So close for O’Rourke as he takes second after playoff

Bernie McGuire

Ireland’s Conor O’Rourke came close to his first win as a professional at the Alps de Las Castillas event at the Leon Golf Club.

O’Rourke ended the tournament in a three-way tie for first place and the event went to a playoff which was won by Tour veteran Thomas Elissalde from France who got to the playoff after a closing round of 63, which included an eagle and seven birdies,  added to his opening rounds of 70, 69 put him on 202 (-14) to tie with O’Rourke and and Italy’s Guido Migliozzi and take home a cheque for €3900.

Placed third heading into the final day it was all to play for for O’Rourke, but unfortunately his final round 68 wasn’t enough to bag the win in regulation play as Ellisade blazed his way through the field having been first to tee off almost over two hours before O’Rourke.  Ellisade then had a long wait to see if his 63 would be good enough for the victory.

“I thought the other players would have made more birdies so I was not expecting a playoff,” he said. ” I went to practice for 40 minutes just to practice my golf and to be ready for the playoff.”

“I’ve won one Alps Tour tournament each year since turning pro, it’s just great to win five times on the Alps Tour. I just want to share this victory with my friends and family and be ready for next week’s event,” Elissalde concluded.

Markus Habeler (AUT), who had been leading the tournament since round 1, made par in the final round to finish in 4th place.

O’Rourke moved up to ninth on the Order of Merit, the Alps Tour official season ranking, with the top 5 also remaining unchanged after this week’s tournament. Santiago Tarrio (ESP) is still the leader while Louis Cohen Boyer (FRA), Alexandre Daydou (FRA), Marcus Mohr (ENG) and David Borda (ESP) complete the top 5 of the ranking. At the end of the season, the top 5 of the Order of Merit qualifies directly to play on the Challenge Tour.

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