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Benjamin Hebert (Pictured by Getty Images) secured his fourth Challenge Tour title – and the first for three years – on a nerve-wracking final day at the Norwegian Challenge.

Hebert signed for a round of 72 and a 15 under par aggregate winning total after an enthralling tussle with Florian Fritsch, who at one point drew level with the Frenchman but ultimately had to settle for the fourth runner-up finish of his Challenge Tour career.

Despite a stiffening breeze at Miklagard Golf Club, Hebert appeared to be cruising to victory for most of the day, before a severe wobble threatened to derail his title charge for a second week running.

Hebert surrendered a three shot lead on the final day in Azerbaijan last week, and history appeared to be repeating itself when he dropped four shots in four holes from the 11th.

But the 27 year old from Brive bounced back in brilliant fashion, making a brave birdie on the 16th hole before stiffing his approach to the last for a grandstand finish.

The €28,000 winner’s cheque moved Hebert into the top ten of the Challenge Tour Rankings and within sight of a return to The European Tour, having lost his playing privileges in 2012.

Hebert said: “This feels great, especially as I made such hard work of it on the back nine. I was really cruising on the front nine but then made a bad mistake on the 11th, and that affected my focus. But it was great to birdie two of the last three holes to win, especially with such a good shot into the last hole.

“It wasn’t easy out there, the pins were tucked away and the greens were getting firmer all the time, so it was difficult to get close to them. Plus Florian was pushing me on the back nine, we had a really good battle out there today. He’s a great player and a great guy, so I hope he will make it onto The European Tour because he deserves to.

“This win gives me a great chance to get back onto the Tour, and it also means that I can plan my schedule better because I get into every tournament now. So it tastes very sweet, especially after the disappointment of last week. I played very well for three rounds last week, but that last round really affected my confidence. But as soon as I arrived here I felt much better, because I saw straight away that the course would suit me.”

Fritsch was understandably disappointed with weekend rounds of 73 and 71 for a 13 under par total, but the German was keen to accentuate the positives after climbing to fifth place in the Rankings.

He said: “Of course I feel frustrated, because I’ve finished second four times on the Challenge Tour now. But I beat 154 very good players this week, so I can’t really complain too much. I gave myself a lot of chances today and yesterday, but most of them were over ten feet and I just couldn’t roll any putts in.

“All credit to Benjamin, because he struggled a little bit on the back nine, but then pulled away from me with some great golf when it mattered. I just couldn’t get it going, but when I get home I’m sure I’ll be able to look back on a positive week.”

Hebert’s compatriot Cyril Bouniol finished in third place on 12 under par after closing with a round of 69.

Final Round Scores

273 B Hebert  (Fra) 65 67 69 72,
275 F Fritsch  (Ger) 64 67 73 71,
276 C Bouniol (Fra) 68 68 71 69,
278 M Tullo (Chi) 71 67 70 70, A Hartø  (Den) 68 69 70 71, W Booth  (Sco) 68 73 68 69,
279 P Widegren  (Swe) 70 70 67 72, S Arnold  (Aus) 66 74 69 70, D Im (USA) 68 70 70 71, M Orrin (Eng) 72 70 72 65,
280 A Domingo (Esp) 68 70 67 75, T Lee (USA) 70 67 70 73, P Erofejeff (Fin) 72 70 69 69, R McEvoy  (Eng) 71 66 70 73, B Stone (RSA) 71 70 68 71, N Holman  (Aus) 66 71 71 72,
281 J Pastor (Esp) 71 67 72 71, N Kearney (Irl) 67 70 72 72, J Sjöholm (Swe) 74 68 66 73, N Ravano (Ita) 73 66 71 71, W Harrold (Eng) 70 70 68 73, P Maddy (Eng) 69 70 70 72,
282 P Edberg (Swe) 75 67 70 70, M Southgate  (Eng) 67 71 73 71, A Snobeck  (Fra) 70 70 72 70, D Coupland (Eng) 69 71 71 71, P Figueiredo  (Por) 67 72 73 70, C Arendell (USA) 70 68 71 73, S Tiley (Eng) 68 73 70 71, J Rask (Swe) 71 70 71 70, J Senior (Eng) 70 70 69 73,
283 A Björk (Swe) 72 70 69 72, K Benz (Sui) 68 72 71 72, D Kemmer (USA) 70 67 73 73, B Åkesson (Swe) 69 68 70 76, S Henry  (Sco) 72 69 68 74, D Gaunt (Eng) 70 71 69 73,
284 J Lagergren (Swe) 70 69 68 77, M Ford (Eng) 70 68 76 70, J Winther (Den) 73 68 66 77, K Johannessen (am) (Nor) 67 73 71 73,
285 T Remkes (Ned) 69 68 73 75, J Wilson (Aus) 71 71 69 74, J Edfors (Swe) 74 68 70 73, M Fitzpatrick  (Eng) 68 71 68 78, J Fahrbring (Swe) 69 72 75 69,
286 M Trappel  (Aut) 67 70 73 76, A Tadini (Ita) 70 71 71 74, N Lemke (Swe) 69 70 71 76, P Archer (Eng) 72 70 71 73, D Stewart (Sco) 70 70 74 72, A Hortal  (Esp) 71 70 71 74,
287 P Dwyer (Eng) 69 69 74 75, O Ramsnes  (Nor) 70 72 75 70, A Engell  (Nor) 72 65 73 77,
288 G Lockerbie  (Eng) 71 71 72 74, F Colombo (Ita) 71 70 76 71, S Gros (Fra) 68 67 75 78, T Lawrence (RSA) 68 70 77 73, D Geminiani (Ita) 70 70 70 78, G Murray  (Sco) 75 65 72 76, G Cambis  (Fra) 65 72 74 77,
289 T Nørret (Den) 73 66 75 75, N Meitinger  (Ger) 68 72 72 77, J Moul  (Eng) 69 73 73 74, M Wiegele  (Aut) 70 71 73 75, S Hansen (Nor) 70 72 75 72,
290 A Gjesteby (am) (Nor) 69 69 73 79,
291 S Matus  (Cze) 74 68 75 74, J Mikkelsen (Nor) 73 69 73 76, B Chapellan (Fra) 72 70 71 78,
292 C Aronsen  (Nor) 72 69 76 75,
293 G Shaw (Nir) 72 69 76 76, H Wen-Yi (Chn) 72 70 73 78,
294 A Velasco (Esp) 72 68 76 78,
302 J Kennegard  (Swe) 77 65 78 82

Source: European Tour

Author

Graham J Gordon, The Editor and Owner, GolfblogspotUK

The GolfblogspotUK website is owned and run by former Walker Cup player and European Tour card holder, Graham J Gordon, from Scotland, the Home of Golf. The owner is a golf fanatic who had to retire early from competitive tour play due to a back injury that required surgery. Graham wishes to share his knowledge and own experiences of the game with the GolfblogspotUK community and to receive your feedback on all aspects of the sport. Graham has been playing the game for over 20 years and received a great deal of pleasure from the sport. He has met several friends and visited many different places around the world, thanks to playing the great game of golf. Time to put a little back into the game to help others.

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