Murphy finishes with a flourish for Challenge Tour rankings boost

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John Murphy (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

A hot finish to his week saw John Murphy move up three places in the Challenge Tour’s Road to Mallorca standings after finishing just outside the top-20 at the Dormy Open in Sweden.

The Kinsale man carded four straight birdies in his last five holes after three birdies and three bogeys prior to that in a closing four-under 68 to end the tournament in a share of 22nd at eight-under-par.

The 24-year-old has moved up to 26th in the Order of Merit standings, needing to break into the top-20 by the end of the season to earn a place on the DP World Tour next season.

His final round performance was one that suggests he could be ready to make that step up, Murphy starting slowly with bogeys at the fourth, fifth and seventh after a birdie at the second.

But a birdie at the par-five eighth and par-four 10th got him back to level-par prior to his incredible finish, which saw him birdie 14, 15, 16 and 17 to climb the leaderboard and boost his promotion hopes.

Meanwhile, Spain’s Emilio Cuartero Blanco stole in for a stunning win, birdieing the 18th hole for a five-under 67 that saw him claim a one-shot victory over Switzerland’s Jeremy Freiburghaus at 15-under-par in Stockholm.

With Finland’s Lauri Ruuska, who was going for a wire-to-wire win, only able to card a 71 and his nearest challengers all falling away too, it opened the door for someone to make a run and several players gave it a good shot.

Max Schmitt and Koen Kouwenaar both set the initial target after a pair of 65s led to them finishing at 13-under, the score Kuuska would finish on, but Freiburghaus then eclipsed both of them with a 65 of his own for 14-under.

But after an eagle at the par-four 16th took him tied at the top to set up a grandstand finish, Cuartero Blanco produced the goods down the 18th with one more birdie to triumph by the narrowest of margins for his second Challenge Tour title, adding it to his 2019 Irish Challenge crown.

SCORING

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