WILTSHIRE golfer Ben Stow says his maiden Challenge Tour win at the Prague Golf Challenge has provided financial stability for the season.

The 26-year-old East Knoyle player produced a superb tournament to secure his first win on European golf's second-tier tour at the weekend.

The win saw him rewarded with €29,600 and Stow says that prize money alone has paid for his year on the Challenge Tour.

“It’s awesome, I am so chuffed. I think as a player you know you can do it, but until you’ve done it you’ve got to prove you can compete at a high level,” he said.

“That one win pays for my whole year really. If I didn’t win another dime this season I would be fine, which is quite nice. That takes some pressure off.

“It lets me play with some freedom but it’s nice to put some money in the bank. Obviously, I have targets that I want to hit so I can buy a house and stuff like that.

“It definitely takes the pressure off, it’s just a great feeling to win and get that buzz.”

Stow, who plays out of the Rushmore club on the Wiltshire/Dorset border, carded one birdie in the first five holes of his final round but a chip-in eagle at the sixth acted as the catalyst for success.

He went on to fire a further five birdies and a single blemish as he set what proved to be an unassailable target of 18 under with three groups still to return to the clubhouse on the final day.

Having recently returned from a long-term knee injury which kept him from playing golf for a sustained period, he added: "I’ve been looking for a win for the past two seasons on the Challenge Tour, so I’m really, really chuffed.

“It sets you up really nicely. I’ve got some money up on the Road to Ras Al Khaimah (Challenge Tour order of merit), so I can pick and choose my events. You can also relax and I think when you play golf relaxed, you get better results.

“At the start of the year coming back from injury, I honestly thought if I can just finish in the top 70 and maintain my card, that wouldn’t necessarily be a step backwards.

“To not play competitive golf for a year is a long time so to be right up there and be competing how I know I can, my goals have definitely changed. I want to push on and get a couple more good results, or wins, maybe.”

Stow’s attention turned to Sardinia and the Challenge Tour's Italian Challenge, which got under way on Thursday.

Meanwhile Cumberwell Park's Laurie Canter teed up in the Scottish Open at Gullane on Thursday, having received a late entry into the event.