Laporta wins as Irish hopes of Challenge Tour victory rallied in Germany with McElroy strong finish

Ralph Casey

Francesco Laporta (Image: Getty Images)

Dermot McElroy came rushing through the field with a closing 67 early on Sunday as the only Irishman to make the cut at the Challenge Tour in Germany this weekend put in a valiant attempt to move up the leaderboard and finished in joint 20th.

All eyes are on the Irish Tour players now along with the qualifiers this week with the Tour coming to home soil at Headfort Golf Club from Thursday 27th to Sunday 30th of July.  You can register for FREE tickets to the event HERE.

At the head of proceedings at the Big Green Egg German Challenge powered by VcG Francesco Laporta returned to the winner’s circle for a third time on the European Challenge Tour with a hard-fought victory.


The Italian, who won the Hainan Open and the Challenge Tour Grand Final in 2019, battled through testing conditions at Wittelsbacher Golfclub to secure a one stroke win where his level par final round of 72 saw him sign for a seven under par total, one clear of English duo Gary Boyd and Ashley Chesters, German Dominic Foos and Jiří Zuska from the Czech Republic.

The 32-year-old becomes the fifth Italian winner on the Road to Mallorca this season, climbing to 19th in the Rankings and taking a step closer to achieving the goal he set himself at the beginning of the year.  

Speaking after his victory, he said: “I didn’t expect to win this week after the last couple of events but we did it.

“It’s been four years without a win, and I was struggling the last couple of years.

“Even at the beginning of this year I wasn’t playing my best golf, but the last few weeks I’ve changed a couple of things with my swing and it’s worked out.

“I want to get back to the DP World Tour as soon as possible. That’s what me and my coach have discussed and this result is definitely going to help me. My main goal is to make sure I get back there.

“I’ve been working really hard every day and winning is one of those things you’re always aiming for.”

Laporta started the day one shot off the lead and, after turning in level par, found himself tied at the top alongside overnight leader Boyd.

Chesters then joined Laporta and Boyd on seven under par with three holes to play, but it was the Italian who came out on top, parring his last three holes to secure the win, and he was delighted with how his game held up in challenging conditions all week.

He added: “I was playing well today, and I just tried to play my game and play my best.

“My tee shots and my putting were both pretty good this week.

“I was looking at the stats yesterday and I gained seven shots in the first three rounds on the greens. That’s what you have to do on this course. It’s very tight and sometimes you can hit good shots and not have a path to the green. I tried not to force it too much, and my short game was amazing.”

Roope Kakko from Finland recorded his best result of the season to finish solo sixth on five under par, with Scotsman Daniel Young one shot further back on four under par.

Three players shared eighth on three under par including Frenchman Frederic Lacroix, Finn Lauri Ruuska and South African Brandon Stone.

The top five in the Road to Mallorca Rankings remain the same, with Casey Jarvis holding on to his place as Number One. Stone moves up two places to seventh, with Chesters climbing 13 spots to 11th thanks to his second place finish.

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