WOODSOME HALL’S Chris Hanson bolstered his bank balance and made a substantial deposit in his confidence fund as he placed fourth in the Challenge Tour’s Challenge de Madrid.
Hanson shot rounds of 71 66 69 70 at Real Club de Golf La Herrería to finish four shots back of Scottish winner Duncan Stewart.
The Huddersfield man, who earned his European Tour card through qualifying school last November, will head straight to Morocco from Madrid to compete in this week’s Hassan Trophy in Rabat.
“My game was pretty solid throughout the whole week”, said Hanson, who was joint second going into the last round.
“Everyone makes bad swings and errors, but I just felt I had a poor day on the greens Thursday, then an average day on the greens on the final day.
“It was nice to bounce back after a slow start (he began with a one-over-par 71) and stay in contention, and great to get in the last group f or the final round, too.
“I’m very happy with the work I’ve put in to get my game in this shape, so it’s been a fantastic week to prepare for Morocco on the European Tour.
“This is a great boost for my game to hopefully keep the momentum going next week.”
Half of Hanson’s week’s haul of 14 birdies came on holes eight and 11, a 552-yard par-5 and 529-yard par-5 respectively.
He birdied the former all four times and the latter on three occasions.
“Good tee shots always tend to help reward you on the par-5s,” he said. “If you put yourself in a position, you have a chance.”
He has made a solid start to life in the top tier of European golf since his graduation last winter, making the cut in four of the six events in which he been able to claim a place - and in one of those, the Australian PGA, he missed a weekend’s work by just one shot.
Stewart picked up five birdies on the way to carding a four-under-par 66 in the last round.
England’s Ben Stow also shot par 66 to take second, with Spain’s Pep Angles (69) third.
Stewart, the-31-year old winner in Madrid, who was given an invite to play in the Challenge Tour event, said: “I don’t think it will sink in for a couple of days, but it was a massive relief.
“Not having full status this year I was on an invite this week and I can’t thank Bounce Sports enough for all their support.”
He added: “I wouldn’t say I didn’t see this coming, but I am glad I took my chance to win as you get so few opportunities to win out here.”