In a gripping final round in an event being supported by long-time backer of the game in its birthplace and current Scottish Golf chairman Martin Gilbert, six players were within two shots of the lead heading down the stretch on the Torrance Course at the Fife venue.
The clubhouse target was then posted by St Andrews-based Englishman Russell Chrystie after he covered the last six holes in three-under for a closing 67 and a seven-under-par total.
But, playing in the final group alongside overnight leader Will Porter and Rory Smith, Franssen eagled the par-5 18th for a 70 and eight-under aggregate to claim a dramatic win, which was worth just over £4,000.
“It’s my first pro victory and it feels amazing,” said the 24-year-old, who grew up in Inverness but now lives in Auchterarder. “I really didn’t know what was happening all day as I didn’t check the scoreboard once, so it was a nice surprise at the end that I had pulled it off.”
His closing eagle was set up by 7-iron second shot from 208 yards and, though delighted to see the putt drop, he admitted that his celebration didn’t quite match the feat.
“It was a minimal reaction as I wasn’t sure I had won,” he said, laughing. “But it was so cool. It was Will who said to me ‘I think that’s enough, you’ve won’. I thought I maybe had a chance of a play-off, but I wasn’t totally sure.”
Franssen almost made his breakthrough in one of his first starts on Paul Lawrie’s Scottish-based circuit, finishing second to Chrystie in the St Andrews Classic last September after running up a double-bogey 6 at the last.
“This was a wee bit of revenge,” he joked before adding: “I think wondering if you can compete with these guys is always your biggest worry going from amateur to pro. I knew I was playing decent, but it is good to now know that I have the belief and know I can win against these top players.”
As an amateur, Franssen played against two-time major winner Collin Morikawa in a Palmer Cup and also reached the final of the South African Amateur Championship.
“There was a lot more I could have achieved in the amateur game, but I just felt I was looking for a change,” he said of making the switch last September. “Also, I wasn’t getting any younger and now was the time to give it a go.”
The winner of the Tartan Pro Tour Order of Merit this year will secure a step up to the Challenge Tour next season, with the fourth of 13 events on the circuit taking place next week at Portlethen.
“Trying to fund pro golf isn’t easy and for Paul to set it up this year with a Challenge Tour card available and every event being in Scotland was a massive boost for me,” said Franssen. “I was really grateful for that and I’ll be trying to play in all of the events.”
He’s certainly devoted to continually trying to get better because an hour or so after this win, he was working out in the gym. “It’s my hobby. I love going to the gym,” he said, laughing.