Jonathan Caldwell snatched a podium finish to turn a good week into another great one at the EuroPro Tour’s COBRA PUMA NXT LVL Championship.
The Clandeboye professional sizzled with six birdies and an eagle on the final day at Macdonald Portal Hotel, Golf and Spa to fire a five-under par 68 to close out his tournament.
Victory was never in sight for Caldwell but his 14-under par 54-hole tally saw the Northern Irishman collect a healthy cheque worth £2,500 and given the way his game has been trending of late, you’d have to think a win is just around the corner.
Meanwhile Whitehead’s John Ross Galbraith enjoyed a stellar finish of his own as he signed off with a three-under par 70.
Galbraith’s 10-under par total saw him claim a top-15 finish in another solid week for the fledgling pro.
Naas pro Conor O’Rourke and Royal Dublin’s Niall Kearney finished locked together in a tie for 23rd at eight-under par after they shot 71 and 72 respectively while Tullamore’s Stuart Grehan (75) and St Anne’s Cameron Raymond (78) will have better final days.
In the end it was Richard Mansell who claimed victory by three shots with a final round 69.
The Beau Desert golfer started the day one shot behind overnight leader Marco Penge, but he assumed the lead with a birdie at the opening hole as Penge three-putted for bogey.
Mansell only briefly slipped out of top spot on a tense final day with a double-bogey at the par-5 7th, but he reassumed control of the tournament with a spectacular pitch-in for eagle two holes later. He maintained pole position throughout the back nine with birdies at 10, 12 and 17, signing for a closing 69 and an -18 total.
“I did this for my friend Charlie, whose been fighting for his life in hospital,” said an emotional Mansell. “He’s been the 15th club in my bag over the last few weeks. This feels really special.”
A special day indeed for Mansell, who’s previously recorded three runners-up finishes in his season-and-a-half on the PGA EuroPro Tour, but had his parents and friends on hand in Cheshire to witness his first victory.
Mansell leaps six spots to third in the Race to Desert Springs, and Enefer is up to 10th. Alfie Plant, who finished tied-14th at Portal, held on to top spot in the Order of Merit, and Andrew Wilson, who took the week off in preparation for his Open Championship debut next week, stays second.
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