Hurley and Selfridge remain steady on Challenge Tour
 Damien Perrier. Picture: Ota Mrákota

Damien Perrier. Picture: Ota Mrákota

Gary Hurley is just €1,852 outside the crucial Top 15 in the Challenge Tour’s Road to Oman despite getting stuck on neutral at the weekend in the D+D REAL Czech Challenge

As Frenchman Damien Perrier claimed his maiden European Challenge Tour title by one stroke courtesy of four under par 68, Hurley tied for 52nd after a second successive 72.

His cheque for just € 665 leaves him 18th in the money list with the Top 15 earning automatic promotion to the European Tour next season while Chris Selfridge’s fine 69 gave him a share of 44th on nine under par.

Selfridge is now 43rd in the Road to Oman from just five starts and has no finished in the money in 14 of his 17 professional starts.

As for the Czech Challenge, Perrier shared the lead with his playing partner and fellow Frenchman Adrien Saddier when the last group stepped onto the 17th tee.

A dropped shot for Saddier on that difficult par three, however, meant that Perrier held a one-shot advantage over his compatriot, and the other man in the final three-ball Jordan L Smith, going down the last.

Perrier's wayward drive found the semi-rough on the left and, although a nerveless approach fell to 22 feet from the hole, his missed birdie putt opened the door for Saddier and Smith to force a play-off.

They both failed to convert their birdie opportunities though, and Perrier was left with the simplest of tap-ins for a 24 under total and a victory which moves the 26 year old from 64th to eighth in the Road to Oman.

“It’s a great feeling to get my first win on the Challenge Tour,” said the Brittany player, the third French winner of the Czech Challenge in five years. “It’s the biggest victory of my career, not only because it’s on this tour, but also because of the battle with my two partners today.

“Jordan has a good ranking at the moment and he’s in good form. Adrien was also looking for his first victory so he was also battling hard until the end. To be honest it was impossible at any point in the round to know who was going to win this one.

“I just kept focused shot by shot. I think it’s almost easier to do that when you’re battling with two guys, instead of being two shots clear and getting distracted by other factors. It was really intense, but finally I did it so I’m really happy.

“On the 18th, that’s when I felt the pressure for the first time after moving one clear. But it wasn’t finished yet and you never know what can happen. I missed my tee shot to the left and I was almost in the heavy rough, but I found a flier lie and although it wasn’t an easy shot with the adrenaline, I hit it nicely to the middle of the green.

“I was just crossing my fingers that neither of the guys made birdie to force a play-off. They got close but didn’t hole them - it was really intense but I could breathe easily.”

Results:

264 D Perrier (Fra) 69 65 62 68, 

265 A Saddier (Fra) 65 64 69 67, J Smith (Eng) 64 66 67 68, 

269 C Blomstrand (Swe) 69 63 68 69, R Santos (Por) 67 67 69 66, D Gaunt (Aus) 70 64 67 68, 

270 J Senior (Eng) 66 69 69 66, D Bransdon (Aus) 67 68 66 69, R Saxton (Ned) 65 68 68 69, O Farr (Wal) 69 65 66 70, 

271 B Stow (Eng) 67 67 69 68, M Wiegele (Aut) 68 66 68 69, C Ford (Eng) 66 69 71 65, 

272 D Stewart (Sco) 68 68 66 70, A Pavan (Ita) 65 67 70 70, 

273 F Fritsch (Ger) 67 67 68 71, F Laporta (Ita) 70 66 67 70, D Wright (Eng) 68 69 68 68, F Bergamaschi (Ita) 71 68 64 70, 

274 M Lampert (Ger) 72 66 64 72, C Sordet (Fra) 69 68 68 69, M Armitage (Eng) 69 67 68 70, S Fernandez (Esp) 71 68 65 70, 

275 G Murray (Sco) 67 70 69 69, P Angles (Esp) 70 66 72 67, T Murray (Eng) 66 73 68 68, J Dantorp (Swe) 66 69 69 71, J Barnes (Eng) 69 69 69 68, P Whiteford (Sco) 66 67 72 70, J Garcia Pinto (Esp) 66 69 69 71, 

276 T Remkes (Ned) 69 67 69 71, M Nixon (Eng) 66 72 66 72, 

277 A Perrino (Ita) 70 67 70 70, J Lima (Por) 69 67 69 72, A Velasco (Esp) 69 68 67 73, P Mejow (Ger) 68 71 69 69, J Van Der Vaart (Ned) 70 65 71 71, S Connor (Eng) 68 71 69 69, 

278 D Lloyd (RSA) 69 69 69 71, J Doherty (Sco) 69 69 69 71, J Makitalo (Fin) 68 71 70 69, L Canter (Eng) 68 70 70 70, S Forsstrom (Swe) 67 67 72 72, 

279 M Trappel (Aut) 67 68 70 74, Chris Selfridge (Nir) 73 66 71 69, B Eccles (Aus) 65 69 68 77, E Cuartero Blanco (Esp) 69 70 67 73, 

280 M Schneider (Ger) 75 64 70 71, M Tullo (Chi) 67 69 69 75, R Roussel (Fra) 71 68 69 72, A Tadini (Ita) 69 70 69 72, 

281 T Sinnott (Aus) 68 69 77 67, Gary Hurley (Irl) 68 69 72 72, P Oriol (Esp) 71 68 69 73, 

282 J Lando Casanova (Fra) 70 69 68 75, K Hesbois (Bel) 70 67 72 73, S Soderberg (Swe) 69 67 70 76, 

283 R Coles (Eng) 72 67 71 73, S Hutsby (Eng) 67 71 69 76, N Quintarelli (Ita) 70 68 71 74, P Widegren (Swe) 70 67 72 74, 

284 V Novak (am) (Cze) 69 69 72 74, 

285 R Kind (Ned) 67 70 76 72, E Porter (Aus) 71 67 77 70, 

287 S Henry (Sco) 68 69 74 76, S Fallon (Eng) 68 68 73 78.