Bekker finishes 3rd in Euram Bank Open in Austria

Jul 18, 2021 | Featured, South Africans abroad

Oliver Bekker had his best finish of the European leg of his 2021 campaign on the Challenge Tour as he finished in a share of third place in the Euram Bank Open at Golf Club Adamstal in Ramsau, Austria.

He closed with a five-under-par 65 to finish the week on 16-under-par, two shots behind the winner Stuart Manley of Wales. Ewen Ferguson of Scotland was in second on 17-under, and Bekker shared third with Finland’s Matias Hankala.

It’s been a long time away from home for Bekker, who has now played nine tournaments since the Challenge Tour left South African shores after the Dimension Data Pro-Am in early May, and there was a major change in his circumstances for the Austrian tournament. “I had a caddie, Markus Croeser, with me for the first time this week,” Bekker said.

Players are able to carry their own bags on the Challenge Tour, and that’s clearly a good cost-saving exercise for South Africans thinking in Rand terms while travelling abroad. “That helped a lot after all the weeks in a row on my own,” added Bekker.

There was more to his performance than just having company, however. “I hit it well off the tee and had decent approach shots,” he said. “It was tricky with the altitude and elevation changes in the mountain, though.

“I also had a better putting week this week. That was the major contributor to a better result.”

Hennie du Plessis, Jayden Schaper, Merrick Bremner and Jacques Blaauw all missed the cut.

For Bekker, the finish will lift him four places on the Challenge Tour rankings to fifth after his fourth top-10 in his 12 starts.

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