It wasn’t to be for Ardglass professional, Cormac Sharvin in his quest for a maiden Challenge Tour win at the Prague Golf Challenge.
The 26-year old entered the final round just two shots off the pace but ultimately finished nine strokes adrift of Frenchman, Antoine Rozner’s 17-under par winning tally after posting a disappointing three-over par 75 to close out his tournament bid.
Sharvin began his final round with a bogey and it set the tone for a regrettable afternoon at Prague City Golf Club where a double bogey 7 at the seventh all but ended his title aspirations. Sharvin added one birdie and one more bogey to settle for a tie for 8th at minus-eight and a consolation cheque worth €4,700.
In better news for Ireland’s up and coming talents, Robin Dawson ended a barren spell of five missed cuts on Friday and took advantage over the weekend to post rounds of 70/69 in collecting a much needed and confidence boosting bonus of €3,000.
The Tramore professional, who turned to the paid ranks last year with much expectation, has found the transition difficult but his tie for 12th finish in the Czech Republic should prove a timely injection of encouragement ahead of a busy summer’s golf.
Unfortunately, Rosapenna’s Ruaidhri McGee endured a frustrating five-over par 77 on Sunday to drop 17 places down the board into a tie for 57th at plus-two.
It was all about rampant Rozner atop the board however as he became the first back-to-back winner on the European Challenge Tour for seven years as he raced to a seven-stroke victory in Prague.
The Frenchman posted a closing four-under par 68 to add the Prague Golf Challenge title to his Challenge de España crown which he claimed at Izki Golf, Urturi, last week.
Rozner is the first back-to-back winner on the Challenge Tour since Kristoffer Broberg won two in a row at the Finnish Challenge and Norwegian Challenge in August 2012.
He began the final round one shot clear of playing partner Mathieu Fenasse but ended the day seven shots ahead of his compatriot, who finished on ten under par alongside Richard Bland and Danish duo Mark Flindt Haastrup and Martin Simonsen.
Rozner now needs just one more win to earn immediate graduation to the European Tour under the three-win rule and follow in the footsteps of Kim Koivu, who achieved the feat last year.
“I have no words, it’s unbelievable,” he said. “It’s been a crazy two weeks for me and it’s just been some of the best golf I’ve ever played. It’s amazing and crazy to get two wins in a row like that. It’s an amazing feeling.
“The goal is definitely to get the third win now, for sure. I’ll see what I’ll be doing in the next few weeks and hopefully I’ll get a third win as soon as possible.”
The 26-year-old believes today’s four-under par 68 was his best round of the week due to the tough conditions which the players were required to battle through.
“My performance today was ten out of ten,” he said. “I really didn’t make any mistakes; I think I made one three-putt and one bad shot but that’s it. Other than that, I played really, really well and in those conditions it was the best round of the week.
“The beginning of the round was really, really tough. I struggled a bit on the first few holes but I saved a good par on number three and the birdie on number four helped me a lot.
“It was just tough and you had to keep the ball in position. It was really complicated to get the speed right on the greens. I managed everything really well and it turned out to be a solid performance again.”
Rookie Fredrik Nilehn and Frenchman Robin Roussel shared sixth place on nine-under par, while Felipe Aguilar, Sébastien Gros, Jonas Kölbing and Sharvin finished a shot further back on eight-under par in tied eighth.
There is now a week’s break in the Challenge Tour International Schedule before it returns to the Czech Republic for the D+D REAL Czech Challenge in Brno from May 23-26.
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