David Horsey beats Damien McGrane in Russia Open play-off

Irish golfer misses out on second European Tour victory after bogey on 18th

Ireland's Damien McGrane lost out to England's David Horsey on the first play-off hole at the Russia Masters in Moscow on Sunday.

The Meath golfer could only manage a bogey five at the 18th during regulation play after finding a fairway bunker and that five let Horsey in after he chipped in for eagle at the par-five 17th.

Horsey made par on the 18th to force the play-off and took advantage after McGrane’s approach found a greenside bunker and his chip out left him with a 14 foot putt for a par.

Horsey found the centre of the green and lagged up well and when McGrane pushed his par effort to the right, Horsey was able to tap in for the victory and a cheque for €166,660.

McGrane picked up a cheque for €111,110 to close in on €5 million in career earnings on the European Tour.

At one stage he looked set to add to his only previous win on the Tour at the China Open in 2008 and make it back-to-back Irish winners of the event after Michael Hoey’s win in Moscow last year.

The 43-year-old made four birdies in the first 11 holes of his final round and three straight from the 15th put him two clear before Horsey drew level with an eagle three on the 17th.

McGrane found a bunker off the tee on the 18th but still gave himself a chance of a par on the final green only to miss the putt and sign for a six-under 66.

Horsey had recovered from a front-nine collapse after sharing the overnight lead with Peter Whiteford heading into the final round at the Tseleevo Golf and Polo Club.

Horsey, who carded 72 on Sunday, admitted he thought he had let the prize money slip through his fingers before realising he could still triumph before nailing an eagle on the 17th.

“Relieved is the word that sums it up,” admitted Horsey after a third European Tour win.

“I had a bit of a mare on a couple of holes over the back nine and didn’t really know where I was in the tournament until 17.

“I suddenly realised I was only three behind but needed to do something drastic quite quickly. I managed to chip in and, while I was trying to make birdie at the last, I didn’t realise he’d dropped one.

“I got up and down to get in the play-off and I was fortunate to win that.”

McGrane was disappointed not to add a second win to his resume but believes his performance in Moscow is just the boost required for the season as he moved up to 77th on the race to Dubai standings on €243,446.

“I played lovely all week so I’m very pleased with my week.

“I’m a little disappointed not to do better in the play-off there, but I’ve hit good shots all week and putted reasonably well.

“All in all I’m very positive and it’s good for me mentally as well. I can push on for the rest of the season with my card secure.

“There are a lot of good events before the end of the year and this has given me a lot of confidence going into them.”