The PGA in England’s Matthew Cort was crowned 2015 UniCredit PGA Professional Champion of Europe after a final round three-under par 69 earned him the coveted title and the €10,000 first prize.
Cort’s championship-winning final round at Pravets Golf & Spa Resort in Bulgaria was an excellent show of smooth and controlled golf as he maintained his overnight lead despite the aggressive movement of the field behind him.
“I’m thrilled to have come through and won it…it’s been a great week,” said Cort. “It got a bit tight out there on the back-nine, and Ralph [Miller] came through with a great score today, so that put the pressure on… It’s a great boost really…I’ve got stage two of Tour School soon so I’d love to get through and get my card back and have another crack at that.”
A consistent start with three pars and a birdie at the par-three fourth hole was a great start to the final round for Cort, but a bogey on eight kept him at -16 through the turn.
The back nine became tenser as Cort had opportunities to make birdies at 10, 11 and 12, repeatedly setting up birdie chances but missing each of them. But things kicked into gear on 13, 14 and 15 as he birdied each of them to make it to -19 (269) and pull away from the chasers.
“I had a two-shot lead after nine holes and good chances on 10, 11, 12 – it’s sometimes hard to lead from the front because [with] a three-shot lead you can’t be too aggressive but then you can’t just sit back and let them come at you.
“Coming down the last few holes it could of not worked out but thankfully it did for me today so if I’m in that position again I can look back on finishing the job and it gives you a bit of confidence…I may need that thought in a months’ time…!”
A final round surge of four birdies in six holes from the PGA of Holland’s Ralph Miller [pictured left] moved him in to contention, and gave him the opportunity to pile the pressure onto Cort. But it wasn’t to be as three pars to close didn’t boost him enough, but did earn him the €6,800 second prize.
“I was five shots back starting today and in the back of my head I thought if could get a seven or eight-under in then I could put some pressure on,” explained Miller. “It’s good fun to represent my country…it’s still a growing game in Holland, there’s a few youngsters coming through… so it’s obviously great to represent the country and hopefully we can get some more guys out here in the coming years.”
Tied for third place was Spain’s José Luis Adarraga [pictured right] and Wales’ Garry Houston [pictured second-right], each at -15 (273). Adarraga posted a two-under par 70, whilst Houston matched Miller’s low-round of the day with a storming 66 to shoot up the leaderboard, each taking home €3,450 in prize money.
For full final scores from the 2015 UniCredit PGA Professional Championship of Europe visit http://eur.pe/2015PGAProChamps.
For more information on the 2015 UniCredit PGA Professional Championship of Europe visit the Tournament Hub Page, follow @PGAsofEurope and search #PassportToPravets on Twitter, or like the PGAs of Europe Facebook Page.