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Brinson Paolini, 22, ties for 2nd in his pro golf debut
Brinson Paolini, 22, ties for 2nd in his pro golf debut

Brinson Paolini made his first professional tournament even more memorable on Sunday.

The former Cox High and Duke star shot a 6-under-par 65 and surged into a tie for second place at the Swiss Challenge in Lucerne, Switzerland. It is part of the Challenge Tour, a second-tier circuit operated by the European PGA Tour

Paolini was 3 under after the first two rounds and made the cut by two shots, then played the last 36 holes in 13 under. He birdied the final hole Sunday to finish three shots behind winner Victor Riu of France. He earned 14,400 Euros, roughly $18,800.

"That putt at the last really summed up my day," Paolini told a Challenge Tour writer. "I made a lot of putts, but I missed a few too - I set up a lot of chances out there. I holed some really long ones, which always helps."

He said it was the first time he's played in Europe.

Paolini finished his amateur career last month by winning the State Amateur for the fourth time. He turned pro last week after securing sponsorships from three companies.

Paolini was a two-time All-American at Duke. He received the 2013 Byron Nelson Award, given to a senior based on golf, academics, and character and integrity while in college.

He'll stay on the Challenge Tour at least another week as the tour travels to Florence, Italy, for the Mugello Tuscany Open.

He'll also play in the Mylan Classic on the Web.com Tour in August.

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