Jake makes good on Challenge Tour

Jake Roos capped off a superb 2014 season on the Challenge Tour with a 33rd-place finish at the Grand Final, which secured the 34-year-old full playing privileges for Europe in 2015.

 

His path to graduation began with an invitation to play the Barclays Kenya Open in March, where he rose above a traffic-jam leaderboard to win by one shot.

 

“I've only been playing on the Sunshine Tour to this point so it’s a real career-changer for me,” he said after winning. To actually win it and be able to play some events in Europe is just huge for me.”

 

Little did the six-time Sunshine Tour winner know just how huge it would be.

 

It took a while for Roos to adjust to the travel and the level of competition overseas and he missed the cut at his next two events.

 

A superb weekend at the Karnten Golf Open in May would get him back on track. Two rounds of 66 to finish tied fourth in Germany was just the confidence boost that he needed and soon he was consistently making cuts.

 

Step number one is to pay the weekend often, but Roos found himself leap-frogging a few of his goals two months later when he birdied the 16th and 17th at Bad Griesbach to win by two shots. His second win meant a serious chance to get a full European Tour card through the feeder tour.

 

Consolidation was the final ingredient that Roos needed to add and he managed to do so. He missed three cuts in the remainder of the year and finished within the top 30 on four occasions, which meant he was all but sure of progressing through the Grand Final.

 

It was not completely over for Roos, who had a mathematical chance of not making it through. Al Badia would certainly test the young South African before the week was up, but he made the weekend in two-under-par.

 

On Saturday Roos tried to have a go at the Grand Final, which is a promising sign. His attempt to chase down the lead was brutally rejected by Al Badia on Saturday and he went on to card 80, but his attempt to compete indicates a mental readiness to tackle the big guns of Europe.

 

A Sunday 71 would secure 33rd for Roos, who graduates from a school that counts Martin Kaymer and Henrik Stenson as two of its past pupils. The easy-going South African has every opportunity to shine in 2015 and he’s done a good job of getting there.

 

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