McGee left to rue costly finish despite securing third top-10 of season in Provence

Adam McKendry
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Ruaidhri McGee (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

Adam McKendry

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Ruaidhri McGee picked up his third top-10 finish on the Challenge Tour this season as he finished ninth at the Hopps Open de Provence in France, but a closing double-bogey cost him an even more lucrative payday.

The Derry man finished his week with back-to-back three-under 69s to end the tournament at 10-under-par, which was just enough to sneak him inside the top-10 as he ended seven shots behind winner Joel Sjöholm.

But he will rue a dreadful finish, a seven at the par-five 18th not only ruining a blemish-free round but also dropping him from a share of sixth down to ninth and costing him an extra few Euro in the back pocket.

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Still, it’s been an excellent season for McGee, who sat out all of 2021 and the majority of 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and this result bumps him up to 43rd in the Road to Mallorca with three events – including the Tour Championship – to go.

The win went to Sjöholm, who secured his second Challenge Tour title with a five-under 67 in his final round as six birdies and one bogey gave him a three-shot success over Deon Germishuys and Daniel Brown.

The 37-year-old Swede, who started the day two shots in the lead, was never in danger as he eased away from the chasing pack, and he parred his way in from the 15th for a comfortable win.

Conor Purcell finished his week at four-under-par and tied for 34th as he closed with a roller coaster level-par 72 that included seven birdies, five bogeys and a double-bogey.

It was a disappointing final round for Holywood’s Tom McKibbin, though, as a double-bogey, four bogeys and two birdies in a 76 dropped him back to a share of 48th at one-under-par.

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