Howley Hall’s Marcus Armitage close to Challenge Tour after Close House triumph in EuroPro event

Marcus Armitage with the Tree of Life Championship trophy (Picture: Ian Horrocks/HotelPlanner.com PGA EuroPro Tour ).
Marcus Armitage with the Tree of Life Championship trophy (Picture: Ian Horrocks/HotelPlanner.com PGA EuroPro Tour ).
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HOWLEY HALL’S Marcus Armitage moved a step closer to a full Challenge Tour card with his second HotelPlanner.com PGA EuroPro Tour win of the season, taking home the Tree Of Life Championship title from Close House in Northumberland.

The 28-year-old finished the tournament 11 under par with a final round 68, three under par.

Marcus Armitage acknowledges the applause after holing out.

Marcus Armitage acknowledges the applause after holing out.

Ireland’s Brian Casey (Headford GC) 68 67 68, went two under for his concluding 18, but finished second on nine under.

Sebastian George Garcia Grout (Golf de Poniente Mallorca) 68 69 68, came third with a score of eight under.

Armitage led throughout the final round having started with a one-shot advantage. He negotiated the front nine with seven pars, a birdie at seven and a bogey at eight, but pulled away from the field with an eagle at the 10th.

He holed out on the 15th for birdie when a bogey looked likely and concluded the Tree Of Life Championship with three pars for victory.

The win is Armitage’s third on Europe’s third-tier tour and his second this season after success at Cumberwell Park. His £10,000 win sees him move up to fourth on the Race To Desert Springs, from which the top five at the end of the season progress to the Challenge Tour

“I feel great,” said Armitage, who also takes home a brand new Motocaddy trolley, Bushnell Tour X Range Finder, Bolle sunglasses and £500 to spend at HotelPlanner.com.

“I have played very solidly this week and have trusted myself to get the job done. I hit 15 greens and only had to chip on two holes, which is key around here.

“I thought the 5-wood on the 10th might have been a bit soft and a bit short, but we got up there and it was a 5ft putt so I was really pleased. The 15th was massive; I missed it in a real bad spot there and it needed something special.

“It is massive to be in that top five because you are always looking to move up. I am looking for another win now to secure it because now I want to win the Order of Merit.

“Moor Allerton [venue for the next event] is close to my house and the extra day could suit me. It is great to be going there off a win. It is a good track where I have played a lot of golf so I am really looking forward to it.”

Aaron Rai (DCD Group) consolidated his place in the all-important Race To Desert Springs top five with a tied fourth finish.

Highlights of the Tree Of Life Championship will air on Sky Sports on Tuesday, September 1.

The next HotelPlanner.com PGA EuroPro Tour event is the 72-hole Clipper Logistics Players Championship at Moor Allerton GC, the first time a third-tier tour has staged a four-round tournament.

Read about Yorkshireman John Parry who lies second in Made in Denmark event by clicking HERE