Caldwell clinches career best Tour finish at Italian Open

Bernie McGuire

Jonathan Caldwell Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Bernie McGuire

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Like a fine bottle of Chianti, Clandeboye’s Jonathan Caldwell just gets better with age producing a career best of fifth at the Italian Open in Brescia

Caldwell posted a third straight 68 to then share the clubhouse lead on 17-under par before settling for a fiveway share of fifth place on the Chervo course on a sunny, warm and benign day in northern Italy. The 36-year old arrived in northern Italy on the back of a career-best seventh at the Scottish Championship and now the Ulster golfer has gone two places better.

England’s Ross McGowan, 38 ended an 11-year winless drought in holing a 20-foot birdie putter at the last in posting a last round 71 to win his first Tour title by a shot with a 20-under par tally since capturing the 2009 Madrid Open.

Fellow Englishman Laurie Canter, and who led the event for three rounds, signed for a disappointing last day level par 72 to share second at 19-under par with Belgium’s Nicolas Colsearts who birdied two of his closing three holes in a score of 68.

Caldwell headed into day four with a birdie at the first and then birdied the fourth to be three-under for that hole for the week, and while he bogeyed five for second day, he again brought the par-5 sixth to its knees with a third birdie of the week and a day after snatching an eagle at the hole.

From the eighth to 11th holes he went bogey, birdie, bogey and birdie and then for the first time all week, Caldwell birdied the 15th. Caldwell then clearly delighted in holing a 10-foot birdie gem at the last and headed to the scorer’s hut sharing third place.

“I played pretty solid most of the day and got off to a great start with a birdie at the first and then to birdie the third for three of four days was nice,” he said. “I then birdied sixth and to play that hole in five-under for the week was a strong key to my week.  I made a couple of sloppy bogeys in the middle of my round but I did birdie the 11th for all four days, and then also came home strong at the end, so very pleasing.

“I arrived in Italy having played nicely last week in Scotland with a share of seventh place, so I was looking to better that and I think the birdie there at the last will give me the chance to have done that. “So, overall, I am very pleased with how I played.”

Caldwell this week joins Ardglass Cormac Sharvin teeing-up in back-to-back inaugural Tour events in Cyprus. “We travel tonight to Cyprus so I’m looking forward to that and also some heat in Cyprus for two weeks, and maybe we can carry on with the good form,” said Caldwell.

The finish earned Caldwell just under €30,000 and bumped him up 17 spots in the Race to Dubai rankings to 105th overall.

Full Scores HERE

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