Up to the Challenge – Rhys Thompson wins Tartan Pro Tour order of merit

Rhys Thompson brought the curtain down on a brilliant year on the Tartan Pro Tour’s – winning the season-ending Gleneagles Masters to pick up his fourth win of the year and secure top spot in the order of merit.

Having started slowly in tough conditions at Gleneagles, Rhys followed his opening round of 79 with back-to-back rounds of 68 to top the leaderboard with a one under-par total alongside Sam Locke. In the sudden-death playoff, Rhys’ par on the second playing of the par five 18th was enough to capture the trophy.

The win, and £4,320 winner’s cheque, secured Rhys’ position at the top of the order of merit by more than £5,500 – and with it the single Challenge Tour card which was up for grabs on the Tar-tan Pro Tour this year.

“Winning for a fourth time, coming through some of the most horrendous conditions I’ve ever played in, was a fantastic way to get the job done,” said Rhys.

“I knew I didn’t have to go crazy in the final round, so I just stuck to what’s worked all year. It was great to be able to enjoy the round on such an important day in my career.

“Having been at the top of the order of merit for such a long time, there was a bit of pressure in the final weeks of the season. I knew I could be caught, even in the last event, but I just fo-cussed on playing solid golf and letting the results come.”

With his victory at Gleneagles – as well as his three wins in a row at the Dundonald Links Classic, Downfield Masters and Cardrona Classic – Rhys put together a sensational season on the Tartan Pro Tour.

“To win four times is beyond anything I’d hoped for,” he added. “It didn’t matter if I won by £1 or £1,000 – the goal was just to get the Challenge Tour card for 2024 and I’m over the moon I got it.

“Getting off the mini tours and up the ladder has been my goal for a while now and I’m so happy to have done it. I’m going to enjoy DP World Tour Q School, and from there I have a lot of plan-ning to do ahead of the start of the Challenge Tour season in South Africa early next year.”