Caldwell comes up short in Challenge Tour bid
Jonny Caldwell. Picture courtesy PGA Europro Tour

Jonny Caldwell. Picture courtesy PGA Europro Tour

Clandeboye's Jonny Caldwell came up an agonising two strokes short of winning back his Challenge Tour card when he finished tied for fifth in the Visit Egypt Tour Championship at El Gouna Golf Club.

The former Walker Cup star has made a dramatic return to form over the past four months but needing a top-three finish in the final event of the PGA Europro Tour season to earn a Challenge Tour spot for the top five in the money list not already exempt, he closed with a one under 71 to finish five behind winner Elliott Saltman on three under par. 


A cheque for £2,062 was only enough to move him up to 10th in the final Race to El Gouna standings after just five events.

It was a brilliant effort but it still left him €4,141 short of sixth ranked James Robinson, who will get the fifth and final Challenge Tour card as second ranked Jack Senior looks set to regain his card through this season's Challenge Tour Rankings.

It was a tough end to a great run for Caldwell but it was a great day for Saltman, who shot a final-round 70 to win the title on eight under par.

With the winner's cheque for £15,000, the Scot leapt to top of the final money list, earning a category on the 2015 Challenge Tour.

He will be joined by Senior, Peter Tarver-Jones, James Watts and Stiggy Hodgson after they also finished in the top five on the Race To El Gouna.

As Senior currently sits inside the top 70 on the Challenge Tour rankings, he looks certain to secure a Challenge Tour card for next season based on his final ranking  following this week’s event in Oman, allowing Robinson to take up a category as one of the EuroPro’s top five not otherwise exempt.

Billy Hemstock just missed out, finishing seventh on the Race To El Gouna for the second successive year.

“Deep down I thought I had a chance this week,” said Saltman. “I came into the tournament knowing my game was in really good shape. But to actually pull off the win, and in the circumstances, has really proved to myself that I am capable of doing it under pressure."

Michael McGeady, who heads to the Second Stage of the European Tour Q-School next week, tied for 24th on five over after a 74 to finish 26th in the money list with £8,495 from 10 starts.

Richard Kilpatrick shot 71 to share 30th in Egypt and end the season 19th in the rankings with £10,728 from 15 starts.

Limerick;s Tim Rice shot 77 to share 38th, ending up 57th on the money list with prize money of £3,066 from 17 starts.