Luvinate, Italy – Raymond Russell holed a 4-foot par save on the last hole Saturday to win the Challenge Provincia di Varese on the Challenge Tour.
Russell shot a 3-under 67 on Saturday and finished at 17-under 263. He won by a single stroke over Daniel Vancsik, who fired a 6-under 64, at Golf Club Varese.
This was Russell's first Challenge Tour victory and it was sweet redemption for a lost 2011 season. Russell made it back to the European Tour after a strong 2010 campaign on the Challenge Tour, but played in one event on the big tour after a virus kept out of action.
"You're always trying to win. That's why we practice hard," said Russell. "Finishing second or third is nice but we're trying to win every week. Does it make up for missing last season? Not really, because it's one tournament and I missed a whole year. But it helps."
Russell was one clear of Vancsik after a birdie at the 15th, then converted a 4-foot par putt on 18 to preserve the victory.
"I felt pretty good standing over it," said Russell. "I made a nice putt at the 15th from about 6 feet, so I didn't feel like I was going to miss."
Alessandro Tadini (68) and Marco Crespi (69) shared third at minus-12.
Gary Lockerbie (65) and Andrew McArthur (70) tied for fifth at 10-under 270.