Galway’s Ronan Mullarney still on track to secure Challenge Tour card in Italy

Ralph Casey

Ronan Mullarney (Photo Alps Tour Golf/ Federico Capretti)

Irish challengers are sitting mid-division at the Alps Tour’s latest stop in Italy, the Abruzzo Alps Open and they include ex-Irish international Ronan Mullarney on one under, six off the pace, which still puts him in pole position to win one of the five automatic tour cards for the top ranked play next season’s Challenge Tour.

Mullarney shot a fantastic five birdies, but unfortunately also had four bogeys, which hit his scorecard hard but he’s still in second place on the Order of Merit with just a couple of weeks to go.

Above him in the tourney this week is Michael Young, who is poised at two under after a 68 on the par 70.


On the same score as Mullarney is our other Irish contender in Italy this week, Paul McBride.

The round 1 leaders are Spain’s Victor Garcia Broto and France’s Oihan Guillamoundeguy who share the lead on 5 under par. There is a 7-way tie for 3rd place only 1 stroke back that includes: Estonia’s Sander Aadusaar, Spain’s Joel Moscatel and Quim Vidal, France’s Augustin Hole and Franck Medale, Netherland’s Davey Porsius and Italy’s Ludovico Addabbo.

Spain’s Victor Garcia Broto said: “It went pretty well, overall I’m very happy with my game. It was a consistent round, being in play most of the time, and I was able to make some good putts to post a good first round. It definitely wasn’t the best of starts, but some of the best rounds start with a bogey on the first, it’s just another hole and you have keep playing with the same intensity and try to turn it around.”

Garcia Broto added: “It was a bit windy and it was tricky to judge where the wind was coming from. I felt like it switched directions constantly and it made it difficult to judge some of the shots. But pretty happy with how I have handled it.” Looking ahead to what a win would mean to him, he said, “It would mean a lot. Not just for winning, which is always very gratifying, also because it would put me in a position where I could fight for the Challenge Tour card at the end of the season and that is the main goal. I will continue doing my work on and off the course, trying to shoot as low as possible in the remaining rounds and hopefully that will give me a chance of winning the tournament on Saturday.”

Oihan Guillamoundeguy from France is just eighteen years old.

He said: “today was a great round, I played really good. It wasn’t easy, it was windy so it was hard to hit some greens and judge where the wind was coming from. I would say that my putting was very good today. I changed putter recently and I feel good with it so I will definitely stick to this new putter now.” When asked about chasing his first win as a professional he added, “it would definitely be great. I’ve been playing well and now need to be able to put 3 good rounds together.”


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