Ford secures top-five finish in 2020 Challenge Tour rankings - Golf News | Golf Magazine

Ford secures top-five finish in 2020 Challenge Tour rankings
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Ondrej Lieser has become the first Czech player to win the Challenge Tour rankings

Kent’s Matt Ford and Midlander Richard Mansell have both won guaranteed starts on next season’s European Tour after finishing inside the top five of the Challenge Tour’s money list following the final event in Mallorca.

The pair finished fifth and fourth respectively in the rankings, ensuring they will receive playing opportunities in nominated European Tour events in 2021.

Ford finished tied 14th in the Grand Final, which was held at T-Golf and Country Club, while Mansell, finished tied 21st, but both had done enough earlier in the season to maintain their positions in the top five.

The tournament was won by Ondrej Lieser (pictured right), who made history by becoming the first Czech player to win the Challenge Tour rankings as he secured his second title in a row, after winning the Andalucía Challenge de España last time out.  The 29-year-old produced a closing three under par round of 68 to reach 11 under par and clinch an emotional victory. His win saw him climb five places to the top of the money list.

He earned a narrow one-stroke victory in Mallorca over Christofer Blomstrand, Alexander Knappe and Santiago Tarrio, who all finished in a tie for second on ten under on a day where several players held the lead at various points in the day.

“It’s really emotional for me,” said Lieser. “The two putts I holed on 17 and 18 were unbelievable. In those circumstances, with that amount of pressure, I don’t even know how I did it. When I chose not to play the second event in Cádiz, I was getting messages asking why I wasn’t playing. I just said I needed to relax my head a little bit because the Grand Final is the most important thing. I went back home, spent time with the family, flew out here and look where I’m standing now.”

Overnight leader Knappe had a chance to force a play-off on the final hole, but he saw his birdie putt slip just past the hole and had to settle for a share of second place, while Welshman David Boote, Denmark’s Niklas Norgaard Møller and Sweden’s Robin Petersson finished a shot further back in tied fifth on nine under par.

Germany’s Marcel Schneider finished the 2020 season second on the Road to Mallorca Rankings, while Andalucía Challenge de Cádiz winner Pep Angles finished third.

With no players losing their cards from the European Tour in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the usual promotion of 20 players from the Challenge Tour to the European Tour will not apply for the 2020-21 season.

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