Hoey and Moynihan fade in Kazakhstan
 Tapio Pulkkanen. Credit: Phil Inglis

Tapio Pulkkanen. Credit: Phil Inglis

Michael Hoey and Gavin Moynihan slipped down the leaderboard as Finland's Tapio Pulkkanen claimed his maiden European Challenge Tour title by overcoming Chase Koepka in a three-hole playoff at the Kazakhstan Open.

Hoey closed with a level par 72 to fall seven spots to tied 22nd on eight-under-par while Moynihan had three double bogeys in a row from the 11th in a 75 to end up tied for 50th on two-under.

As a result, Hoey earned just €4,230 and rose just eight spots to 74th in the Road to Oman standings.

Moynihan fell one place to 28th and is €14,656 outside the top-15 who will be awarded European Tour cards at the end of the season and as he plans to skip this week's Challenge de España, he has just four events to bridge the gap.

Pulkkanen, who was runner-up in Turkey and the Czech Republic, has no such worries after his victory saw him overtake Aaron Rai at the top of the rankings with €143,997 from 15 starts.

The Finn started the day one shot behind overnight leader Erik van Rooyen but managed to overtake his playing partner after three birdies over the front nine at Nurtau Golf Club.

The big-hitting 27-year-old continued to make light work of the par fives at the Almaty course, adding three further gains over the par-five 10th, 13th and 17th to sign for a closing round of 68 and a 17-under-par total.

Already safe in the clubhouse on 17 under par was American Koepka after his own superb score of 66, leading to a play-off in Kazakhstan – just the second in the event’s 12-year history.

Both players teed it up again on the 18th and both had birdie chances after finding the green on the par-four hole. Koepka shaved the cup with his effort from 25 feet, while Pulkkanen saw his effort slide by from 12 feet. 

Each competitor failed to reach the green during their second attempt at the 18th, but both Koepka and Pulkkanen got up and down from the fringe with ease to take the tournament to a third extra hole.

At the third time of asking on the 18th, Koepka came unstuck hitting the trees to fall short of the green with his second shot – by contrast, Pulkkanen found the heart of the green to set up a simple two-putt for par. 

With Koepka unable to convert a 20-foot putt for par, Pulkkanen was afforded the luxury of tapping in from one foot for his first Challenge Tour triumph.

Having finished as a runner-up on two previous occasions this season, Pulkkanen was delighted to have gotten one over the line.

“I am feeling unreal right now,” he said. “It was really hard to remain focused during the final two days as I just kept thinking about the future and what was at stake.

“It is an unbelievable feeling to have won one of the biggest events on the Challenge Tour. I just tried to treat each day as a new one and I managed to play one hundred percent each time.

“I think I was in control today. I made a couple of bogeys but I was playing really well and it was really good to make birdie on 17 and force a play-off against Chase – I still can’t believe that the play-off went my way.

“This result is good enough for the European Tour, and I am really glad to have been able to have achieved that here – it is an awesome feeling to know I will be on the European Tour for next season.”

Also rising up the Rankings is Koepka, whose runner-up finish takes him to fourth place with €111,491. 

Ruaidhri McGee is 82nd, Cormac Sharvin 103rd, Gary Hurley 145th, Dermot McElroy 161st, Kevin Phelan 162nd, Chris Selfridge 195th, Neil O'Briain 203rd, Stephen Grant 256th and David Carey 264th 

Kazakhstan Open, Nurtau GC (par 72)

Results & earnings/Detailed scores

271 T Pulkkanen (Fin) 67 70 66 68, C Koepka (USA) 69 69 67 66 (Pulkkanen won with par at 3rd extra hole),

272 T Murray (Eng) 66 70 70 66, 

273 E Van Rooyen (RSA) 68 66 68 71, 

274 N Von Dellingshausen (Ger) 70 65 70 69, 

275 M Delpodio (Ita) 71 68 69 67, M Kinhult (Swe) 68 72 66 69, M Orrin (Eng) 69 67 68 71, L Gagli (Ita) 67 70 70 68, 

277 R Enoch (Wal) 69 67 73 68, O Farr (Wal) 70 69 71 67, P Tarver-Jones (Eng) 70 72 69 66, R McEvoy (Eng) 71 66 72 68, S Brown (Eng) 70 70 68 69, 

279 T Tree (Eng) 73 68 67 71, E Goya (Arg) 68 65 75 71, T Linard (Fra) 71 67 70 71, N Geyger (Chi) 70 71 66 72, N Johansson (Swe) 72 70 71 66, M Fenasse (Fra) 73 68 69 69, J Dantorp (Swe) 70 68 70 71, 

280 Michael Hoey (Nir) 74 68 66 72, R Saxton (Ned) 67 67 71 75, S Henry (Sco) 67 67 74 72, N Cullen (Aus) 71 66 73 70, R Evans (Eng) 72 67 65 76, 

281 G Forrest (Sco) 67 71 70 73, J Guerrier (Fra) 68 73 69 71, M Baldwin (Eng) 70 69 68 74, 

282 M Nixon (Eng) 71 70 69 72, A Saddier (Fra) 69 72 69 72, M Lundberg (Swe) 68 65 74 75, S Tiley (Eng) 68 69 73 72, 

283 A Meronk (Pol) 72 67 69 75, S Fernandez (Esp) 67 75 70 71, C Blomstrand (Swe) 72 70 69 72, R Davies (Wal) 71 70 68 74, C Mivis (Bel) 73 69 70 71, M Trappel (Aut) 73 68 68 74, J McLeary (Sco) 68 72 70 73, 

284 B Hafthorsson (Isl) 72 69 71 72, F Laporta (Ita) 66 71 70 77, G Boyd (Eng) 68 74 69 73, M Schwab (Aut) 69 71 71 73, N Lindstrom (Swe) 68 68 72 76, 

285 C Griffiths (Eng) 71 70 70 74, E Dubois (Fra) 69 70 71 75, D Van Driel (Ned) 68 69 76 72, M Schneider (Ger) 70 70 74 71, 

286 W Besseling (Ned) 69 71 75 71, F Maccario (Ita) 73 67 74 72, Gavin Moynihan (Irl) 72 68 71 75, O Lengden (Swe) 68 72 74 72, A Pavan (Ita) 71 68 74 73, M Lafeber (Ned) 69 71 69 77, 

287 C Sordet (Fra) 68 74 70 75, J Hansen (Den) 69 71 74 73, B Eccles (Aus) 72 70 73 72, 

288 J Senior (Eng) 68 69 73 78, J Kruyswijk (RSA) 71 71 72 74, B Neil (Sco) 74 67 70 77, J Doherty (Sco) 70 71 72 75, 

290 D Foos (Ger) 70 71 73 76, J Garcia Pinto (Esp) 72 65 75 78, 

292 S Hutsby (Eng) 69 72 77 74, 

304 B Virto (Esp) 71 71 79 83.

CUT

143 D Huizing (Ned) 71 72, Gary Hurley (Irl) 75 68, J Girrbach (Sui) 70 73, M Lampert (Ger) 68 75, J Kunzenbacher (Ger) 71 72, J Sim (Kor) 72 71, 

144 J Allan (Eng) 72 72, G Porteous (Eng) 71 73, P Widegren (Swe) 69 75, M Haastrup (Den) 72 72, R Dinwiddie (Eng) 72 72, V Perez (Fra) 76 68, J Sarasti (Esp) 73 71, B Hellgren (Swe) 74 70, Cormac Sharvin (Nir) 72 72, Ruaidhri McGee (Irl) 73 71, J McDonald (Sco) 73 71, S Kim (USA) 73 71, 

145 O Lindell (Fin) 74 71, M Laskey (Wal) 71 74, R Kellett (Sco) 74 71, J Van Der Vaart (Ned) 73 72, P Gustafsson (Swe) 73 72, E Di Nitto (Ita) 77 68, J Lando Casanova (Fra) 76 69, A Tadini (Ita) 76 69, M Ovesen (Den) 72 73, P Oriol (Esp) 71 74, 

146 O Wilson (Eng) 74 72, D Gaunt (Aus) 75 71, R Hjelm (Den) 70 76, V Riu (Fra) 73 73, R Nortje (RSA) 75 71, J Heath (Eng) 76 70, 

147 A Wennstam (Swe) 73 74, M Wiegele (Aut) 73 74, R Sciot-Siegrist (Fra) 74 73, M Cort (Eng) 72 75, G King (Eng) 69 78, K Samooja (Fin) 72 75, 

148 M Madsen (Den) 74 74, O Stark (Swe) 77 71, C Braeunig (Ger) 73 75, J Sjöholm (Swe) 74 74, V Osipov (Rus) 75 73, D Law (Sco) 74 74, 

149 M Tullo (Chi) 76 73, N Ravano (Ita) 76 73, T Shadbolt (Eng) 75 74, B Åkesson (Swe) 74 75, M Ford (Eng) 74 75, N Saldarov (am) (Kaz) 80 69, 

150 C Cannon (Eng) 76 74, S Jeppesen (Swe) 76 74, 

152 P Howard (Eng) 72 80, R Santos (Por) 77 75, 

153 R James (Wal) 78 75, M Killen (Eng) 76 77, 

154 K Clement (USA) 78 76, 

156 A Velasco (Esp) 79 77, 

157 P Dedek (Cze) 80 77, 

159 R Ten (Uzb) 83 76, 

160 Z Seilbekov (Kaz) 86 74, P Goryainov (Rus) 80 80, 

162 B Sarkytbaeyv (am) (Kaz) 82 80, 

163 A Vongay (Kaz) 80 83.