Caldwell comes up short in Challenge Tour card pursuit

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Jonathan Caldwell (Photo by Luke Walker/Getty Images)

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Jonathan Caldwell endured a nightmare final round as he saw his hopes of securing one of five Challenge Tour cards unravel at the EuroPro Tour Championship.

The Clandeboye professional had entered the week in fifth spot on the Road to Desert Springs with the top-5 in the standings earning Challenge Tour promotion in 2020.

The 35-year old wasn’t without hope despite languishing at level par through 36-holes, however a round befitting any Halloween nightmare ensued on Friday with the Northern Irishman posting an 80 to fall down the leaderboard at the bumper £100,000 season ending event.

In the end it was Whitehead’s John Ross Galbraith and Royal Dublin’s Niall Kearney who enjoyed the best Irish finishes with the pair amongst a group at one-under par sharing 25th.

Galbraith’s two-under par round of 70 was the best the Irish could conjure on Friday’s final day with Kearney posting 74, Ballymena’s Dermot McElroy dropping back after a 77 and Limerick’s Tim Rice going one shot worse with a 78.

Caldwell’s round of 80 saw him finish just inside the top-50 at eight-over par.

Mikael Lundberg won the PGA EuroPro Tour Championships 2019 at Desert Springs after going through a playoff against James Allan three times.

Lundberg (Lumine Golf Club) clinched the Order of Merit title with victory in his first season on the Tour. The Swede signed for rounds of 64, 73 and 69 to force a playoff after leading after the opening day.

In a day where the lead swung, James Allan seized an early advantage through nine holes before being pegged back midway through the afternoon after getting in trouble on eleven.

Meanwhile, Lundberg was level through the front nine to trail by a few before picking up vital birdies on 15 and 16 to drag out a two-shot lead Allan who was a group back.

Allan (Chelmsford Golf Club) showed resilience throughout after going into the day leading. He knew he had to birdie 17 and 18 to force a playoff and that’s exactly what he achieved.

The Playoff

The playoff took place on the last with both Allan and Lundberg going toe to toe over the first two times before the third. In the third, Lundberg found the bunker on the green but played an exquisite shot to leave himself a few feet. Allan missed opening the door for the former European Tour winner to seal the win.

“This is just amazing,” said Lundberg. “It’s something you dream of. It’s not something you can really predict. You are hoping for it and it’s at the back of your mind. But the guys are too good. Once you get to this level you realise they’re pretty good.”

“But someone has to win it and when I pulled it off and when I play my game at my best I can still compete against them.”

The Order of Merit 2019 

The PGA EuroPro Tour Order of Merit is confirmed as the following players securing Challenge Tour cards for next season. Subject to change based on the European Tour Q School final stages where all of the below will be competing next week.

Mikael Lundberg, Richard Mansell, Marco Penge, Alfie Plant and Todd Clements.

Full scoring HERE

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