By Alistair Tait, Golfweek
France’s Julien Brun gave himself the perfect warm up for the World Amateur Team Championship next week in Turkey. The 20-year-old won the Allianz Golf Open Toulouse Metropole on the European Challenge Tour.
Brun becomes the sixth amateur to win on Europe’s junior circuit. He follows in the footsteps of compatriot Romain Wattel, who won the Allianz two years ago as an amateur.
Brun, currently ranked 13th on the World Amateur Golf Ranking, was making his debut on the Challenge Tour. However, he looked more like a seasoned veteran than a debutant. He began with three consecutive 67s before adding a closing 1-under-par 70 for a 72-hole total of 271, 13-under-par, and a one shot victory over Italy’s Matteo Delpodio. England’s Eddie Pepperell finished a further shot back in third place.
The French amateur is in his second year at TCU. He has won three times on the college circuit. He now has a serious decision to make. The win gives him a guaranteed place on next year’s European Challenge Tour.
Brun intends to make a decision on his future in the next few weeks. However, he will first compete for his country in the World Amateur Team Championship from October 4-7 before he returns to university.
“It feels great,” Brun said. “I’m a little surprised. I don’t really know what to say. Maybe next week I will be able to describe my feelings a bit better, once it’s sunk in a little more. I felt a lot of pressure out there, because there were big crowds following me and I really wanted to win.
“Of course I felt nervous, but not as nervous as I did when I won my first tournament in college. I’ve got a bit more experience now, so I know what I need to do and I was able to carry out my plan very well today.
“I hit some great shots but also some pretty poor ones, but the main thing is that I managed to get it done.
“The goal now is to go to Turkey for the World Amateur Team Championships, play well there and then have a think about my next move. I’ve now got a Challenge Tour category for next season, so I’ve got a decision to make on whether I play or go back to college. I’ve also got lots of schoolwork to catch up on, so I don’t think I’ll be celebrating too much!”
Delpodio missed a birdie putt on the last hole that would have forced a playoff. His consolation was earning first-place prize of €25,600. He moves to 38th on the Challenge Tour order of merit as a result.
England’s Gary Lockerbie leads the Challenge Tour order of merit with €108,696. Pepperell moves up to 15th as a result of his third place finish. The top 20 players on the order of merit gain cards for the 2013 European Tour.
Former Oklahoma State star Peter Uihlein continues to play well on the tour, firing weekend rounds of 68-67 to vault to a T-5 finish, four shots back of Brun.