Hill dreams of automatic promotion to European Tour definitely Made in Denmark

CALUM Hill picked up the second win in his last three starts by sealing a one-shot victory at the Made in Denmark Challenge.

The Scot began the final day in a five-way tie for the lead, but birdied his first two holes – and then continued to push further under par, playing the sort of game which has characterised the last month of his career.

In a run of form beginning at the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open, where the 24-year-old finished as the joint low-Scot, he has played four tournaments in a combined 67-under par, winning the Euram Bank Open.

Hill also finished tied-third at the Vierumäki Finnish Challenge, before triumphing this week in Skanderborg.

“I had a fantastic week up in Scotland with it being my first taste of a Rolex Series event,” said Hill, a Craigie Hill member, who hails from Kircaldy, and has been attached to Gleneagles since the spring, after signing for Edinburgh-based Bounce golf management firm last summer.

“Having a nice finish there just put a little cherry on top and gave me a little bit of confidence going forward.

“Then winning in Austria was a really big pick up and it got me feeling good. I didn’t get it done last week in Finland, but I’m very happy to have another good week here in Denmark.

“If you can keep having good weeks it makes a big difference,” added Hill, who won two pro events in the USA in 2017, after finishing his studies at the University of Western New Mexico.

Hill now finds himself second in the Challenge Tour Rankings, and in pursuit of a third win this season, which would see him immediately graduate to the European Tour under the three-win rule.

Hill said: “A third win would obviously be the best outcome if that were able to happen.

“If not I’ll carry on for the rest of the season and hope to stay in that top 15 and get a European Tour card for next year,” said the former

“But I’m very happy with how things have panned out and I can’t complain at all,” said Hill, who qualified for the US Open last year at Shinnecock Hills, making the cut before finishing 61st.

Joel Sjöholm carded rounds of 65, 69, 65 and 68 to finish alone in second. The Swede pushed Hill right to the end, making a brilliant up-and-down on the final hole to secure his position on 22-under, and force Hill to make an up-and-down of his own for the win.

Sjöholm’s runner-up finish was his second of the season, and moved him 30 places up the rankings into eighth.

The low-Dane honours at the Made in Denmark Challenge went to Benjamin Poke, who set the clubhouse target of 20-under and finished in a tie for third with Dutchman Daan Huizing.

Another notable performance from the Danish contingent came from 21-year-old amateur John Axelsen, who finished tied-fifth on 19-under.

The University of Florida student formed part of the Denmark’s first winning team at last year’s World Amateur Team Championships, playing with rising Challenge Tour stars Rasmus and Nicolai Højgaard.

Hampshire’s Richard Bland, who shot a superb 61 on Friday, to jump to the top of the leaderboard, could only card a level-par 72 while Hoylake’s Matthew Jordan, who was also bidding for a second win of the season, shot 70 to finish fifth.

The Royal Liverpool member was one of five players to share the overnight lead alongside Hill and Sjoholm, Bland and Finland’s Roope Kakko, who dropped to 10th after a final round 71.

•The Challenge Tour will now travel to the innovative ISPS Handa World Invitational Men | Women, which is being presented by Nial Horan’s Modest! Golf Management company.

The ground-breaking event will mark the first time that men and women in Europe will compete in one tournament for equal prize funds.

It will take place at Galgorm Spa and Golf Resort, in Northern Ireland, from August 15-18.

Ironically, Hill won his first European Challenge Tour event in just his fifth start of his professional career, at Galgorm a year ago, when it hosted the Northern Ireland Open.

•For the full results of the Made in Denmark Challenge click here.

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