Last-hole birdie gives Craig Lee share of second place in Challenge

His fourth sub-70 round of the week, sealed by a final-hole birdie, saw Scotland's Craig Lee finish in a tie for second spot at the inaugural English Challenge on the European Challenge Tour.

Lee, who owed his place in the field of the €150,000 event to his position on the EuroPro Tour Order of Merit, rolled in a six-foot putt on the last hole at Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf and Spa to sign for a round of 68 and a 16-under par aggregate total.

That left him level with English amateur Tommy Fleetwood and one shot shy of fellow EuroPro Tour champion Daniel Gaunt's winning score, but Lee was nonetheless pleased with his week's work.

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The result earned Lee €16,500 and a place in the field at the next regular event on the Challenge Tour Schedule, the ECCO Tour Championship in Germany, after which he is likely to return to EuroPro Tour duty in a bid to secure a full season on the Challenge Tour next season.

Lee said: "I think a few of the guys on the EuroPro will be pretty pleased to see the back of Daniel. He's been exceptional this season, so that's one less hurdle for me to overcome now that he's moved on to the Challenge Tour.

"I was very pleased with how I played today and this week in general, so whilst I would've loved to have won, I've got no complaints. It's only one week, but I'd like to think I've proved I'm more than capable of holding my own on the Challenge Tour, and I'm confident of doing myself justice on the main Tour, if and hopefully when I get back out there."

His fellow Scot Callum Macaulay endured a disappointing day, as a round of 75 saw him drop back to a share of 20th place on nine under par.

l David Patrick (Elie), Graham Fox (East Kilbride) and Robert Arnott (Bishopbriggs Golf Range) shared the honours in the Tartan Tour's Montrose Golf Links Pro-Am.

The leading trio fired three-under 68s and finished a stroke ahead of Alan Lockhart and former Scottish PGA champion Colin Gillies.

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