Damian Mooney shot his third sub-par round in the fourth and final leg of the Legends Tour Final Qualifier at Turkey’s Gloria Golf Resort, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to earn the Lough Erne man one of the five playing cards on offer.
Starting the day in 17th place, and three strokes shy of fifth place, the opening holes on Gloria’s Old Course hadn’t been kind to Mooney in rounds one to three, but after parring the first, he birdied the difficult par-3 second but his hopes of earning a Legends Tour card took a blow on the next, making bogey, and when he failed to birdie the par-5 fifth and followed with a bogey on the sixth, he’d left himself a mountain to climb.
His responded well with a birdie-two at the next, and made the turn in level-par, but elsewhere, scoring was pretty good as the contenders with nothing to lose were going for broke. Mooney’s run of eight successive pars was broken on the 16th, a hole that had proven costly in round two when he lost a ball in a bush to the right, but it was to prove too little, too late.
“Look, I played well,” Mooney said afterwards, refusing to take a negative approach, “I had a lot of chances, but I played six rounds here [two in the first qualifying stage and four in the final stage] all level par or better, which is a good showing considering I last marked a card in September.”
Mooney finished the week in a tie for 12th place, four strokes shy of fifth-place qualifier Gustavo Acosta from Argentina. South African Keith Horne was the leading qualifier, and one of only two men to break par in every round, with England’s Sean Whiffin, Lionel Alexandre of France and Scot Greig Hutcheon taking the final Legends Tour berths.
Overnight leaders Carlos Balmaseda of Spain and Englishman Simon Griffiths, who both enjoyed a three-shot cushion over third place at the start of the day, shot 76 and 75 respectively to miss out on qualification.