David Carey is setting his sights on the next stage of his professional development after grabbing a maiden title at the Alps Tour’s Cervino Open.
In a week that started with an unforgettable eleven-under par 57 for the Dubliner, Carey was always in command of the tournament until Italian, Edoardo Lipparelli birdied his 54th hole.
That saw the leading duo tie atop the board at 13-under par at the end of regulation play, sending the match to a sudden-death playoff.
“I had a putt from 25 feet to win it outright and I knocked it a good six-feet by the hole. I actually had to make that, and I went first, just to get into a playoff so I made quite hard work of it,” said Carey.
“Once I got into the playoff, I knew I just had to hit three good shots and that won it for me. I’m very happy, it’s been a while coming but it’s nice to get the job done.”
It was a week that began like no other as Carey tore up the history books with a blistering course record 57 around the par-68 track.
“It was really interesting,” Carey said of the round. “Warming up, I had one of my worst warm-ups that I’ve had in a while but I just got off to a really nice start. I made a nice putt on the first, hit it really close on the second.
“All of a sudden, I was five-under through 6, seven-under through 9, eight-under through 10 so it just kept building. When I got to 9-under through 12, it being a par-68, I knew I was on for the 59 then.”
Breaking 60 is the Holy Grail for pro golfers but when Carey returned 57, breaking it by three, the world could scarcely believe it. The headlines were one thing but what was more important was getting the result over the line, with Carey’s maiden win providing a massive 5,800-point boost to his Order of Merit prospects as he moved up to 12th on the ladder.
“Going into the event, I had spoken to Dad and told him that this was one of the events at the start of the year that I had thought I had a really good chance to win,” he added.
“It was always on my mind to win it and now that I’ve pulled it off, it’s back to practice, getting ready for Q-School in Italy in two weeks’ time and getting back over for the Alps Grand Final. If I can get maybe a top-3 finish there, that will give me a really good chance of getting a Challenge Tour card for next year.”
With Naas professional, Jonathan Yates squeaking a top-10 finish, Peter Dallat tying 21st, Michael Dallat at even for the week and Simon Bryan at two-over, there was no shortage of support for the Dubliner and although Carey is intent on moving on quickly, he was glad to have friends close by to share in his landmark win.
“It was great to have the lads there,” Carey said. “Michael Dallat and Simon came out to me on 17 and followed me in and Jonny and Peter hung around on the 18th green. The home support was definitely for the Italian so it was nice to have them in my corner.”