STOKE by Nayland playing professional Jamie Moul is eyeing success at his home course after winning his first professional event.
The 26-year-old, once ranked the best amateur in the country, ahead of Rory McIlroy, is now on course to target a European Tour card next season after winning the Acaya Open at Lecce in Italy.
Rounds of 65, 71, 71 and 65 were enough to clinch the trophy and the 25,600 euro cheque in the Challenge Tour event, putting him 9th in the overall ranking – and within sight of a coveted top 10 finish.
“It was great to get my first pro victory under my belt, though it took a little longer than I wanted,” said Moul, speaking to the Suffolk Free Press from the Credit Suisse Challenge in Switzerland this week.
“I got to 10 under through 28 and I was flying, but then a few tee shots came back to bite me and I dropped quite a few shots on day two and three, so that brought me back a bit but I was quite a way out in front after 28.
“With this course you were always going to get mistakes and the rough is so punishing but I turned a few round then there was three tough holes and I dropped slightly, but then finished strongly.”
Moul, who will be back at Stoke by Nayland next week in preparation for the start of the English Challenge on Thursday, in front of his home crowd, admitted he decided not to follow what was going on at the top of the scoreboard over the last few holes.
“I tried not to look at too many scoreboards but I figured I was there or there abouts and I was just trying to get my score in as best as I could and I felt pretty comfortable.”
Spaniard Jorge Campillo ran Moul close though, but couldn’t manage a birdie at the 18th to force a play-off.
And Moul’s win means his category has shot up meaning he can now guarantee a place on all of the Challenge Tour tournaments in the back end of the season, whereas previously his ranking meant he was struggling to get on.
Speaking about his game, Moul, from Colchester, said: “I feel a lot more consistent than I was last year.
“I have made a couple of technical and mindset changes and I just feel everything is a little more tighter and comfortable.”
l See next week’s Suffolk Free Press for our big preview of the English Challenge at Stoke by Nayland, including Moul’s thoughts about playing on his home course.