When the dust has settled, Kilkenny’s Luke Donnelly can put his latest Europro Tour experience in the learning curve section of his notebook after a disappointing conclusion to an overall positive week in Yorkshire.
At just 21, the Mount Juliet professional found himself in a share of 12th spot with a round to go across the pond, before his dreams endured a rude awakening in a final round 76.
That fell some way short of his 68/69 start with Donnelly dropping into a share of 39th position after 36-holes that promised so much to that point. Still, it’s the losses that carry the most potential for improvement, something that a breeze of a week could never replicate, and as the only Irishman to feature in today’s final round, Donnelly should hold is head high as a 21-year-old with a bright future ahead of him in professional golf.
At the top, Craig Ross carded rounds of 68, 64, and 68 to win by three shots at Moor Allerton Golf Club, Yorkshire.
Ross (Kirkhill Golf Club) started the day as co-leader on 10-under par with rookie Josh Hilleard, but it took until the seventh hole before Ross could put some distance between him and his playing partner.
Friday the 13this unlucky for some and early in the round it looked to have claimed Ross as one of its victims; a bogey on the 3rdbefore a big eagle miss on the seventh could have led to disaster for the Scotsman but he put any notion of that to bed with a superb run at the turn collecting three birdies in four holes.
“It feels amazing; I’m so thankful that I won today.”: said Ross who now has a win to his name as a professional on the EuroPro Tour, adding to his amateur victory back in 2014 at Mar Hall Golf Club.
He added: “I felt like I had the tournament in my control for the most part, I was hitting it really well and just kept plugging away at my own game as I knew the scoring opportunities would appear.
“It helped a lot having Hilleard out there as my playing partner, we’ve known each other for a long time through the amateur ranks so it was good that we were able to spur each other on at times.
“To get a professional win so quickly into my career will help my confidence and game improve; the £10,000 cheque is a nice little bonus too.”
The win sees Ross rocket up the Order of Merit to third in the overall standings, with the top five spots at the end of the season earning Challenge Tour cards for the 2019 season.
Haydn McCullen (Delamere Forest) and Daniel Gavins (Howley Hall Golf Club) both enjoyed their best finishes on Tour, sharing second place with overall scores of 10-under par, with McCullen carding the joint lowest round of the day (66).
As well as receiving £10,000, Ross also received a Motocaddy S1 Electric Trolley, with features including a soft-touch ergonomic handle; low profile, quick-release wheels, a streamlined battery tray and super-fast QUIKFOLD assembly mechanism.
Full leaderboard can be found HERE and highlights of the Clipper Logistics Championship will air on Sky Sports Golf on 24thJuly.
The PGA EuroPro Tour continues at Wychwood Park Golf Club with the Ablrate.com Championship, 18-20 July.