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Max Orrin (pictured by Phil Inglis) produced one of the stories of the European Challenge Tour season as the young Englishman completed a stunning victory at the penultimate event of the year, the National Bank of Oman Golf Classic, to move into contention for European Tour graduation.

The 20 year old clinched a two shot victory over friend and compatriot Jason Palmer after a nerveless one under par final round 71 which belied his years, battling strong winds and overcoming the severest of pressure to soar to a career-changing triumph.

As a result, Orrin climbed 51 places in the Challenge Tour Rankings, from 68th to 17th, to secure his place in next week’s season-ending Dubai Festival City Challenge Tour Grand Final hosted by Al Badia Golf Club.

The former Walker Cup player is now just one big result away from earning his place among the world’s elite on The European Tour, having started the season with no category and just seven Challenge Tour invites.

Orrin was visibly shaking after his round and admitted that despite producing a rock solid back nine which comprised nine pars, he was extremely nervous throughout but was delighted with how he dealt with the pressure cooker situation.

“I’m speechless,” said the Kent player, who won with total score of seven under. “All day I was trying to stay away from thinking about it. Even on the last hole I never thought ‘I’ve got this for the win.’

“It was difficult to comprehend that it was me that was actually going to win an event. I was just a wreck down the last to be honest. I spoke to my coach last night and he said, ‘commit to every shot, it doesn’t matter where it goes, just commit to it.’

“Although I was nervous I tried to commit and make sure I got it as straight as I could.  I’ve got so many emotions. I wish my family were here but I know they’re watching back home. It’s a great thrill to be a champion.

“I played solid. I was three under through seven and cruising really. I didn’t do a lot wrong but then I hit a bad iron shot into the water on eight. Then all of sudden you’re not so comfortable.

“I hit one left into the bunker for my second shot on nine but managed to make the up and down, which I think was big for me – it calmed me down. I told myself that par was good. I knew the boys would make up some shots but then if I carried on making pars I knew I’d have a chance.”

Orrin – who only turned professional last year after a stellar amateur career which culminated in selection for the amateur game’s most prestigious team event, the Walker Cup – said it was difficult to comprehend how his goals have changed now that he is within touching distance of European Tour status.

“It’s crazy really,” he said. “I was 71st (on the Rankings) before the last event in China and I was just trying to get through and make my Challenge Tour card for next year.

“All of a sudden to get a win, it puts you up to a level you weren’t even dreaming of. Now I’ve got to go to Dubai next week, let it all go, and try again.

“This win will give me a lot of confidence and I’ll be confident going into next week. But this week will have gone and I’ll have had a few days to get over it, then go again next week to try and get my European Tour card.”

Palmer, meanwhile, secured his European Tour status after a four under par final round 68 moved him to outright second place on five under par.

That result elevated him to seventh place in the Rankings on €105,886, enough to secure graduation to The 2015 Race to Dubai before a ball is even hit in anger at next week’s Dubai Festival City Challenge Tour Grand Final hosted by Al Badia Golf Club.

It was a profitable week for many of the Englishmen, including Orrin’s fellow Kent native, Jason Barnes, whose four under 68 and tied third place finish alongside Chile’s Mark Tullo (73) moved him from 25th to 14th in the Rankings heading into the season finale.

Robert Coles was the only other player aside from Orrin to climb into the top 45 and seal a spot in the crucial season-ending event next week, after the three-time Challenge Tour winner finished with a two under 70 to claim a tied ninth finish which edged him from 47thto 41st in the Rankings.

Golf Scores:

281 M Orrin (Eng) 71 71 68 71,
283 J Palmer (Eng) 69 72 74 68,
285 M Tullo (Chi) 73 73 66 73, J Barnes (Eng) 65 75 77 68,
286 B An (Kor) 72 65 73 76, M Jonzon (Swe) 74 69 75 68,
287 N Quintarelli (Ita) 72 71 73 71, G Murray  (Sco) 70 73 74 70,
288 R Gouveia (Por) 69 76 75 68, R Coles (Eng) 75 68 75 70, N Dougherty  (Eng) 74 70 76 68,
289 O Farr (Wal) 73 71 73 72, C Hanson (Eng) 70 73 74 72, B Ritthammer (Ger) 70 71 75 73,
290 D Coupland (Eng) 73 72 72 73, E Espana (Fra) 73 73 73 71, A McArthur  (Sco) 69 71 73 77, P Widegren  (Swe) 70 69 77 74, D Gaunt (Eng) 72 75 73 70, J Fahrbring (Swe) 73 74 71 72, C Paisley  (Eng) 69 77 73 71, P Figueiredo  (Por) 70 75 78 67, T Sluiter  (Ned) 71 70 79 70,
291 P Edberg (Swe) 69 70 77 75, W Harrold (Eng) 73 70 76 72, M Delpodio  (Ita) 72 74 73 72, A Tadini (Ita) 73 74 73 71, J Roos (RSA) 73 72 77 69, S Hutsby  (Eng) 72 73 75 71, P Maddy (Eng) 70 71 76 74, J Winther (Den) 75 73 73 70, M Fitzpatrick  (Eng) 73 73 74 71, J Stalter (Fra) 74 73 72 72,
292 J Guerrier  (Fra) 74 73 73 72, L Jensen (Den) 66 73 77 76, S Henry  (Sco) 70 77 71 74,
293 M Lafeber (Ned) 71 72 74 76, P Relecom  (Bel) 72 76 75 70, P Oriol (Esp) 69 68 83 73, O Stark (Swe) 73 72 72 76, J Rask (Swe) 72 74 76 71, B Åkesson (Swe) 73 75 70 75, B Hebert  (Fra) 73 75 71 74,
294 R Davies (Wal) 71 73 77 73, A Hortal  (Esp) 76 69 76 73, R Kind (Ned) 71 71 79 73, J Edfors (Swe) 74 73 74 73,
295 N Ravano (Ita) 71 71 75 78, J Sjöholm (Swe) 70 76 75 74,
296 J Huldahl (Den) 77 71 72 76,
297 A Bernadet  (Fra) 74 73 72 78, G Shaw (Nir) 68 79 78 72,
298 T Linard (Fra) 74 73 75 76, A Björk (Swe) 75 73 75 75, M Lampert (Ger) 74 74 77 73,
299 C Ford (Eng) 72 74 78 75, C McDonnell (Eng) 70 74 80 75, T Murray (Eng) 73 75 78 73, S Brown (Eng) 74 74 78 73,
300 L Kennedy  (Eng) 72 76 73 79,
301 W Booth  (Sco) 71 73 83 74, N Lemke (Swe) 75 72 81 73,
302 A Rota (Ita) 75 72 77 78

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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