Paul McBride was focussed on the positives after coming close to a maiden Alps Tour win at the Antognolla Alps Open in Italy.
The Island professional rocketed into contention with a six-under par final round 65 to move to nine-under par, though that looked a couple short as he entered the clubhouse post-round to sign off his tournament.
However, there are no certainties in golf and Alex Esmatges, Stefano Pitoni and Filippo Bermamaschi proved it, all stumbling at the final hole to bring McBride back into the hunt. It meant a five-way playoff with those at nine-under par; the fifth man being Italian Stefano Mazzoli whose 10-under par 61 lay a stern benchmark in regulation play.
“Today I didn’t expect to be in the playoff,” McBride told Irish Golf Desk. “I finished, and I came in, and I had lunch, and then the boys behind me made a load of bogeys, and I ended up being in a playoff.
“It was weird because I didn’t expect it. But I do feel like I am playing well, and I feel very comfortable on the course to which is nice. I don’t feel any unease. I feel I am getting to the place I want to be out there.”
In the end, Italian Mazzoli carried his momentum into the playoff, nailing a birdie at the first extra hole and claiming the €5,800 first prize cheque with McBride forced to settle for a useful €2,635 and some much-welcomed ranking points to go with it. His final round included eight birdies, including five in succession from the second, while his share of second is his best Alps Tour result and his second top-10 of the season, promising stuff ahead of his appearance at this month’s Irish Challenge at Portmarnock Links.
In what was a great day for Ireland’s Alps Tour contingent, both David Carey and Gary Hurley also helped themselves to top-10’s after superb final round efforts.
Carton House player Carey posted eight birdies in a five-under par 66 to tie sixth at six-under par, one stroke clear of Hurley in a tie for tenth after the West Waterford man landed a magnificent seven birdies in a welcome return to form.
Carey banks €1,420 while Hurley takes home €896. If only there was a spare $40million lying around somewhere to help the prize funds of the world’s satellite tours and the players who compete on them. Oh well, still a great week for the Irish!
- Full scoring HERE
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