Good Evans is runner-up in China

Ben Evans achieved his best ever European Challenge Tour result by finishing runner-up at the Foshan Open in China
Ben Evans achieved his best ever European Challenge Tour result by finishing runner-up at the Foshan Open in China

Golf star Ben Evans achieved his best ever finish on the European Challenge Tour today (Sunday).

The Staplecross-based professional, in his sixth season as a regular on the continent’s second tier circuit, was runner-up at the Foshan Open in China.

Evans completed the 72-hole event at Foshan Golf Club in a 15-under-par total of 273 to finish one shot behind the winner, fellow English player Jason Palmer.

He told “I gave it my best shot on the back nine, but I’m pleased with how I played today. This week we have been treated unbelievably, as good as any European Tour event I have played at. It has been great, a credit to everyone who has been involved.”

Evans praised the excellent condition of the course and hospitality prior to the event, and he duly got off to a flying start with three birdies in the first four holes of his opening round. Four more gains followed in the remaining 14 holes, along with two bogeys, as he carded a five-under 67 to sit tied sixth.

The 27-year-old got to seven-under after three birdies and one bogey on his front nine in round two, but three bogeys and one birdie on the back nine meant he dropped back to five-under after a level par 72.

Evans was outside the top 20 at the halfway stage, but he moved up to tied ninth on the back of a third round 68 in which he made three birdies on the front nine and two more on the back, with a solitary bogey on the 16th.

Birdies on the first and ninth holes of his final round took Evans to 11-under before a brilliant birdie-birdie-eagle run from the 11th. A solitary bogey on the 14th and another birdie on the 17th added up to a splendid closing 66.

Palmer, who graduated alongside Evans from the lower level Alps Tour last year, completed a wire-to-wire victory with a final round 69 after a steady par on the par five closing hole.

It was Evans’s third top six finish in his last five tournaments, a tremendous sequence of results which has propelled him from outside the top 100 up to 16th on the season-long Challenge Tour Rankings.

And with two events in the season remaining, Evans, of Rye and Sedlescombe Golf Clubs, is now just one place outside the all-important top 15 who will graduate to the top flight European Tour for 2015.

“I’ve had some good rounds here and there this season, but not really put four together,” he continued. “I’ve had some very good, and some not so good in the middle of the year, but I changed what I was doing halfway through and it has paid off.

“This year has been a move back in the right direction, but you’ve just got to play consistently out here. You still need to take advantage of your good weeks, but if you can finish top 20 every week, you will move up eventually.”

Next up is the National Bank of Oman Golf Classic from October 30-November 2 followed by the 45-man season-ending Dubai Festival City Challenge Tour Grand Final hosted by Al Badia Golf Club from November 5-8.