The Englishman birdied the 72nd hole to win the Italian Open by a single stroke


Ross McGowan Wins First European Tour Title In 11 Years

Ross McGowan sealed an emotional victory at the Italian Open, his first win in 11 years, as the Englishman holed a 20-foot putt at the last to overcome his playing partner Laurie Canter after a thrilling final day battle at Chervo Golf Club.

The 38-year-old holed a plethora of long-range putts throughout the week in Brescia and once again, he had his putter to thank on the final day. His chance looked to have gone at the long par three 14th hole, where he found the water with his tee shot to leave him one over par for the day.

But a superb up-and-down from the drop zone kept him in the mix and birdies at the 16th, where he holed out from a greenside bunker, and 18th earned him a one under 71 and a 20 under par winning total – his first European Tour title since the 2009 Madrid Masters.

His playing partner Canter had the chance to force a playoff with a birdie putt of his own just after McGowan’s, but the 30-year-old was left to rue missing out on his chance of a maiden title as he signed for a 72 to finish one back.

Related: Ross McGowan What’s in the bag?

Former Ryder Cup star Nicolas Colsaerts joined Canter in a share of second spot after the Belgian’s birdie at the par five closing hole – his fifth of the day having started the day with a bogey – earned him a four under 68, a 19 under total and his best finish of the season.

McGowan moves from 560th in the world up to 242nd.

“My head is going full blast at the moment. Obviously I’m very happy, not happy with the way I played particularly but I got the ball in the hole which in the past has been my nemesis, so it was nice to be able to do that this week.,” McGowan said.

“When I hit the bunker shot on 16, that came exactly how I saw it and it obviously went in and the putter has been good all week, so I felt like if I put it to six or eight foot at 18 I had a good chance of making birdie.

“To be honest, I wasn’t thinking about anything over that putt. I just looked at the hole, it was left edge, and obviously the rest is history.

“Neither of us played great, Laurie struggled a little with the putter but was much better tee-to-green than I was. But really I felt like the course didn’t suit me that much, it was quite long and I was hitting four or five iron into most of the par fours – even yesterday I hit five wood three or four times. Quite a few of the longer hitters were hitting six, seven or eight irons in so it was really a good week to make a lot of putts.

“I didn’t really foresee this, my form hasn’t been great. But I felt like I was playing better, definitely around the greens. I’m not sure I was expecting to be quite as bad as it was today but at the same time it’s moving forward now.

“I want to say thank you to Callaway for all their support over the last ten years or so. I think I’m going to have to go now and have a nice big glass of red wine and think about what’s next.”

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