Selfridge targets European Tour card as Challenge Tour returns at Mount Wolseley
 Daniel Im. Picture: Emanuel Stotzer

Daniel Im. Picture: Emanuel Stotzer

With two Challenge Tour events to come on Irish soil — August’s Northern Ireland Open at Galgorm Castle and the re-establish “Irish Challenge hosted by Mount Wolseley Golf Club” in October — Moyola Park’s Chris Selfridge believes he will have chances to win his way on to the European Tour.

The 23-year old from Castledawson has played just two Challenge Tour events as a professional but after finishing tied 17th on his debut in the Czech Republic last week and tied 13th in Switzerland on Sunday, he’s confident he can make the leap into the big time.

Tied third overnight, Selfridge’s hopes of victory in the Swiss Challenge presented by Association Suisse de Golf evaporated when he triple bogeyed the par-three third and bogeyed the fifth.

But he came back to post a one over 72 as birdies at the 12th, 17th and 18th that left him five shots out of a playoff in a share of 13th. 

Initially disappointed, he soon saw the silver lining.

“It was good day,” Selfridge said, who earned €2,720 to jump to 74th in the Challenge Tour’s “Road to Oman” rankings. “It was another great learning experience in front of big crowds.”

Needing a Top-15 Order of Merit finish to earn his European Tour card though the Challenge Tour rankings, Selfridge feels good about his decision to turn professional straight out of college.

“I hit a bad shot on the Par-3… then a bad chip and made a bad three-putt,” he added with humour. “I wouldn’t have turned professional, if I didn’t believe I was read. And I believe I can win out here and get my European Tour card for 2016.”

A six-time winner as an amateur — he won two Norths, the Irish Close and the East in Ireland and twice at college in Toledo, Ohio — Selfridge is a player who thrives on confidence.

He has next week off but will then play the next three events in France, Scotland and Germany and head into July hoping to build up steam for the Northern Ireland Challenge.

He will also have a chance to excel on home soil in the €180,000 “Irish Challenge hosted by Mount Wolseley Golf Club” from October 8-11, an event that has been revived after much hard work behind the scenes to bring the second tier circuit back to the Republic of Ireland for the first time since 2009.

The GUI, the CGI and third parties have all been involved in securing an event that will result in more tournament invitations elsewhere for bidding Irish players.

With several of our Walker Cup prospects planning to turn professional — Paul Dunne and Gavin Moynihan spring to mind — it’s an ideal event for them to get started.

As for Swiss Challenge, American Daniel Im claimed his maiden European Challenge Tour title in swashbuckling style when he birdied the first play-off hole to beat England’s Gary Boyd.

In a dramatic final day at a sun-drenched Golf Sempachersee, the lead exchanged hands numerous times throughout the afternoon but in the end it came down to two.

Both Im and Boyd came agonisingly close to sealing outright victory in regular play with makeable birdie chances at the last hole, but the former’s six under 65 and the latter’s three under 68 meant they were deadlocked on 11 under par.

Michael McGeady (73) finished tied 37th on two under with Gareth Shaw (76) tied 53rd on one over.

Swiss Challenge presented by Association Suisse de Golf, Golf Sempachersee (Par 71), Lucerne

273 D Im (USA) 74 66 68 65, G Boyd (Eng) 66 70 69 68, 

274 D Foos (Ger) 70 71 67 66, 

275 S Garcia Rodriguez (Esp) 72 69 70 64, S Tiley (Eng) 69 68 70 68, O Stark (Swe) 67 70 70 68, J Heath (Eng) 69 70 67 69, 

276 A Ahokas (Fin) 67 71 69 69, R Enoch (Wal) 71 67 68 70, 

277 O Bekker (RSA) 67 66 70 74, R Gouveia (Por) 68 70 70 69, D Frittelli (RSA) 74 67 67 69, 

278 D Palm (Swe) 68 71 68 71, Chris Selfridge (Nir) 71 70 65 72, N Geyger (Chi) 71 68 70 69, J Harrison (Eng) 71 71 69 67, J Doherty (Sco) 67 67 72 72, 

279 S Hodgson (Eng) 69 71 71 68, H Porteous (RSA) 67 69 71 72, J Hansen (Den) 72 67 67 73, T Tree (Eng) 71 67 75 66, N Quintarelli (Ita) 68 73 71 67, A Bruschi (Ita) 69 69 72 69, 

280 J McLeary (Sco) 71 72 69 68, B Rusch (Sui) 75 68 69 68, J Girrbach (Sui) 69 69 73 69, G Drakeford (Aus) 70 72 69 69, S Heisele (Ger) 72 71 70 67, T Remkes (Ned) 72 69 68 71, S Arnold (Aus) 71 68 72 69, 

281 L Claverie (Esp) 70 72 68 71, C Arendell (USA) 71 69 71 70, A Saddier (Fra) 70 71 68 72, M Delpodio (Ita) 71 70 69 71, B Parker (Eng) 68 72 67 74, B Paolini (USA) 70 71 68 72, 

282 S Brown (Eng) 67 73 69 73, F Praegant (Aut) 73 70 68 71, Michael McGeady (Irl) 72 70 67 73, J Senior (Eng) 66 70 72 74, G Murray (Sco) 71 70 72 69, 

283 T Gornik (Slo) 69 72 71 71, B Hemstock (Eng) 68 70 75 70, M Orrin (Eng) 73 68 72 70, A Gee (Eng) 70 69 75 69, J Kunzenbacher (Ger) 67 74 74 68, B Hafthorsson (Isl) 72 69 70 72, 

284 R De Sousa (Sui) 68 75 70 71, F Calmels (Fra) 70 70 73 71, C Mivis (Bel) 72 69 74 69, E Di Nitto (Ita) 72 69 69 74, J Blaauw (RSA) 72 71 66 75, 

285 V Riu (Fra) 69 73 72 71, Gareth Shaw (Nir) 71 70 68 76, M Wiegele (Aut) 69 73 71 72, L Gagli (Ita) 69 72 72 72, S Manley (Wal) 70 70 75 70, 

286 R Kellett (Sco) 71 68 73 74, M Trappel (Aut) 73 69 72 72, 

287 J Guerrier (Fra) 72 70 67 78, 

288 R Russell (Sco) 70 71 71 76, 

289 K Benz (Sui) 70 71 74 74, M Pospisil (am) (Cze) 71 71 73 74, 

291 D Ulrich (Sui) 73 70 74 74, 

293 L Corfield (Eng) 71 72 73 77, 

297 P Figueiredo (Por) 71 72 83 71, 

298 L Nemecz (Aut) 72 71 81 74