Sep 30th, 2019
van Meijel wins a gigantic tee and Coceres triumphs amid stiff competition
Words: GolfPunk Photography: Getty Images
Hopps Open de Provence, Golf International de Pont Royal, Mallemort, France.
Lars van Meijel won his first European Challenge Tour title, carding a bogey-free final round five-under-par 67, to win the Hopps Open de Provence. The Dutchman, playing in just his second Challenge Tour season, only dropped one shot over the weekend at the Seve Ballesteros-designed Golf International de Pont Royal, recording a 16 under par total for a one stroke victory.
Van Meijel started the day as one of three overnight leaders alongside Canadian Aaron Cockerill and home favourite Antoine Rozner. While Cockerill and Rozner made mistakes on the front nine, van Meijel kept his cool and gained three shots at the turn. He maintained his form on the back nine as four consecutive pars were rewarded with a birdie at the par five 14th to remain in contention as players fought for position at the top of the leaderboard.
With Sebastian Heisele racing to the front and setting the target at 15 under par, van Meijel made one final birdie of the round at the 17th to move ahead of the German before two putts for par at the last sealed the win.
“I’m speechless right now,” said van Meijel. “It feels incredible to win. I was grinding it out all day, trying to focus on every shot and then you get to end and realise you’ve managed to do. It hasn’t sunk it yet. It was the first time I was leading ahead of the final round. I’ve done it before but not on the Challenge Tour and that felt a lot different. I’m really happy to get across the line.”
Heisele, who won on French soil at the Open de Bretagne three weeks ago, signed for a bogey-free round seven-under-par 65, to race up the leaderboard and finish a shot shy of van Meijel in second place. Italy’s Francesco Laporta and Spaniard Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez shot rounds of 66 and 68, respectively, to claim a share of third place. While overnight leader Cockerill finished in a tie of fifth with Adrian Meronk and the leading Frenchman Robin Roussel.
For the final leaderboard click HERE.
Murhof Legends - Austrian Senior Open, Golfclub Murhof, Frohnleiten, Austria
José Coceres held off the challenge of a Major Champion and several Ryder Cup stars to collect his second Staysure Tour win of the season at the Murhof Legends. The Argentinian, who began the day with a six-shot lead after carding a course record round of ten under par (62) on moving day, looked vulnerable in the early stages as he dropped shots on the fourth and sixth holes.
Complicating matters for Coceres was Paul Lawrie who began his final round with a hole-out eagle on the first and a birdie at the second as he pulled to within three of the lead. The Ryder Cup star continued to press all day, carding a seven under par 65 to finish alone in second place.
Coceres steadied the ship after the early miscues, but his lead was again reduced to two strokes with only three holes to play. Ultimately, the 56-year-old came up big when it mattered, finishing birdie-birdie and emphatically sealing a four stroke victory in style with a 25-foot putt at the last.
“I’m very happy to win this week,” he said. “It’s special to have my son here caddying for me, and I really want to thank my coach, Chino Fernandez, who I’ve been in close contact with all week. He’s been checking my swing and we’ve been talking on the phone.”
The win is both the second of his season after he claimed the Swiss Seniors Open in July, and the second of his over-50s career, both of which have come with his son caddying. “It’s important to have my son on the bag for my back,” he joked. “But really, it’s important because he knows me, and when we work together it really helps me to play my best.
With victory, Coceres moves to second on the Staysure Tour Order of Merit, behind Welshman Phillip Price, who finished alone in the third place in Austria. Coceres also joins Englishman David Shacklady as the only two-time winners this year.
For the final leaderboard click HERE.
And another thing...