Turkish delight for sublime Sordet

Clément Sordet secured his second European Challenge Tour title, holding his nerve on the last hole to win the Turkish Airlines Challenge by one shot in Belek.

The Frenchman started the final round as the overnight leader and carded a three under par 69 in his final round at Gloria Golf Club.

Compatriot Matthieu Pavon, who held the lead after Friday’s second round, eagled the last hole to draw level on 19 under par after an excellent 66 that kept the tension high until the very end.

Sordet, who won his first title at the 2015 Northern Ireland Open, kept his cool and found the green on the par five 18th hole with his second shot, giving himself two putts for the title from ten feet.

“Unfortunately I hit a bunker shot on the 17th and I knew in the back of my mind that Matthieu was going to finish with an eagle,” Sordet, who moved to sixth place in the Road to Oman Rankings, said.

“When I walked off the green I saw he was 19 under and we were level. So it feels pretty good to have made a birdie on the last to win by one shot.

“On the 18th, I was just trying to hit my driver on the fairway and give myself a chance to get on to the green. I hit a perfect drive on the fairway and then a really good second shot.

“I had to make a two-putt from three metres, so I said to myself just push it short and then tap it in.

“The goal of the day was to get to 22 under, I knew that would win for sure. I just had to play some great golf and I think I did. I didn’t go as low as I wanted to, but still got the win.

“I’m really proud of what I did with Jim, my caddie, today. We stayed patient and made some really good shots.”

2016 looks set to be a remarkable year for the 23 year old who will also take part in this year’s Open Championship after his second-place finish in last year’s Thailand Championship.

“Thailand helped give me a lot of confidence before a long break for the winter,” he said. “I worked a lot on my game but wasn’t feeling great at the beginning of the year. But I kept practicing really hard and it has paid off. I feel great.”

Englishman Aaron Rai carded a final round 70 for a career-best third-place finish in Belek. He was joined on 15 under par by Road to Oman Rankings leader Sebastian Soderberg, who opened up a lead of nearly 10,000 points over France’s Romain Langasque, who was one shot further back.


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