English golfer tops European Challenge Tour stage in Russia

The Russian stage of the European Challenge Tour finished on Sunday, with Englishman Sam Little wrapping up his third Tour victory.

­Sam Little made a big move up the leaderboard on the third day of the Russian Challenge Cup, climbing 16 places to take a share of the lead with Swede Pelle Edberg and Austria’s Florian Praegant.

The 36-year-old was seeking a third Challenge Tour win on the final day, which would secure him a place in the all-important top 20 – and a card to return to the European Tour.

And the Londoner mixed five birdies and two bogeys on the front nine to extend his lead.

Meanwhile, Little’s compatriot Andrew Johnston, who was fourth before the final round, dared to put some pressure on the leader.

With an eagle on the 15th, and a long birdie putt on the18th, Challenge Tour rookie Johnston was trailing  Little by just a stroke.

And Little had to make at least par on the last hole to secure victory but he made no mistakes and – with two putts – finished the closing round with a 68 to collect the prize of €40,000.

Meanwhile, despite a poor performance on the final day, Tommy Fleetwood still managed to increase his overall lead at the top of the rankings.

There are five events still to go and top-twenty finishes still up for grabs for those all-important cards on the European Tour.

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