David Carey came within a play-off of clinching another victory on the Alps Tour but ultimately lost out in extra holes as Spain’s Manuel Morugan claimed the win at the Abruzzo Alps Open.
A stunning seven-under 62 in his final round saw the Irishman finish at 12-under-par at Miglianico Golf & Country Club in Pescara, Italy, which earned him a shoot-out for the title with Morugan and the Netherlands’ Koen Kouwenaar.
However, it would be the Spaniard who would triumph in the play-off with a birdie at the first extra hole, a fine reward for his persistence after struggling through a wrist injury in 2021.
Carey had started the day six shots off the lead but was outstanding on day three as he carded the best round of the field, an eight-under 62, to be the first one in the clubhouse at 12-under.
That took him one shot clear of West Waterford’s Gary Hurley, who had set the clubhouse target by tying Carey’s round, a 62 of his own seeing him finish at 11-under but unfortunately that would be one shot too many to earn him a play-off berth.
Instead, Morugan would be the first one to tie Carey at 12-under when he signed for a bogey-free 65, and they were followed in by first round leader Kouwenaar, who recorded a 67.
That took them back down the 18th and it would be Morugan who would come out on top, the Spaniard birdieing the first extra hole to begin the celebrations.
It was still a good week for Carey, who was two shots outside the cut mark with six holes of his second round to go but instead walks away with a tidy cheque for €3,250 and plenty of confidence moving forward.
Mallow’s James Sugrue came into the final round two shots off the lead and at one point pulled himself into a share of the lead but would ultimately finish three adrift as a one-under 69 saw him end the week in a share of seventh at nine-under-par.
Further down the leaderboard, Portmarnock’s Conor Purcell ended with a 66 to finish in tied-17th at seven-under-par, with a 69 giving Jonathan Yates a share of 35th at four-under-par.
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