Brendan Lawlor finished three shots off the pace at the G4D Hero Open in Abu Dhabi as Juan Postigo Arce held on for a wire to wire win.
Lawlor was five shots off the lead after an opening 77 but roared back into contention with lightning start to his final round.
The Carton House man opened with back-to-back birdies including a chip in on the first before adding a third on the par-3 7th to pile the pressure on Postigo Arce.
A birdie on the par-5 10th moved the Dundalk native to four-under for the day and into a share of the lead as one of the great rounds of golf looked to be in the making.
Unfortunately the path to the clubhouse was not a straightforward one for Lawlor who saw his challenge fade with successive bogeys on 11 and 12 before a third bogey on 17 put paid to his chances.
Lawlor who looks set for a titanic battle with Kipp Poppert at the summit of the WRG4D rankings admitted he had an up and down week.
“I didn’t have my best stuff. First day wasn’t good, I feel from tee to green I was one of the best out there but my putting statistics this week were terrible had 36 putts the first day and 33 putts today and still shot one-under.
“Couldn’t get anything going on the first day. I had a 30-foot putt on the fourth and I putted it off the green into the water so that was a double bogey and then I missed a lot of birdie chances.
“There were good signs. I had a lot of bad weeks last year with ball striking on the greens so I was pleased to see that I can shoot scores after not doing much practice.
“It was nice to get flowing again, I didn’t get that feeling or buzz much last year and with this tournament I really got the high of being in contention again and going chasing a score. “I’m absolutely thrilled for Juan he’s a good friend of mine.”
Spaniard Postigo Arce could afford a final hole bogey as a one over 73 was enough for him to win by two from Kurtis Barkley on one over.
Carton House golfer Conor Stone will have to wait a while longer before breaking into the top 10 in the world rankings but he heads to Singapore boosted by a much improved second round.
After he propped up the field on day one following a 12 over 84, the Kildalkey man responded with a respectable three over 75 to move up to 8th place on fifteen-over.
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