Gavin Moynihan secured his second top-20 finish in as many starts on the Challenge Tour as he pulled himself back up the leaderboard on the final day of the Swiss Challenge.
The Dubliner secured a tied-19th finish by saving his best round of the week for last, a five-under 67 taking him onto 16-under at Golf Saint Apollinaire on the French border and adding another good finish to his tied-18th at the British Challenge.
It had looked like Moynihan was on for a difficult final round when birdies on his first two holes were immediately cancelled out by back-to-back bogeys at the third and fourth, but he rallied for three birdies in his final four holes of the front nine.
That was backed up by a birdie at the 12th and then an eagle at the 14th and, while a bogey at the 15th will frustrate him, nailing down back-to-back top-20 results will be a good confidence booster for Moynihan moving forward.
He would finish a long way off the top of the leaderboard, however, as Denmark’s Marcus Helligkilde claimed his second title in seven weeks as he closed out his third round overnight lead to triumph in Michelbach-Le-Haut.
His three-shot lead was cut to one by the end of the day as England’s Jonathan Thomson carded a six-under 66 and Nicolai Kristensen a 65 to reach 24-under, but ultimately Helligkilde’s 69 was just enough to edge him over the line by the narrowest of outright margins.
The 24-year-old had started with back-to-back birdies, although he gave a shot back at the fourth, but back-to-back birdies at 13 and 14 was enough of a buffer for him to hold off the surging Thomson and Kristensen to claim victory.
“It felt so great playing with Nicolai, we had a great battle,” said Helligkilde, who moves up to third in the Race to Mallorca standings. “Do you know what? We just had fun out there. It was so cool, and for him to finish second as well I am so happy for him.
“I could definitely feel the pressure, it helps quite a bit when you can play with a mate in Nicolai, and I think we both enjoyed it and we both just did our best and I came out on top and I’m grateful for that.
“I don’t have nerves of steel; I know I have nerves and I just accepted it as it is, and I just tried to do my best and enjoy it.”