Espen seals Grand Final and rankings double
Article posted: 27 October 2012
At the start of the season my coach and I decided the target would be three wins and a place in the top ten - I’ve only won twice, but I’ll take it.
Espen Kofstad produced a marvellous final-day performance in southern Italy to become the Apulia San Domenico Grand Final champion and Challenge Tour rankings winner for 2012.
Kofstad, who started the day two shots off the lead, claimed a one-shot victory on 19 under par thanks to a bogey-free four under 67 final round.
Fifth in the projected rankings following the end of Friday’s play, the Norwegian clinched the order of merit with earnings of €131,099.43.
Kofstad's maiden Challenge Tour title came at the Acaya Open in July, which is only a short distance from his week’s venue, San Domenico Golf.
"I might have to move here," joked Kofstad, who is the first Norwegian winner of the Challenge Tour Rankings. "I don’t know what it is about this place. I love the food and the climate is really nice. I seem to cope very well with the greens here. I find them very easy to read and I holed some great putts this week.
"It’s amazing. Those last two rounds are probably the best I’ve ever played. I didn’t make a bogey in 36 holes. I felt like I was in complete control of everything, despite the pressure I was under.
"I didn’t know about the Rankings until I finished, but I’ve tried not to think about it over the last few days. I knew what would happen was up to me, not anyone else.
"At the start of the season my coach and I decided the target would be three wins and a place in the top ten. I’ve only won twice, but I’ll take it."
Like Kofstad, Simon Wakefield and Alexandre Kaleka were already guaranteed their places on the 2013 Race to Dubai.
Wakefield finished seventh in the money list after carding a two under 69, his joint-lowest round of the week, to finish inside the top 30 on six under. Kaleka, who closed with a five under 67 to tie for 31st on five under, was ninth.
Peter Uihlein was tied 12th on 12 under, Chris Lloyd was tied 26th on six under, Nick Dougherty was tied 19th on nine under and Michael Lorenzo Vera was tied 31st on five under.