Prospects of an Irish challenge fell on their head as the EuroPro Tour’s Nokia Masters came to a close on Saturday.
Hopes sat with Headfort’s Brian Casey ahead of the final day but he struggled to a four-over par 76 in a round that included four bogeys and a double.
Taking up the mantle as leading Irishmen for the week were the ever consistent Clandeboye’s Jonathan Caldwell and Whitehead’s John Ross Galbraith as the pair returned a couple of 71’s to finish in a tie for 12th at minus-eight.
Royal Dublin’s Niall Kearney enjoyed a better week but could only manage a 71 of his own to finish just outside the top-20 at minus-six.
West Cliff’s Brendan McCarroll finished alongside Casey at five-under par after succumbing to a one-over par 73 to close out his tournament bid while Old Conna’s Neil O’Briain carded a disappointing 76 to finish at plus-one.
James Ross won the tournament at Mannings Heath Golf & Wine Estate after an exhilarating final day of action.
Going into the final day trailing by one shot, Ross of Royal Burgess Golf Club posted a final round of 71 (-1) to clinch victory from under the nose of playing partner Calum Fyfe and amateur Bradley Bowden who tied for second on -12.
Ross who is getting married three weeks today said: “It was very tough. I managed to stay patient I thought. I had no real idea what the scores were, to be honest up until the 13th. I knew that the guys in our group were all kind of similar. It certainly wasn’t easy out there.”
“You’d think so (enjoying playing in heavy winds), being from Scotland but I’ve never been a fan of playing in serious wind like that. I guess I will like it now!”
Fyfe (Golfing4Life) recovered from going one over on the front nine to finish two under for a round of 70 where Bowden who finished third at the English Amateur Championship last week sat after superb rounds of 63, 71 and 70.
Daniel Young (Kingsbarns Pro Academy) kept pace for large parts going tied for the lead at several points going one-under for his final knock to be fourth in his first turn out since victory in The Eagle Orchid Scottish Masters.
Overnight leader Neil Fenwick fell away to finish tied seventh at nine-under along with James Allan (Chelmsford Golf Club), Andrew Wilson (Rockliffe Hall), Sam Forgan (Stowmarket Golf Club/ ISEKI) and George Mullins (Langley Park / Lewis Access).
Meanwhile, Conor O’Neil (Pollok / Mearns Castle) and Joe Brice (SRL Limited) went five deep each for the best rounds of the day where the wind really made a difference.
The win for Ross moves him up to eleventh in the Race To Desert Springs whilst Daniel Young moves up to fourth.
Highlights of The Nokia Masters will air on Sky Sports Golf on 20, August 2019 at 20:00.