Sunday, September 16, 2018

Liam Johnston from Dumfries wins
Kazakhstan Open

Liam Johnston from Dumfries fought off a packed leaderboard and emerged victorious at one of the European Challenge Tour’s most lucrative events, the Kazakhstan Open
The Scot began the final round one shot back of leader Sean Crocker and bogeyed his opening hole to fall further behind. But in keeping with the pattern that had emerged throughout the tournament, he maintained his composure and was able to respond immediately.
“All week there were several times where I made bogey and then I bounced back with a birdie or two birdies, and this was just one of those weeks,” he said.  
“When it’s your week these things happen, but that birdie on the second hole got me settled into the round, especially with the par five coming up, it just confirmed to me that ‘yeah, I am playing well, and I just need to keep on doing what I’m doing.’”
At one point in the final round, six different players co-led the Kazakhstan Open  but Johnston pulled ahead with some impressive shot-making.
“The turning point was probably eight and nine. I birdied eight by driving it on the front of the green and then I hit a nine-iron to 15 feet on nine and holed the putt for eagle, which was a big moment because Crocker hit it in the water and made bogey so there was a three-shot swing there.”
Despite a late-charge from England’s Tom Murray, who ultimately finished in second place, Johnston, with rounds of 66, 67, 64 and 67 secured a two-stroke victory with a 72-hole total of 24-under-par 264 and the €72,000 winner’s cheque.
“I played great today, this is the best I’ve ever played I think, this whole week,” he said. “Coming into today I was awfully nervous, I’m not going to lie — with how much was at stake — but it’s been a fantastic day and it couldn’t have gone more accordingly to what I dreamed last night before going to bed.”
Starting the week in the 40th position on the Road to Ras Al Khaimah, the 25 year old has now catapulted himself into the fourth position, and virtually locked up a European Tour card for next year.
The win — Johnston’s second of the season after claiming the Andalucia-Costa del Sol Match Play 9 — has exceeded even his own expectations.
“I started the season with no category at all, and was just playing off invites,” he said. “That first win was huge for me in taking the step onto the Challenge Tour and it seems like this one’s going to be a huge win in taking a step onto the European Tour.
“I couldn’t even imagine this was going to happen starting this year in January with the goals that I’d set for myself.”
There was a second Scot in the top 10 finishers - Calum Hill who earned 9,563 euro for a joint ninth place with scores of 68, 65, 71 and 67 for a 17-under 271.
The Challenge Tour now travels to Mallemort, France for the Hopps Open de Provence, which will be the 24th event on the Road to Ras Al Khaimah.
With only four tournaments remaining before the Ras Al Khaimah Challenge Tour Grand Final, and significant moves made in the Rankings by the likes of Johnston and Murray, who himself rose to the 11th position, the competition is set to turn red-hot down the home-stretch.
Final scores:
par 288 (4x72)
264 L Johnston (Sco) 66 67 64 67
266 T Murray (Eng) 70 65 66 65
267 S Crocker (USA) 66 68 62 71, T Lewis (Eng) 67 66 65 69 
270 R Langasque (Fra) 69 68 69 64, M Orrin (Eng) 66 65 70 69, N Kimsey (Eng) 70 63 68 69, M Hoey (NIre) 67 67 68 68
271 B Stow (Eng) 67 64 68 72, A Arnaus (Spn) 68 72 65 66, C Hill (Sco) 68 65 71 67, B Evans (Eng) 69 68 68 66
272 J Lima (Portugal) 68 65 70 69 
273 M Lampert (Ger) 65 68 70 70, D Perrier (Fra) 67 69 68 69, D Law (Sco) 69 65 71 68, J Hansen (Denmark) 71 64 69 69, V Perez (Fra) 69 69 68 67, G Porteous (Eng) 70 68 67 68,
274 J Carlsson (Swe) 69 69 69 67, G Moynihan (Ire) 68 71 65 70, M Kim (S Korea) 71 69 69 65, T Linard (Fra) 68 69 68 69, 75 V Riu (Fra) 70 69 69 67, S Soderberg (Swe) 70 68 73 64 
276 H Leon (Chile) 68 72 65 71, J Senior (Eng) 69 70 72 65, E Ferguson (Sco) 68 68 68 72, M Haastrup (Den) 66 72 70 68, E Johansen (Norway) 72 67 70 67, F Laporta (Ita) 69 69 69 69, M Schmitt (Ger) 69 68 69 70
277 P Maddy (Eng) 69 66 72 70, J Caldwell (NIre) 70 68 69 70, P Figueiredo (Portugal) 67 67 74 69, N Lemke (Swe) 70 66 71 70
278 R Kellett (Sco) 72 65 71 70, A Meronk (Poland) 67 68 75 68, A Rozner (Fra) 72 69 69 68, D Papadatos (Australia) 71 69 72 66 
279 C Feldborg Nielsen (Swe) 69 71 73 66, M Ovesen (Denmark) 70 69 69 71, A Knappe (Ger) 70 71 69 69, J Singh Brar (Eng) 66 75 73 65, D Huizing (Netherlands) 73 68 72 66
280 M Carlsson (Swe) 69 70 71 70, J Lando Casanova (Fra) 70 66 74 70, N Geyger (Chile) 70 69 66 75, W Besseling (Netherlands) 72 68 68 72 
281 L Scalise (Ita) 69 68 70 74, O Stark (Swe) 69 71 71 70, M Fenasse (Fra) 69 72 70 70,
282 M Schneider (Ger) 70 70 72 70, R McGowan (Eng) 68 73 72 69, C Sharvin (NIre) 68 71 73 70, V Osipov (Russia) 69 71 71 71 
283 K Samooja (Finland) 67 70 75 71, O Lindell (Fin) 73 67 70 73, R Roussel (Fra) 71 68 72 72, J Kunzenbacher (Ger) 72 69 70 72
284 L Nemecz (Austria) 69 69 70 76, J Sjöholm (Swe) 74 67 73 70
287 A Velasco (Spn) 70 70 78 69
288 R Davies (Wales) 70 71 78 69
289 S Forsström (Swe) 72 69 76 72
292 M Wiegele (Austria) 70 71 78 73
294 A Michael (SAf) 70 71 76 77

298 C Doak (Sco) 69 70 81 78

PRIZEMONEY BREAKDOWN
1JOHNSTON Liam SCO-24666764670026472,000€ 72,000
2MURRAY Tom ENG-22706566650026649,500€ 49,500
3CROCKER Sean USA-21666862710026729,250€ 29,250
3LEWIS Tom ENG-21676665690026729,250€ 29,250
5HOEY Michael NIR-18676768680027016,875€ 16,875
5KIMSEY Nathan ENG-18706368690027016,875€ 16,875
5LANGASQUE Romain FRA-18696869640027016,875€ 16,875
5ORRIN Max ENG-18666570690027016,875€ 16,875
9ARNAUS Adri ESP-1768726566002719,563€ 9,563
9EVANS Ben ENG-1769686866002719,563€ 9,563
9HILL Calum SCO-1768657167002719,563€ 9,563
9STOW Ben ENG-1767646872002719,563€ 9,563
13LIMA José-Filipe POR-1668657069002728,100€ 8,100
14HANSEN Joachim B. DEN-1571646969002736,525€ 6,525
14LAMPERT Moritz GER-1565687070002736,525€ 6,525
14LAW David SCO-1569657168002736,525€ 6,525
14PEREZ Victor FRA-1569696867002736,525€ 6,525
14PERRIER Damien FRA-1567696869002736,525€ 6,525
14PORTEOUS Garrick ENG-1570686768002736,525€ 6,525
20CARLSSON Johan SWE-1469696967002744,601€ 4,601
20KIM Minkyu KOR-1471696965002744,601€ 4,601
20LINARD Thomas FRA-1468696869002744,601€ 4,601
20MOYNIHAN Gavin IRL-1468716570002744,601€ 4,601
24RIU Victor FRA-1370696967002754,185€ 4,185
24SODERBERG Sebastian SWE-1370687364002754,185€ 4,185
26FERGUSON Ewen SCO-1268686872002763,780€ 3,780
26HAASTRUP Mark Flindt DEN-1266727068002763,780€ 3,780
26JOHANSEN Eirik Tage NOR-1272677067002763,780€ 3,780
26LAPORTA Francesco ITA-1269696969002763,780€ 3,780
26LEON Hugo CHI-1268726571002763,780€ 3,780
26SCHMITT Max GER-1269686970002763,780€ 3,780
26SENIOR Jack ENG-1269707265002763,780€ 3,780
33CALDWELL Jonathan NIR-1170686970002773,285€ 3,285
33FIGUEIREDO Pedro POR-1167677469002773,285€ 3,285
33LEMKE Niklas SWE-1170667170002773,285€ 3,285
33MADDY Paul ENG-1169667270002773,285€ 3,285
37KELLETT Ross SCO-1072657170002782,925€ 2,925
37MERONK Adrian POL-1067687568002782,925€ 2,925
37PAPADATOS Dimitrios AUS-1071697266002782,925€ 2,925
37ROZNER Antoine FRA-1072696968002782,925€ 2,925
41FELDBORG NIELSEN Christopher SWE-969717366002792,520€ 2,520
41HUIZING Daan NED-973687266002792,520€ 2,520
41KNAPPE Alexander GER-970716969002792,520€ 2,520
41OVESEN Martin DEN-970696971002792,520€ 2,520
41SINGH BRAR Jack ENG-966757365002792,520€ 2,520
46BESSELING Wil NED-872686872002802,115€ 2,115
46CARLSSON Magnus A SWE-869707170002802,115€ 2,115
46GEYGER Nico CHI-870696675002802,115€ 2,115
46LANDO CASANOVA Jérôme FRA-870667470002802,115€ 2,115
50FENASSE Mathieu FRA-769727070002811,815€ 1,815
50SCALISE Lorenzo ITA-769687074002811,815€ 1,815
50STARK Oscar SWE-769717170002811,815€ 1,815
53McGOWAN Ross ENG-668737269002821,643€ 1,643
53OSIPOV Vladimir RUS-669717171002821,643€ 1,643
53SCHNEIDER Marcel GER-670707270002821,643€ 1,643
53SHARVIN Cormac NIR-668717370002821,643€ 1,643
57KUNZENBACHER Julian GER-572697072002831,463€ 1,463
57LINDELL Oliver FIN-573677073002831,463€ 1,463
57ROUSSEL Robin FRA-571687272002831,463€ 1,463
57SAMOOJA Kalle FIN-567707571002831,463€ 1,463
61NEMECZ Lukas AUT-469697076002841,328€ 1,328
61SJÖHOLM Joel SWE-474677370002841,328€ 1,328
63VELASCO Alvaro ESP-170707869002871,260€ 1,260
64DAVIES Rhys WAL070717869002881,215€ 1,215
65FORSSTRÖM Simon SWE+172697672002891,170€ 1,170
66WIEGELE Martin AUT+470717873002921,125€ 1,125
67MICHAEL Anthony RSA+670717677002941,080€ 1,080
68DOAK Chris SCO+1069708178002981,035€ 1,035

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