McGee and Purcell share 46th as Coussaud wins thriller in Bangalore

Ronan MacNamara

Ugo Coussaud prevails in Bangalore, India. (Photo by Luke Walker/Getty Images)

Ugo Coussaud claimed his first win on the European Challenge Tour at The Challenge presented by KGA after he posted a five under par final round of 67 at Karnataka Golf Association.

The Frenchman birdied two of the last three holes to get to 18 under for the week and secure his maiden triumph, edging out Spaniard Manuel Elvira and Switzerland’s Joel Girrbach who finished in second place on 17 under par.

Coussaud climbs to the top of the Road to Mallorca Rankings following an emphatic start to the year which has seen him register a win and two other top ten finishes.


The 30-year-old started the day four shots off the lead, but birdies on eight and nine helped close the gap before three birdies on the back nine made sure of his first Challenge Tour victory.

“I’m feeling amazing,” he said. “I didn’t know when it was coming, but I knew it was coming. After five years on the Challenge Tour, it’s not that quick but I’m very happy indeed.

“It means a lot. I’ve put a lot of effort in, I’ve put a lot of work in with my team and it feels good to be on top.”

Coussaud has enjoyed his time in India, with this win coming off the back of a 21st place finish last week at the Duncan Taylor Black Bull Challenge, and he insists patience was key throughout the four rounds.

“The way I score has been different this season. My golf has just taken time to come together but now it’s good.

“I’ve been patient for 72 holes. That’s golf. You need to be patient, and it takes more time for some than others but when it comes, it’s good.

“Today was a rough start but I managed to make a lot of pars, then a few birdies came like they have all week, and then I finished by birdieing 16 and 17 with two good wedges, which was good stuff.

“I love India, I love the food. I’ll celebrate when I’m back in France for sure.”

Coussaud catapults to the top of the Road to Mallorca Rankings with 662 points, while South African JJ Senekal is 232 points behind in second. Elvira climbs 14 places to eighth on the Rankings courtesy of his second place finish in Bangalore, while Girrbach climbs 35 places into 13th.

Overnight leader Lars van Meijel and Coussaud’s French compatriot Frederic Lacroix finished in a tie for fourth place on 16 under par, while Indian Aman Raj, Welshman Oliver Farr and Spaniard Pep Angles shared sixth on 15 under.

Conor Purcell capped off a disappointing weekend with rounds of 73 and 74 to drift back to five-under-par alongside Derry’s Ruaidhri McGee who carded a two-under 70 to share 46th place.

Castle amateur Robert Moran rounded off a successful couple of tournaments with a one-over 73 for a two-under total.

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