03 / 07 / 2016

Hammer time in Denmark

Bernd Ritthammer secured a maiden European Challenge Tour title after shooting a four under par 67 in the final round of the Made in Denmark Challenge – Presented by Ejner Hessel. The German made the perfect start on day four, picking up five birdies in seven holes to leapfrog overnight leader John Hahn into first place through the front nine at Aalborg Golf Klub. The 29 year old, who finished tied 16th at the BMW International Open in his native Cologne last week, held off challenges from Holland’s Jurrian van der Vaart and South Africa’s Dylan Frittelli over the back nine to hold on for a one shot victory.  And after five years of competing on Europe’s top developmental tour, the Nuremberg-born player was delighted to claim his first win.

“I am very pleased. It took me a while to achieve my first win,” he said. “Coming into the final round I knew that I had to shoot something really good as I was four behind so I just went about my game. “I had no clue what the scores were until the 18th fairway and I just tried to make a lot of pars and see if I could hold on. “We all have our ups and downs in the season and at the moment I am just having an up. A lot of things fell into place. “Coming from last week where the course set up was quite tough I felt that this week I could attack the course – off the tee especially. I felt I could score really well here which I managed to do at the end. 

“It was really tough yesterday – with the wind blowing heavily – but I came into the week feeling good and am just so happy to have finally pulled it off.” Ritthammer, who now sits at fourth place in the Road to Oman Rankings, admitted it has been a brilliant 24 hours for him after he stayed up last night to watch his country beat Italy in UEFA Euro 2016. “Me and a couple of the guys were awake for quite a bit last night watching Germany and we were so happy that they went through,” he said. “It didn’t look like they were going to do it – so were we very pleased!” One back from Ritthammer were van der Vaart and Frittelli who both finished the tournament on 11 under par. English amateur Ashton Turner shot a one under par 70 to finish the week in joint eighth place in his first Challenge Tour event. ​