Neergaard-Petersen secures second victory of the season at Saadiyat Beach

Rasmus Neergaard-Petersen held his nerve to secure a second Challenge Tour title in three events in the UAE Challenge at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club. 

The Dane began the final round of the Emirates Golf Federation co-promoted event three strokes behind overnight leader Wilco Nienaber but fired seven birdies on his way to a five under par final round of 67 to finish 14 under par for the week, one stroke ahead of Nienaber in second place.

The 24-year-old, who arrived in the UAE after clinching a maiden professional win at last month’s Kolkata Challenge, was delighted with how he played throughout the week to make sure of victory.

“I feel incredible,” he said. “I knew I had a chance going into today, but being able to put together a great round and get it done in the end feels amazing.

“I got off to a really good start in the first round, played pretty good in the second round, but I’m most proud of my third round. It was probably the best round of two under par I’ve ever played.

“This is all still new to me. Right now I just want to enjoy this win.”

Neergaard-Petersen started the week in pole position on the Road to Mallorca Rankings and after recording a second win in three events, now sits in a commanding position after eight events of the 29-event season.

The Dane highlighted his hard work off the course during the off-season and an improvement in his driving as the key to his stellar form this year.

“I feel like I’ve made great strides over the winter break,” he added. “I’ve gone to more of a fade shape with the driver, and that’s really paid dividends.

“We’re definitely going to go out somewhere nice and have a nice dinner, that’s for sure.”

Englishman David Horsey finished in third place on 12 under par, while Dane Hamish Brown and Spaniard Joel Moscatel were one shot further back in a share of fourth.

Dubai amateur Oscar Craig, who had stepfather Tommy Fleetwood as his caddie all week, carded a respectable final round of 76 to place him on two over for the tournament in a share of 60th place.

The 17-year-old was the only amateur to make the cut, and is hopeful of a bright future after a fantastic performance at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club.

“I’ll do everything I can to try and play in as many of these as I can,” said Craig. “It’s been such a cool experience, everything about is has been brilliant. I’ve loved it and hopefully I can be here again.”

Neergaard-Petersen extends his lead at the top of the Road to Mallorca Rankings and now stands on 774.53, 303 points clear of Levy in second. Sweden’s Mikael Lindberg remains in third position on 431.77, with Englishman John Parry and Welshman Rhys Enoch rounding out the top five.

The Road to Mallorca takes a short break before heading to Spain for the Challenge De España at Real Club Sevilla Golf from May 9-12.

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