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Italian Open: Ross McGowan Claims First Victory in 11 Years



Italian Open: Ross McGowan Claims First Victory in 11 Years

England’s Ross McGowan ended an 11-year wait for his second European Tour title with a one-shot victory at the Italian Open.

The 38-year-old hadn’t won since the 2009 Madrid Masters but, on a dramatic final day, managed to hold off the attacking duo; Laurie Canter and Nicolas Colsaerts.


Final Round Overview

The final pairing of Canter and McGowan both struggled with consistency over the front nine.

McGowan only made two pars in his first six holes. His drive on the fifth found the water, which led to a double-bogey. He would then eagle the par-five sixth to get back to level par for the day.

Canter, on the other hand, started with three consecutive pars before a birdie on the fourth. The 30-year-old would then bogey the fifth before a birdie on the sixth, putting him one ahead.

Both would continue their scrappy starts as Canter bogeyed the seventh and then joined McGowan with a bogey at the eighth as the duo made the turn in 37.

But it was Canter who took control at the start of the back nine with two birdies, before McGowan jumped back into a share of the lead with a good putt for birdie at 13.

However, the English duo then made a mess of 14, reviving the hopes of the chasing pack of Colsaerts, Martin Kaymer and Sebastian Heisele.

Canter then made yet another bogey at the par four 15th. On the next hole, McGowan suddenly grabbed the outright lead in the most unlikely of circumstances. Blocking his drive into the sand, he would hit a brave second shot into the green side bunker. From there, his perfect third shot found the bottom of the cup to take him to 19 under.

Back came Canter with a clutch birdie-two at the 17th as McGowan just missed out on matching him from 15 feet.

As all of this drama was going on, Colsaerts was holing out for a birdie four at the last to complete his fourth sub-70 round of the tournament and give him the clubhouse lead.

Standing at 19-under-par on the tee, both Canter and McGowan knew that a birdie would be enough for the lead, and the victory.

But, it would be the more experienced McGowan who would find the birdie, holing a 20-foot-putt and, with it, his first title since 2009.

A despondent Canter tapped in for par: a disappointing round of 72 and a tie with Colsaerts.

German Heisele’s closing 69 was enough to lift him into outright fourth on 18-under-par, while fellow countryman Martin Kaymer finished two off the lead as he settled for T5. The result was his fifth Top 10 finish in seven starts.


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A lifelong interest in watching and playing sport led Matt to study Sports Journalism at Solent University, graduating in 2019 with a broken nose after a hockey mishap. However, golf is his primary passion. As a junior, he held a scratch handicap, played for county and was Junior Club Captain. Matt has interviewed a number of influential figures within golf as well as working with the R&A and writing for Golf Monthly.


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