Three bogeys in his final four holes saw Ronan Mullarney drop out of the top three in the final round of the Croara Alps Open in Piacenza Italy, as local favourite Luca Cianchetti stormed to a five-stroke victory.
Starting the day five strokes adrift of the solo-leader, Mullarney knew that he’d need to go extremely low if he was to have any hope of recording a second victory of the Alps Tour season, and he’d get off to the perfect start with a birdie at the par-4 first before adding another birdie-three at the fourth. He’d then take care of both par-5s on the front nine to reach halfway at -4 for the day.
Another birdie followed on 12, but with the leader keeping pace and holes running out, a bogey at the 15th halted the Galway man’s charge, and he’d add two more on 17 and 18, eventually finishing tied for 11th at -9 after posting a two-under 69. Despite the disappointing finish, Mullarney remains second in the Order of Merit, but with three-time Alps Tour winner Kiet Van der Weele guaranteed to occupy one of the top-five spots, just four Challenge Tour cards remain up for grabs.
Michael Young followed up his second-round 66 with a closing one-under 70. Like his fellow countryman Mullarney, he’d birdie the first, adding three more with a solitary bogey on the front nine to make the turn at -3, but he couldn’t build on the promising start and bogeys at 12 and 17 saw him end the week in sole 23rd place at -6.
Having begun his final round on the back nine, Paul Murphy also signed off with a closing 70, though a rough four-hole patch on his opening nine saw him slip to +5 for the day before an eagle at the 17th – the only one of the day on the par-5 that played significantly harder than it had all week – turned things around, and he’d add four more birdies on the front side to finish in a tie for 30th at -4.
Seeking his fourth Alps Tour victory, Cianchetti, who enjoyed a one-stroke lead over Swiss Luca Galliano and fellow Italian Ludovico Addabbo at the start of play, birdied three of the first nine holes, and though Addabbo would kept pace until the turn, Cianchetti kept piling the pressure on and covered the back-nine in two-under as Addabbo faltered.
The eventual five-stroke victory saw Cianchetti climb 23 spots on the Order of Merit and now sits in fourth place, with England’s Jack Floydd moving up to third while Mullarney remained in second.