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Koepka seals European Tour promotion in Aviemore

Win at Scottish Hydro Challenge for talented American

Brooks Koepka showed the grit, determination and endless talent of a future world-beater as the American stormed to a three-shot victory at the Scottish Hydro Challenge hosted by Macdonalds Hotels and Resorts to gain automatic promotion to The European Tour.
The hype surrounding the Floridian on the European Challenge Tour this year has been likened to that of Martin Kaymer in 2006, with some experienced touring professionals stating that Koepka is the best they have ever seen.

The 23 year old has lived up to that high praise during an incredible 11 month period on the Challenge Tour, which culminated in a gloriously resolute performance at Macdonald Spey Valley Golf Club as he defied extremely trying weather conditions and long rain delays to lift the title.

His final and most important of four Challenge Tour titles came thanks to a three under par 68 and because it is his third victory in 2013, the West Palm Beach native is promoted straight to The European Tour – following in the footsteps of the likes of Edoardo Molinari and Kristoffer Broberg who did the same.

There, he will join his close friend and compatriot Peter Uihlein as a new breed of young stars from around the world begin to choose the Challenge Tour as the best and most educational route to the top of world golf.

After a four hour delay to his own tee time, Koepka got off to a flying start with five birdies and a bogey taking him to the turn in four under. He started to wobble a little on the back nine with three bogeys in five holes leaving him just one shot clear of the chasing pack but he bounced back to finish with two consecutive birdies and card the joint best round of a tough day to finish top on 18 under.

“It’s really exciting,” said Koepka, who is the first American to win three times in a single Challenge Tour season. “It was nice to get my third win here in Scotland and on my final trip before heading home to take some time off.

“This is only the beginning, and I’ve done it in barely a year playing professionally. I know it sounds a little bit cocky, but I have high expectations for myself.
“Hopefully I will win on The European Tour next, it sounds cool saying it. I have always wanted to get out there and play with those guys and now I get my room-mate (Uihlein) back!
“Maybe my expectations are borderline too high, but it is a good thing to always push yourself and never be satisfied. I think that is part of some frustration I have been feeling recently, that I am expecting a little bit too much of myself. A good break - going back home - will take care of all of that.”

Koepka will travel to Sunningdale for The Open Championship International Final Qualifying stage tomorrow (Monday) before flying home to West Palm Beach, Florida, for a well-earned rest and then returning to join the top tier of European golf for the first time.
Sam Walker, meanwhile, put up a strong defence of his title in the northern Scottish town of Aviemore as a two under par 69 left him in tied second place, his second runner-up finish in three weeks.

The Englishman, a two-time winner of this event, finished on 15 under par alongside Andrea Pavan (71) of Italy, Englishman Steven Tiley (72) and Korean Byeong-hun An (72), the former US Amateur Champion who sealed the highest finish of his Challenge Tour career.
There were four players three shots further back on 12 under, including local favourite Duncan Stewart – from Grantown-on-Spey just 15 minutes away from this week’s venue – who sealed his best finish on the Challenge Tour to win the Douglas Lowe Memorial Trophy for the highest-placed Scot.


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