Hurley and Selfridge trampled in Challenge Tour birdie stampede
Damien Perrier. Picture: Ota Mrákota

Damien Perrier. Picture: Ota Mrákota

Another day on the Challenge Tour, another day of ridiculously good scoring at the D+D REAL Czech Challenge.

Chris Selfridge shot a one under 71 and slipped seven places to 60th on six under while Gary Hurley’s 72 saw him slither 21 spots down to 59th on minus seven.

At the top Frenchman Damien Perrier gave the headline writers a field day when he equalled Brooks Koepka’s three year old course record with a 10 under par 62 at Golf and Spa Kunetická Hora to move into position for a maiden European Challenge Tour title

The Frenchman carded 11 birdies and one bogey to move to 20 under par and one shot clear of Englishman Jordan L Smith - who is chasing a second victory of the season.

Perrier - whose best Challenge Tour result to date in 61 appearances is a tied ninth finish back in 2010 - followed current World Number 16 from the USA, Koepka, into the history books at the Czech venue.

“It’s such a good feeling,” said the former British Boys Amateur Champion from Brittany. “It’s not every day you play this kind of golf, so I’m really happy with the round and to tie the course record with Koepka.

“I played really solid but it’s really weird - since the beginning of the year I have felt like I’m playing well but I’m just finishing 30th or 40th.

“I had my best score of the season yesterday with a seven under round. Then I was talking to Marina, my girlfriend and caddie, saying, ‘I can go lower than this’, because I had a lot of opportunities between eight and ten feet. I kept playing with that same strategy today and it’s just a great feeling to make 11 birdies.”

Having shone in the amateur scene and played in teams alongside the likes of Victor Dubuisson and Romain Wattel, Perrier believes it is high time he began to make bigger strides in his professional career.

“I turned professional eight years ago and I’ve only had two seasons so far on the Challenge Tour,” he said. “I have always played well and put myself into contention on the smaller tours – I’ve graduated twice from the Alps Tour.

“At 26 years of age, turning 27 soon, I want to start doing that on this tour. This is the next step for me in my career and I am still waiting for it to happen, so I’m happy about these three rounds.

“I have put some pressure on myself because I really want it, and I see my friends like Romain Langasque, Clément Sordet and Matthieu Pavon doing well, so I want to follow them but finally I am not so far away from where they are.

“I’m a little bit older than those guys though. My generation is more Dubuisson and Wattel and I played in boys’ teams with those guys, who have been on the European Tour for many years and winning there, so it’s time for me to go.

“It’s time to get results like the guys are doing this year, not just feeling like you’re not far away but not at the top. It’s an important round and a good score for three days.”

Smith, winner of the inaugural Red Sea Egyptian Challenge Presented by Hassan Allam Properties last month, is happy to once again be in contention following a five under par 67 which earned him outright second place.

“I didn’t hit it quite as well as I did in the first few days,” said the 23 year old. “On the front nine I played really nicely and then on ten, 11 and 12 I had three putts inside 12 feet which were makeable, but I missed all of them.

“Then, unfortunately I made bogey at the 14th but finished nicely with eagle-par-birdie. I could have done with that in the middle of the round to build momentum.

“I’m really enjoying this course at the moment. There are lots of birdies to be had so I’ve just got to go out there and shoot as many under as I can. I don’t have to scoreboard watch tomorrow because I’m not leading so I can just go out and play my own game and fire at the pins. I’m looking forward to it.”

Perrier and Smith with be joined in the final group by another Frenchman Adrien Saddier, who led after the third round and was at one point in the day three shots clear, negotiating the first 12 holes in five under par, but the wheels came off somewhat with a double bogey at the 17th.

The 24 year old's three under par 69 kept him in touch with the lead, however, as he sits two shots back on an 18 under total, with Welshman Oliver Farr (66) and Swede Christofer Blomstrand (68) two shots further back in a share of fourth place.

As with moving day, play on the final day will tee off early with a view to an early finish due to the threat of thunderstorms in the afternoon – the final group tees off at 9:10am local time.


Detailed scores

196 D Perrier (Fra) 69 65 62, 

197 J Smith (Eng) 64 66 67, 

198 A Saddier (Fra) 65 64 69, 

200 C Blomstrand (Swe) 69 63 68, O Farr (Wal) 69 65 66, 

201 D Gaunt (Aus) 70 64 67, D Bransdon (Aus) 67 68 66, R Saxton (Ned) 65 68 68, 

202 D Stewart (Sco) 68 68 66, B Eccles (Aus) 65 69 68, M Wiegele (Aut) 68 66 68, M Lampert (Ger) 72 66 64, F Fritsch (Ger) 67 67 68, A Pavan (Ita) 65 67 70, 

203 R Santos (Por) 67 67 69, F Laporta (Ita) 70 66 67, F Bergamaschi (Ita) 71 68 64, B Stow (Eng) 67 67 69, 

204 J Senior (Eng) 66 69 69, A Velasco (Esp) 69 68 67, M Nixon (Eng) 66 72 66, J Dantorp (Swe) 66 69 69, S Fernandez (Esp) 71 68 65, M Armitage (Eng) 69 67 68, J Garcia Pinto (Esp) 66 69 69, 

205 D Wright (Eng) 68 69 68, C Sordet (Fra) 69 68 68, M Tullo (Chi) 67 69 69, P Whiteford (Sco) 66 67 72, J Lima (Por) 69 67 69, M Trappel (Aut) 67 68 70, T Remkes (Ned) 69 67 69, 

206 E Cuartero Blanco (Esp) 69 70 67, G Murray (Sco) 67 70 69, S Forsstrom (Swe) 67 67 72, J Van Der Vaart (Ned) 70 65 71, C Ford (Eng) 66 69 71, S Soderberg (Swe) 69 67 70, 

207 J Lando Casanova (Fra) 70 69 68, J Barnes (Eng) 69 69 69, T Murray (Eng) 66 73 68, S Hutsby (Eng) 67 71 69, J Doherty (Sco) 69 69 69, D Lloyd (RSA) 69 69 69, A Perrino (Ita) 70 67 70, 

208 P Angles (Esp) 70 66 72, A Tadini (Ita) 69 70 69, P Mejow (Ger) 68 71 69, R Roussel (Fra) 71 68 69, S Connor (Eng) 68 71 69, L Canter (Eng) 68 70 70, P Oriol (Esp) 71 68 69, 

209 P Widegren (Swe) 70 67 72, Gary Hurley (Irl) 68 69 72, M Schneider (Ger) 75 64 70, S Fallon (Eng) 68 68 73, J Makitalo (Fin) 68 71 70, K Hesbois (Bel) 70 67 72, N Quintarelli (Ita) 70 68 71, 

210 R Coles (Eng) 72 67 71, Chris Selfridge (Nir) 73 66 71, V Novak (am) (Cze) 69 69 72, 

211 S Henry (Sco) 68 69 74, 

213 R Kind (Ned) 67 70 76, 

214 T Sinnott (Aus) 68 69 77, 


215 E Porter (Aus) 71 67 77.