a chance in the season standings and I'm very proud that I managed to do that." The now two-time winner on the Pro Golf Tour had special praise for the 18 holes at De Gelpenberg: "This course is one of the most beautiful we visit," he enthused. "It's tight, really challenging and visually beautiful."
Etchenique cleared for KLM Open 2024
Vahlenkamp, who has already recorded four top-ten finishes this season, improves to fifth in the season standings with the win and would - as of now - be among those promoted to the Challenge Tour. Frenchman Andoni Etchenique has already secured promotion to the Challenge Tour. Clement Guichard, Zan Luka Stirn and Christian Bräunig are in second, third and fourth place.
Etchenique, who finished the tournament in 35th place, can also look forward to a special highlight in the coming season. The Frenchman secured a starting place in the field of the KLM Open 2024 as the winner of the special ranking of the Dutch Swing.
13 tournaments have been completed, one more is still on the schedule: After a breather, the final decision in the promotion race will be made from 4 October at the Castanea Resort Championship, which is endowed with 50,000 euros.