New South Wales Central Coast native Dimitrios Papadatos [above] has cemented his position inside the top-15 on the European Challenge Tour’s order of merit after finishing second at the Bridgestone Challenge north of London.
Possessing a four-shot lead heading into the weekend, Papadatos was tied at the top along with Czech Stanislav Matus going into the final round but was unable to keep pace with a rampant Tom Lewis, the Englishman firing eight birdies in a round of 64 to win by five shots at Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa.
Opening the tournament with two rounds of 63 that featured nine birdies and a solitary bogey on both Thursday and Friday, Papadatos turned in two-under 34 in his final round and after bogeys at the 11th, 13th, 15th and 16th holes, bounced back impressively with an eagle at 17 and birdie at the 72nd hole to finish tied in second place alongside Sweden’s Sebastian Soderberg.
The cheque for €16,200 saw 27-year-old Papadatos move up to 12th in the Road to Ras Al Khaimah rankings with six events to play and within reach of a top-15 finish that would secure passage to the European Tour in 2019.
South Australian Nick Cullen was in the hunt after rounds of 66-66 to start his week, but an even-par round of 71 on Sunday saw him fall six spots into a tie for 12th, a birdie at the second countered by a bogey at the par-3 13th.
Ben Eccles was the only other Australian in the field, rounds of 73-74 not enough for the Victorian to qualify for the weekend.
• At the picturesque Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club in Switzerland, Scott Hend was the only Australian player to make the cut at the European Tour’s European Masters, rounds of 70-69-70-70 resulting in a tie for 45th as England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick successfully defended his title.
Although he failed to qualify for the final 36 holes, Marcus Fraser claimed the Aussie highlight of the week, even if he did come away empty handed. Fraser made an ace at the 160-metre par-3 eighth hole in his second round, but was left to rue the fact that it was the only one-shotter at Crans-sur-Sierre that didn’t come with a prize for a hole-in-one.
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) September 7, 2018
• On the European Seniors Tour, Peter Fowler continued his rich vein of form with a top-five finish at the European Tour Properties Senior Classic played at the Lighthouse Golf and Spa Resort in Bulgaria.
Winner of the Willow Senior Golf Classic a fortnight ago, Fowler fired a round of four-under 67 in the third and final round to finish the week at nine-under par and in a tie fourth, five shots behind Swede Magnus Atlevi, moving up to fifth in the Staysure Tour order of merit with close to €200,000 in earnings this year.
Mike Harwood moved up 10 places on the leaderboard on Sunday courtesy of a round of three-under 68 to finish tied for 22nd to now sit 49th on the moneylist.
Coletta climbs in Canada
A bogey-free 67 has propelled Victorian Brett Coletta [above] to his second top-five finish on Canada’s Mackenzie Tour, equalling his season-best result with a tie for fourth at the Mackenzie Investments Open in Montreal.
Starting the week 27th on the order of merit, Coletta’s Sunday flourish saw him move up four spots both on the leaderboard and the moneylist with one event remaining, this week’s Freedom 55 Financial Championship.
Hitting an astonishing 94 per cent of greens for the week on the North course at the Elm Ridge Country Club, Coletta had just four bogeys across the 72 holes to finish three shots out of the playoff between Blake Olson and Corey Periera, Olson claiming the title with a par at the first playoff hole.
Ruben Sondjaja moved up eight places on the leaderboard courtesy of a final round of two-under 70 to finish tied for 39th, one shot ahead of Tasmanian Mathew Goggin, who shot 71 on Sunday to end the week tied for 45th.