Jordan Zunic and Ben Eccles shared top Australian honours at the Challenge Tour’s KPMG Trophy in Belgium but the pair arrived at that destination via polar opposite routes.

Zunic started brilliantly with some of his best golf of the year in an opening 64 at the Royal Waterloo GC only to stumble on Sunday and fall down the standings.

Eccles, conversely, opened with two pedestrian rounds to make the cut on the number before clawing his way up the leaderboard over the weekend.

Zunic was the form player among the Australians heading into the week after a T5 finish in Switzerland four days earlier and he looked to be continuing that roll with a sterling opening round.

Only an ace and an eagle by Denmark’s Joachim Hansen on day one denied Zunic the lead and he maintained his place in the top-10 after 36 holes with a grinding second round of 72.

A third round 69 had Zunic within four of the lead going to Sunday and a legitimate chance of claiming his first victory in Europe.

But it wasn’t to be as the 25-year-old could get nothing going in the final round and slid down the leaderboard with 17 pars and a double bogey.

From a share of ninth Zunic faded to T32 at 9-under for the week, the same score as Ben Eccles who opened with back to back rounds of 71 to just qualify for the weekend.

The Victorian has proved himself a determined competitor in 2017 and that was on display again as he fired rounds of 68-69 to leapfrog more than 30 players over the final two rounds.

Daniel Gaunt was the only other Australian to make the cut and finished T68 at 1-under while Daniel Fox missed the weekend with rounds of 73-73.