Graham Rankin won the Vilamoura Millennium Course event by four clear shots after recording an amazing eleven under par total of 202, picking up a cheque for £10,000 as a result.
The Scot, who played on the European Tour before an elbow injury forced him to take some time away from the game, began the day in fifth place, but a superb final round including seven birdies and just one bogey to finish with the day’s best score of 65, lifted him ahead of the rest of the field to take the title.
He commented, “I’ve felt this coming to be honest; it’s been on the cards for a while and I was very solid this week – I only missed five fairways in the whole tournament”.
Graham admitted that he was pleased with his performance, saying, “my putting is not the strongest part of my game, but I putted well today and that made the difference”.
He added, “The front nine here is incredibly tough and it’s easy to drop shots, but you get some chances on the back nine and I managed to hit the shots and make the most of it. I’ll obviously be looking to win the next tournament as well and keep looking upwards!”.
Second place went to Kyron Sullivan (Vale of Glamorgan), whose consistency over the week led to him picking up a cheque for £6,250 for his seven under par total of 206.
Third place was shared by Peter Whiteford (Wellsgreen) and Raymond Burns (Newlands), who both finished one shot behind Sullivan with 207 totals. Whiteford shot a great round of 68 on the last day, with Burns returning an impressive 69 total.
Fierce winds combined with sweltering heat made conditions tough for players. However, Thor Andersen, from Denmark, managed to overcome the difficulties to play a sensational round including seven birdies and two bogeys to record a five under par score of 66 in the final round – the best of the day after Rankin – to leave him four under par for the tournament with a score of 209.
The overnight leader, South African Michiel Bothma, clearly struggled in the wind as he carded five bogeys over the first nine holes. However, he managed to pull back three strokes after a series of birdies on the back nine to eventually finish two over for the day and five under for the tournament.
This was a first professional tournament for Paul Gault, who certainly rose to the occasion. The young Scot not only made the cut, but played solidly throughout the week to card rounds of 69, 71 and 70 to finish three under par for the tournament with a total of 210.
For full results, visit the Vilamoura event under the Tournament section.