Hurley and Yates tie 14th as Lumsden lands second Alps win

Gary Hurley (Photo by Patrick Bolger/Getty Images)

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Gary Hurley came through to match Jonathan Yates on the final day of the Alps de las Castillas as Scot Ryan Lumsden prevailed over Manuel Elvira in an exciting final day of at Las Pinaíllas Golf Club.

West Waterford professional Hurley produced some timely good form over the past two days, signing for successive 68s to move through to a tie for 14th at seven-under par. It’s a step in the right direction for the former Maynooth man who carded an eagle, three birdies and just one dropped shot in a fine final effort.

It’s the kind of score Naas professional Yates would’ve been eyeing having entered the final day just three strokes back of the lead. Sadly the Kildare man could only manage a one-over 73 for a seven-under tally, one clear of Dubliner David Carey who closed with an even par 72. Paul McBride signed off with an even par 72 for an even par three-round tally, completing the Irish scoring in a tie for 43rd.

At the top, Lumsden secured his second victory of the season, and with it, is now 3rd in the Alps Tour Ranking. He arrived in Albacete with one goal: to win and climb the rankings to get closer to the Challenge Tour promotion.

And he has achieved it, although the Cantabrian Manuel Elvira didn’t make it easy for him at any time. At one point it seemed that the Scot was going to repeat the history of last year’s Alps de las Castillas when he finished second, but the experience achieved last May at the PGA Tour’s AT&T Byron Nelson, where he played alongside the best golfers in the world, gave him the key to the victory he has achieved today in Albacete.

At Las Pinaíllas, Lumsden, 24, signed four birdies and a bogey for a 69 (-3) and a total of 14 under par. ”

It’s been an amazing tournament, three completely different days of play. The first day I played well but, as it has happened to me this year, it was not matched by the numbers on the scorecard.

“Yesterday’s round was the turning point I needed, I played well and carded a magnificent result that turned out to be the course record, and gave me hints that something good was going to come, and it has arrived today. It has been an incredible day, because Manuel (Elvira) has made it very difficult for me and has not let me breathe until the last hole.

“The truth is that last year I really enjoyed coming to the Alps de las Castillas, I was remarkably close to winning and I have come back this year wanting to fight for the title, although I will recognise that, at some point, as Manuel played, I thought that history was repeating.”

“At the Northwestern University in the US, I won the Byron Nelson Award [as did Kinsale’s John Murphy], an academic, athletic and social work award for which I was invited to play the AT&T Byron Nelson, and I was lucky enough to learn from the best players in the world.

“There I learned how important it is to have complete control of the irons, and that you should never lose sight of anything on the course. It was a great golf lesson that obviously helped me win this week. My goal now is to win a third tournament! I leave Spain with a lot of confidence, and hopefully keep my place in the ranking at the end of the year to get to the Challenge Tour.”

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