Thornton slips as Hoey makes up ground

 

Golf:Simon Thornton was left to rue a costly nine as he struggled to a final round 75 at the €700,000 Madeira Islands Open where Michael Hoey finished as leading Irishman and James Morrison held his nerve to complete a one-stroke victory ahead of fellow Englishman Oliver Fisher to land his first professional title.

Morrison led by three strokes going into the final round but was twice pegged back to just a single shot ahead as Fisher shot a seven-under-par 65, the joint best round of the day.

The second of those occasions came when Morrison bogeyed the 17th, but both he and Fisher birdied the last to give Morrison victory on 20 under par and the winner’s cheque for €116,660 after a closing 70.

Scotland’s George Murray (73) finished third on 14 under while Hoey (68) and another Englishman, Gary Clark (70), were three shots further back in a tie for sixth.

Morrison started the day 18 under, with Murray 15 under and Fisher a seemingly distant 12 under.

But the latter strung four birdies together from the third and Morrison bogeyed the first and third, though a birdie at a friendly sixth hole kept him narrowly ahead.

He eagled the eighth and birdied the 10th to restore his three-stroke advantage, and when Murray dropped shots at 13 and 14 he was left with Fisher as his only challenger.

Fisher birdied the 14th to move back within two and, as the nerves began to show, that late dropped shot left Morrison just a single shot ahead going down the last.

A solid four on the 603-yard par five ensured his victory despite Fisher also picking up a shot to complete his bogey-free 65, matching the score of Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Gonnet, who surged through the field to finish tied for ninth on 10 under.

Hoey’s 68 contained seven birdies and three dropped shots and a finish which earned him €21,000. Thornton ran up a quadruple bogey nine at the par five 10th then immediately bounced back with two birdies. However a difficult round overall dropped the 33-year-old down the pecking order as he received a cheque for €10,100.

Collated final round scores and totals in the Madeira Islands Open, Porto Santo Golf Club, Madeira, Portugal

(Gbr & Irl unless stated, par 72):

268James Morrison 67 65 66 70

269Oliver Fisher 67 72 65 65

274George Murray 66 67 68 73

275Charles-edouard Russo (Fra) 74 66 68 67

276Alessandro Tadini (Ita) 68 71 71 66

277Gary Clark 69 70 68 70, George Coetzee (Rsa) 69 70 70 68, Michael Hoey 72 68 69 68

278Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (Fra) 69 71 73 65, John Parry 71 66 70 71

279Patrik Sjoland (Swe) 72 69 70 68, Alexandre Kaleka (Fra) 74 69 68 68

280Steve Lewton 70 71 73 66, Robert Coles 73 68 69 70, Richard McEvoy 69 74 67 70, Pelle Edberg (Swe) 73 70 68 69, Simon Thornton 68 66 71 75, Fredrik Andersson Hed (Swe) 68 74 72 66

281Jamie Elson 73 71 66 71, Anton Haig (Rsa) 72 70 69 70, Sion Bebb 70 70 72 69, Andrew Willey 73 69 67 72, Julien Guerrier (Fra) 71 71 67 72, Mads Vibe-Hastrup (Den) 69 75 68 69

282Chris Gane 66 72 73 71, Alejandro Canizares (Spa) 70 67 77 68, Phillip Archer 68 71 71 72, Steven Jeppesen (Swe) 70 68 73 71

283Ben Evans 66 76 72 69, Alvaro Velasco (Spa) 71 72 72 68, Jesus Maria Arruti (Spa) 71 72 71 69, Jamie Moul 71 69 69 74, Andrew Coltart 69 73 70 71, Lorenzo Gagli (Ita) 70 68 73 72, Christopher Doak 72 72 70 69

284Lee Slattery 71 73 70 70, Lasse Jensen (Den) 72 68 74 70, Charlie Ford 69 72 69 74, Steven Tiley 70 70 73 71, Manuel Quiros (Spa) 70 72 72 70

285Jamie McLeary 67 70 76 72, Stephan Gross Jnr (Ger) 72 70 69 74, Benn Barham 69 72 75 69

286Callum Macaulay 72 68 75 71, Carl Suneson (Spa) 74 70 67 75, Marcus Higley 70 71 70 75, Fredrik Henge (Swe) 75 67 70 74, 287 Eirik Tage Johansen (Nor) 71 73 71 72, Magnus A Carlsson (Swe) 72 72 71 72, Ake Nilsson (Rsa) 73 69 72 73, Daniel Brooks 72 70 70 75, Scott Drummond 71 73 74 69, Klas Eriksson (Swe) 71 68 75 73, Julien Quesne (Fra) 67 74 74 72

288Carlos Del Moral (Spa) 71 73 72 72, Jose-Filipe Lima (Por) 66 75 70 77, Oliver Whiteley 73 68 75 72

289Richie Ramsay 72 71 76 70, Jarmo Sandelin (Swe) 73 69 78 69, Federico Colombo (Ita) 71 70 76 72, Christophe Brazillier (Fra) 71 72 77 69, Bernd Ritthammer (Ger) 73 71 78 67, Carlos Rodiles (Spa) 73 69 75 72

290Andrew McArthur 67 70 75 78, Cesar Monasterio (Arg) 74 70 74 72

291Robert Dinwiddie 71 73 73 74, Jonathan Bell 70 73 73 75

292Ghislain Rosier (Fra) 69 74 76 73, Paul Eales 71 72 77 72