By Brian Keogh
Colm Moriarty got his career back on track with a three-shot victory in the Challenge Tour’s FIRSTPLUS Wales Challenge.
The Glasson touring pro, 28, closed with a two-under par 70 to grab the €20,800 winner's cheque at the Vale Hotel Golf and Spa Resort near Cardiff
Moriarty finished on 13 under par in an event cut to 54 holes due to bad weather and jumped a massive 142 places to 34th place in the Challenge Tour rankings.
If he finishes in the top 20 at the end of the season, he will gain automatic promotion to the European Tour next year.
Moriarty said: "I’m delighted. I didn’t have a category on the Challenge Tour at the start of the year and this just changes everything for me - you could say that it has got my career back on track.
“I have been playing well on the Europro Tour all year and felt I could win on the Challenge Tour.
"But it’s a tougher mental test on the Challenge Tour because there is more strength in depth out here. So this is a significant win for me and sets me up well for the rest of the year.
“I didn’t feel nervous at all today - I met my psychologist, Liam Huggan, before I came out here and I have been in control of things all week.
"The only real blip I had today was on the tenth when I hit it in the water but made a great up and down for bogey. Apart from that I was in control.”
Moriarty now heads home to spearhead the Irish Challenge at the Challenge of Ireland presented by Glasson at his home course, the Glasson Golf Hotel & Country Club, starting on Thursday.
He will be joined in Athlone by 24 other Irish players, including Ballyclare's Gareth Maybin, who finished five strokes behind Moriarty in a tie for third place at the Vale after a 67
Moriarty added: “I want to thank everyone that has worked with me - Horizon Sports Management, TalyorMade, Adidas, Team Ireland Golf Trust, Glasson Golf Hotel and Country Club, Irish Life and Hyundai. They have all supported me brilliantly and I owe all of them a lot.”