(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Roope Kakko, the 31 year old professional golfer from Finland, capped his good form over the past two days with a two-shot title victory at the first US300,000 National Bank of Oman (NBO) Golf Classic at Almouj Golf, The Wave, Muscat on Sunday.
Kakko, the overnight leader, hit a three-under par 69 to return with a total of 14-under 274 over the past four days and clinch his second victory on the European Challenge Tour. This was the Finn's first title win as a professional, having won the Finnish Open as an amateur on his debut in 2004.
''Today, I felt like this was my moment, when I was going to get hold of it. It feels amazing,'' Kakko said. ''I'm so happy with how I handled myself on the course and how I kept hitting good shots and good putts.'' With Sunday's win, Kakko has catapulted to sixth place in the Challenge Tour rankings ahead of the Challenge Tour Grand Final in Dubai next week. Besides bagging the winner's cheque of US48,000, he also secured a card for the European Tour in 2014.
In fact, it was a Nordic one-two at the NBO Classic, the first ever European Challenge Tour event in the GCC, with Denmark's Lucas Bjerregaard hitting a round of five-under par 67 for a total of 12-under 276 to finish runner-up. American Daniel Im finished with a ten-under 278 to take third place.
The top 45 players in the Challenge Tour rankings have qualified for the Grand Final, to be played at the Al Badia Golf Club from October 31-November 3.
According to Mundhir al Barwani, chairman of the Oman Golf Committee (OGC), ''The NBO Classic was great for the country. It was well-organised and will help promote the sport in the country. I hope the momentum continues as Oman will be hosting the MENA Tour next month.'