Mullarney up to second on Alps Tour Order of Merit list after Gosser Open glory

Mark McGowan

Ronan Mullarney celebrates with podium finishers, Alps Tour directors and sponsors (Photo Alps Tour Golf / Federico Capretti)

Mark McGowan

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After enduring an anxious wait on Saturday as the remining 100 players completed their final rounds at Austria’s Gosser Open, Ronan Mullarney’s fears were allayed as the host of potential party poopers failed to sufficiently close the gap after the Galway man had posted a lofty target of -12.

After rain had wreaked havoc in the opening round, forcing the day’s play to be cancelled, the event was reduced to 36 holes. Rounds of -8 and -4 in Friday’s marathon meant that Mullarney would lead by six overnight, but it was no longer in his hands and he’d have to wait on standby to learn if a first Alps Tour victory would be his.

Among those in pursuit was Paul Murphy. Nine back, the Rosslare man would make a fast start to his final round with birdies at the opening two holes and the round of his life that he’d threatened Mullarney with via text the previous evening looked on. Sadly for Murphy, he’d fail to build on that, trading a bogey with another birdie over the closing 16 holes and he’d end the week in a tie for sixth at -5.

Mullarney’s closest challenger would be Italian Gianmaria Rean Trinchero who’d draw within three, before a bogey at the eighth (his 17th) would seal his fate, and along with a first win on the Alps Tour circuit, Mullarney would move into second place on the Order of Merit with the eventual top five earning Challenge Tour cards for 2024.

“It was a strange kind of day,” Mullarney said, “I took it easy in the morning, then went to the course around 12. Had a chat with one of the media lads, and after that I was just doing some practice until I knew the final result. There was a bit of checking the leaderboard, but it was a very interesting day anyway. Can’t say I’ve had many like that before. It’s a strange feeling when you can’t do anything about it and just have to kind of stand there, but it all worked out in the end.

“It was a difficult 36 holes, in these conditions. Trying to keep the umbrella up and down and keeping my bag as dry as possible, a lot of things to happening on top of the golf that has to be played. Being from Ireland and having grown up into these conditions probably helped me. I can assure you that no one likes playing in these conditions but I might have slightly more experience than the rest of the guys.”

It’s back home now for the new order of merit number two, before he’ll depart once again for the season’s fifth event at Lake Como in northern Italy.

“It’s great to get the win and to move up in the Order of Merit,” he said, “but it won’t mean a lot to me unless I’m able to end the season in the top 5 at the end of the year,” before jokingly adding the classic “blow it up ref!”


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