GRAEME Storm recorded his second-best finish of 2013 at the Wales Open.
The Hartlepool golfer returned in a tie of sixth at the Celtic Manor Resort, a score of two-under some six shots adrift of French winner Gregory Bourdy.
It marked one of Storm’s best performances of recent seasons, topped only recently by his third at the French Open, also the scene of his sole European Tour victory.
Storm had entered the weekend with a real shout of taking his second Tour title thanks to a four-under-par second-round score.
A 72 (one over) on Saturday curtailed his progress somewhat but nonetheless he remained in contention ahead of yesterday’s final round.
But Storm’s start was far from ideal.
After a par on the opening hole – a par-four he had birdied on the opening two days – he again holed in regulation on the par-five second.
But the 34-year-old’s round began to unravel over holes three and four as back-to-back bogeys saw him slide down the leaderboard.
In the past that may have been the prelude to a final-day collapse, but Storm recovered and, by the turn of the course, he had regained those two shots.
He took just two strokes on the 213-yard, par-three seventh and there was another birdie on the par-five ninth.
That hole proved to be to Storm’s liking over the course of the championship having produced birdies on each of the four days.
Entering the back nine he was handily placed within four shots of the leaders.
And, when he birdied the par-four 14th to move onto three-under for the tournament, Storm was as high as third with just four holes to play.
But any hopes of a late charge for the title were scuppered by a bogey on the 15th.
Storm, though, steadied to see out an impressive weekend’s play and signed off for a par round of 71.
He will now travel to Switzerland for the Omega European Masters which tees off on Thursday.