David Carey carded a second successive even par round of 72 for a tied fourth finish at the Golf Nazionale Alps Open where he made a significant move on the Order of Merit ahead of next week’s Grand Final in Modena.
Starting the week in 21st spot on the standings, Carey’s four-under total in Italy seems him jump into 15th place with the top ten players on the Order of Merit at season’s end exempt through the second stage of European Tour Q-School while the top five win playing privileges on the Challenge Tour.
€10,000 currently separates the Darwin Escapes professional from that top-5 but with a bumper €50,000 prize on offer, and points distributed 30% higher than in the other competitions at next week’s Grand Final starting October 14th, one good week could change it all for the big-hitting Dubliner who pocketed €2,120 for this week’s work.
As for the other Irish in the field on a tricky scoring week in Italy, Naas pro Jonathan Yates closed out with a two-over 74 for a plus-one total and a tie for 18th while Simon Bryan (71) and Gary Hurley (70) both saved their best rounds of the tournament ‘til last for a three-over 54-hole tally.
Meanwhile, the Italian player Jacopo Vecchi Fossa held off the other contenders to win by one stroke on -9; a repeat performance of last year when he also won here at the Golf Nazionale course and his second win this season after the Abruzzo Alps Open in April.
His result not only puts him at the top of the Order of Merit heading into the Grand Final next week but makes him this year’s winner. The second and third place players, Ryan Lumsden and Angel Hidalgo Portillo will not play the Grand Final and no other player can overtake him even if they win next week in Modena.
“I started the round very well with a birdie and then I said to myself, ‘Don’t look at the leader board until the 15th hole’, just to concentrate on my round and stay focussed,” he said.
“Then I had a look at the leader board and saw I was leading by one. I played some good shots after that and then a birdie on the 18th to win. It’s not always easy being the defending champion but I’m very happy that next week we will play on my home course so I can celebrate with all the members and people I know there.”
- Full scoring HERE