Ross McGowan ends 11-year wait as strong finish lands Italian Open

‘I think I’m going to have to go now and have a nice big glass of red wine’

England’s Ross McGowan  poses with the trophy after his victory at the Italian Open at Chervo Golf Club  in Brescia. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

England’s Ross McGowan poses with the trophy after his victory at the Italian Open at Chervo Golf Club in Brescia. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

 

England’s Ross McGowan ended a wait of 11 years and 15 days to claim his second European Tour title with a dramatic victory at the Italian Open.

The 38-year-old has spent much of the last decade in the golfing wilderness after winning the Madrid Masters in 2009 and almost making in onto Colin Montgomerie’s Ryder Cup team the following year.

He lost his place on the European Tour in 2011 and despite successful trips to the qualifying school in 2015 and 2017, he has not finished in Europe’s top 150 since 2010.

But he put all that behind him in Brescia, holing a spectacular bunker shot on the 16th and then making a 20-foot putt on the par-five last for two late birdies that handed him a closing 71 and a one-shot victory over fellow countryman Laurie Canter and Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts at 20 under.

“I’m very happy, not happy with the way I played particularly but I got the ball in the hole which in the past has been my nemesis, so it was nice to be able to do that this week,” he said.

“I didn’t really foresee this, my form hasn’t been great. But I felt like I was playing better, definitely around the greens.

“I think I’m going to have to go now and have a nice big glass of red wine and think about what’s next.”

McGowan and Canter entered the final day three shots clear of the field in a share of the lead but they had been caught by the eighth as they both turned in 37, with McGowan following a double-bogey after finding water on the fifth with an eagle from 14 feet on the next.

Birdies on the 10th and 11th handed Canter a two-shot lead but he made back-to-back bogeys on the 14th and 15th, with McGowan’s brilliance from the sand on the next handing him the solo lead for the first time all week.

Canter hit back with a tee shot to six feet on the 17th and it was a three-way tie as the last group played the 18th, with Colsaerts making a birdie ahead of them.

McGowan laid up and left himself 20 feet for birdie and, while Canter found the greenside rough in two, he could not get up and down and McGowan sealed victory with a birdie.

Canter carded a 72, with 2012 Ryder Cup hero Colsaerts signing for a closing 68 to finish one shot ahead of German Sebastian Heisele.

Northern Ireland’s Jonathan Caldwell was then in a five-man group at 17 under including two-time Major champion Martin Kaymer.

It was Caldwell’s second straight top 10 finish, a four-under 68 making it four consecutive sub-70 rounds.

Cormac Sharvin struggled in his final round, carding a three-over 75 to finish on six under.

Leaderboard

British and Irish unless stated, par 72

268 Ross McGowan 66 64 67 71

269 Laurie Canter 60 68 69 72, Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 68 67 66 68

270 Sebastian Heisele (Ger) 68 67 66 69

271 Adri Arnaus (Esp) 65 70 67 69, Dean Burmester (Rsa) 64 68 68 71, Kristoffer Reitan (Nor) 66 70 70 65, Martin Kaymer (Ger) 69 66 68 68, Jonathan Caldwell 67 68 68 68

272 Marcus Armitage 67 70 69 66, Joost Luiten (Ned) 70 66 68 68, Damien Perrier (Fra) 65 71 71 65, Antoine Rozner (Fra) 68 71 68 65

273 Julien Quesne (Fra) 66 71 67 69, Emilio Cuartero Blanco (Esp) 68 68 68 69

274 Wil Besseling (Ned) 65 71 68 70, Richard Bland 65 70 70 69, Bryce Easton (Rsa) 68 69 69 68, Nicolai Hojgaard (Den) 67 67 71 69, Hurly Long (Ger) 69 69 68 68, Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 67 68 68 71

275 Joel Stalter (Fra) 73 66 70 66, Adrian Meronk (Pol) 67 71 66 71, Guido Migliozzi (Ita) 68 69 73 65, Joel Sjoholm (Swe) 68 70 67 70, Dale Whitnell 68 70 71 66, Aaron Cockerill (Can) 67 72 69 67, Adrian Otaegui (Esp) 67 67 72 69, Louis De Jager (Rsa) 68 68 67 72

276 Matthew Jordan 66 72 72 66, Matthieu Pavon (Fra) 70 65 70 71, Niklas Lemke (Swe) 66 71 73 66, Oscar Lengden (Swe) 65 71 70 70, Federico Maccario (Ita) 70 70 68 68, Francesco Laporta (Ita) 68 70 69 69, Matthias Schwab (Aut) 72 68 69 67, Darius Van Driel (Ned) 71 64 68 73, Lee Westwood 72 67 69 68

277 Tapio Pulkkanen (Fin) 67 68 67 75, Marc Warren 69 68 72 68, Yi-Keun Chang (Kor) 70 66 70 71, Jamie Donaldson 68 69 68 72, Chris Paisley 69 67 69 72, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Esp) 68 69 70 70, Marcel Schneider (Ger) 69 70 68 70

278 Toby Tree 68 69 70 71, Johannes Veerman (USA) 70 70 71 67

279 Jens Fahrbring (Swe) 70 67 68 74, Matt Wallace 68 68 72 71, Jorge Campillo (Esp) 68 71 68 72, David Horsey 69 67 74 69, Scott Jamieson 68 69 71 71

280 Robin Roussel (Fra) 66 68 76 70, Lars Van Meijel (Ned) 70 69 72 69

281 Nicolai Von Dellingshausen (Ger) 69 68 75 69, Maverick Antcliff (Aus) 70 67 71 73, Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind) 68 69 72 72, Dave Coupland 69 67 78 67, Lorenzo Gagli (Ita) 70 69 72 70

282 Cormac Sharvin 69 69 69 75, Eduardo De La Riva (Esp) 68 72 72 70, Daniel Young 68 70 72 72

283 Lorenzo Scalise (Ita) 67 69 77 70, Jack Senior 66 72 74 71

284 Steven Tiley 68 71 66 79, Renato Paratore (Ita) 71 69 74 70

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