Farr wins Morocco’s Lalla Aïcha Challenge after superb 63 at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam

2019 Lalla Aïcha Challenge Tour winner Oliver Farr
Oliver Farr shot a superb 63 to win the Lalla Aïcha Challenge Tour at Morocco’s Royal Dar Es Salam Golf Club – the third win of his career. Picture by EUROPEAN TOUR

OLIVER Farr carded a scintillating nine-under par 63 in the final round to produce a stunning comeback and win his third European Challenge Tour title at Morocco’s Lalla Aïcha Challenge Tour.

The Welshman started the day four shots behind overnight leaders Jack Senior and Joel Sjöholm.

But Farr soon charged up the leaderboard with three consecutive birdies from the third hole, picking up two further shots on the seventh and eighth to reach the turn in just 31 strokes.

Looking to secure his first victory since the 2017 Foshan Open, the 31-year-old kept his foot firmly on the pedal, posting four further birdies over his back nine, including on the 18th, to finish on 15 under.

That ensured he recorded a three-shot victory over Lancastrian Senior, who finished in second place at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam.

It was an emotional win for Farr, who has played only 11 Challenge Tour events this season after a busy and difficult year away from the course.

As well as missing events to support his wife after the birth of their second child earlier in the year, he lost his grandmother as well as suffering a death on his partner’s side of the family.

All of which forced him to miss tournaments as he fought to regain his full Euorpean Tour playing privileges after losing his card in 2018.

“It’s been a hard year for me and my family, so to get this win is extra special not just for me but for everyone back home,” said Farr.

“If I’m honest, I didn’t really think about winning when I went to bed last night, so to come back on top today was brilliant,” added Farr, who is attached to Hereford’s Burghill Valley GC.

“To shoot nine-under par on any course is amazing. I left myself in some tricky places today, but my putter felt really good and I holed a couple of really nice ones along the way as well which always helps.

“It is my third victory now on the Challenge Tour and it’s always great to win no matter where you are on the rankings.

“I’ve only got three events left now so I’ve still got to play great and hopefully I can continue this form until the end of the season.

“I always feel like I can win tournaments but as the year goes on you start to question whether you can, so to get this win just feels great,” added Farr, who first played the game as a seven-year-old at Kidderminster’s Cleobury Golf Club, and played for Shropshire and Herefordshire as a junior.

With his win, Farr moves from 37th to 13th on the Road to Mallorca rankings as he eyes his third promotion onto the European Tour, following successful Challenge Tour campaigns in 2014 and 2017.

Senior settled for second place after a closing two-under 70, but it cemented his place in the all-important top 15 in the Road to Mallorca rankings.

The winner of the ISPS Handa World Invitational tournament in Northern Ireland, in August, moved up seven spots into fourth position.

The 2011 Walker Cup player finished one shot clear of 20-year-old Dane Oliver Hundebøll, who finished on 11-under after a stunning six-under 66 on Sunday to record the best result of his young career.

For full results from Lalla Aïcha Challenge Tour click here.

The Challenge Tour now heads back to Europe for the Stone Irish Challenge from October 10-13, which marks the first of the final four events on the 2019 Road to Mallorca, in November, with a trip to China in between.

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