Friday, October 31, 2014


                            Elliot Saltman acknowledges the cheers after holing the winning putt.




Elliot Saltman shot a final-round 70 to win the Visit Egypt Tour Championship at the Red Sea venue of El Gouna Golf Club with a 54-hole score of eight under par, and the £15,000 winner’s prize has catapulted him to the top of the final PGA EuroPro Tour Race To El Gouna.
The Scot could afford to bogey the last hole and still win by one stroke as he reeled off scores of 67, 71 and 70 for a total of 208.
Runner-up on 209 was England's Laurie Canter (Saltford) with rounds of 69, 72 and 68 for an £8,000 payslip.

Saltman, who plays out of Archerfield Links, has earned a category on the 2015 Challenge Tour and will be joined by Jack Senior, Peter Tarver-Jones, James Watts and Stiggy Hodgson on Europe’s second-tier tour after they also finished in the top five on the Race To El Gouna.

However, Senior currently sits inside the top 70 on the Challenge Tour rankings and should he remain there at the conclusion of this week’s event in Oman, he will secure a Challenge Tour card for next season based on his final ranking position, allowing James Robinson to take up a category as one of the EuroPro’s top five not otherwise exempt.

Billy Hemstock just misses out, finishing seventh on the Race To El Gouna for the second successive year.

Elliot, the oldest of three Saltman golfing brothers from the Lothians, began the final round with a two-stroke lead on six under and birdies at the second, fourth and ninth took him to nine under
Laurie Canter (Saltford) and Welshman James Frazer (Pennard) stayed in touch for most of the round, and Canter briefly levelled with Saltman at eight under par, thanks to birdies at 11 and 12, just as Saltman bogeyed the 11th.

Saltman returned to nine under with a birdie at the 13th. Canter signed for a final-round 68 (four under par), the best score of the day, to finish the tournament at seven under 209. 
That left Saltman two clear as he came down 18 and though he made bogey after finding a fairway bunker, the Scot claimed a wire-to-wire victory for his first EuroPro Tour win since success at Fota Island in 2012.

“Deep down I thought I had a chance this week,” said Saltman. “I came into the tournament knowing my game was in really good shape. But to actually pull off the win has really proved to myself that I am capable of doing it under pressure.

“Looking back, three rounds under par in windy conditions, I should congratulate myself. It is playing very, very tough. The scoring was good today and the boys did well trying to chase me down. The course is in great condition and you cannot let up for one moment.

“It is massive to win the Race To El Gouna. It is something I said I wanted to do at the start of the season.

“It didn’t start off as planned when I was beaten in a play-off at Montrose and then at Cumberwell Park, but you keep your chin up, go back to the drawing board and keep practising. 
"When I lost the play-off at Cumberwell I did wonder if it wouldn’t happen. The break since the end of the season has done me well to go back and pick myself up. I have proved to myself I can stand up to the task and come up with the goods.”

Nick McCarthy (Moortown Golf Club) finished the tournament third on five under, three back, while Frazer took fourth on four under.

A two-hour highlights package of the Visit Egypt Tour Championship will be broadcast on Sky Sports HD on Tuesday, November 11.
After Saltman, the next best Scot was Paul Shields (Kirkhill) on 216 and sharing 14th place. He earned £675.
Dunbar's Neil Fenwick made £525 for joint 19th place on 218.
Ross Kellett (Kingsfield) had a bad last round of 77 which pushed him down to share of 24th place. He earned £345.

Par 216 (3x72)
208 Elliot Saltman (Archerfield Links) 67 71 70 (£15,000).
209 Laurie Canter (Saltford) 69 72 68 (£8,000)
211 Nick McCarthy (Moortown) 68 71 72 (£5,500).
212 James Frazer (Pennard, Wales) 68 72 72 (£4,500)
213 James Watts (Kingsway) 72 70 71, Jonathan Caldwell (Eng) 73 69 71, Darren Lloyd (Toft Hotel) 69 72 72, Alex Wrigley (Hartlepool) 69 71 73 (£2,062 each).
214 Peter Tarver-Jones (Worthing|) 68 74 72, Billy Hemstock (Teignmouth) 70 72 82 (£1,125 each)
216 Paul Shields KIkrihill) 68 77 71 (T14) (£675)
218 Neil Fenwick (Dunbar) 72 73 73 (T17) (£525)
221 Ross Kellett (Kingsfield) 73 71 77 (£345).





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