Lopez-Chacarra cruises to MENA Tour title as McDowell finishes outside top-40

Ronan MacNamara

Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra held off Patrick Reed to win the MENA Tour season opener in Bangkok by three strokes. 

The Spaniard who is missing out on his home event in his home city on the DP World Tour was a comfortable winner of this exhibition with rounds of 65, 63 and a routine final day 69 saw him march to the title on nineteen-under-par. 

Unfortunately for Chacarra he won’t progress up the world rankings and will remain at 2704 in the world but he will be able to cushion the blow with the four million dollars he pocketed. 

It was a double celebration for Chacarra who was part of the Fireballs GC team who romped to a seven-shot victory on 45-under and they will share the $3 million bonus. 

Graeme McDowell’s opening 68 promised a lot but he finished on four-under after 54 holes, despite finishing on a high with a one-under 71 in a share of 43rd place. 

A whopping 268,000 viewers tuned in to the final round, perhaps Chacarra has developed quite a raucous fanbase or maybe the MENA Tour is on an upward trajectory that some people cannot see. 

After a rocky front nine the Madrid native thrilled the fans in Thailand with a back nine of 33 that included birdies on 11, 14 and 17. 

Teeing off with a five-shot lead, Chacarra settled any nerves he might have had for an exhibition with an opening birdie, but dropped shots on the fourth and fifth allowed the chasing pack a sniff. 

A bounceback birdie on the sixth steadied affairs and it was a comfortable win from there. 

Former Masters champion Reed showed perhaps he still has a bit left in the tank with a five-under 67 to take second place on sixteen-under while Paul Casey finished a shot further back thanks to a seven-under 65 which secured him just over $1 million. 

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