A third consecutive bogey free round from Ronan Mullarney allowed the Galway man to seal a sensational runaway victory at the co-sanctioned 2023 Hauts de France-Pas de Calais Golf Open.
Mullarney shot a final round of five-under-par, 66 with five birdies to finish on sixteen-under par, sealing a nine shot victory over the Italian duo of Mafredi Manica and Enrico Di Nitto.
He turned professional in 2019 and won his first full-field professional event at the Gosser Open earlier this year. This is his first full playing season on the Alps Tour and after today’s win, he became the new Order of Merit leader heading into the 2023 Alps Tour Grand Final.
Mullarney told the media after his win that the final round was the best he has played all week and said despite the big lead, the stress levels were high.
“I’m delighted. It was good, it might not have looked stressful but trust me, it was extremely stressful. Today was by far the best I’ve played. The first 2 rounds, my short game saved me, but today I was very comfortable and I played well”.
The win might have seemed straight forward from the outside but Mullarney admitted that he wasn’t taking anything for granted until the final hole was completed.
“I might have looked very in control but there are so many stories of people throwing away leads that it’s never hugely comfortable.” After his fabulous week, he secured his Challenge Tour card for the 2024 season, which was a big priority for him, “Yeah, securing my card for the Challenge Tour was a big goal of mine. It’s my third year as a pro and my first year on the Alps Tour so definitely things this year have gone a lot smoother than the first few years, so I supposed it’s part of the learning process,” Mullarney said.
Despite the win and securing his Challenge Tour card and the winning prize of €6,400, Mullarney said he is looking for more success when he heads to the Alps Tour Grand Final in Asolo, Italy beginning on the 18th of October
“I’m really competitive, I’m definitely will be heading to Asolo Golf Club trying to grab another trophy. I’ll be playing a pro-am in Spain next week and then will prepare for the Final.”
The Alps Tour Order of Merit rank heading into the 2023 Alps Tour Grand Final has Ireland’s Ronan Mullarney leading with Netherland’s Kiet Van der Weele and France’s Oihan Guillamoundeguy in second and third place respectively. England’s Jack Floydd and Netherland’s Lars Keunen round out the top five.
It was also a good day for Paul McBride who shot a final round of two under par to finish on a two-under-par total, in a tie for 12th place.
In the LET Access Series event, Slovenia’s Katja Pogacar and Lejan Lewthwaite from South Africa battled it out in a three-hole sudden-death playoff after they both finished on 11-under-par on. After playing the 18th hole three times, Lejan Lewthwaite prevailed to take home the trophy.