Ross McGowan wins Madrid Masters

Ross McGowan of England held on to win his first European Tour title in the Madrid Masters at the Centro Nacional de Golf by three shots from Finland’s Mikko Ilonen.

Ross McGowan

Ross McGowan of England held on to win his first European Tour title in the Madrid Masters at the Centro Nacional de Golf by three shots from Finland's Mikko Ilonen.

McGowan led by seven strokes going into the final day after a scintillating third round of 60 and the Englishman ground out a closing 71 to keep a charging Ilonen at bay.

It was the 27-year-old from Surrey's first European Tour victory and it lifted him into the top-25 on the inaugural Race to Dubai rankings.

"I came here this week in form and it's lovely to come away with the trophy," McGowan said. "It means a lot to win - that's another goal out of the way and hopefully from here I can progress and move on to bigger things."

Ilonen began the week with a disappointing 74 but struck back with consecutive rounds of 63 on Friday and Saturday. He proved to be McGowan's closest challenger as he fired a closing 66 to narrow the gap at the top to just three strokes.

It was an important result for the Finn as his second place cheque for €166,660 lifted him well into the top 115 on the money list and effectively secured his playing rights for 2010.

Scotland's David Drysdale finished alone in third place with Gareth Maybin, Gary Murphy and Alexander Noren tied for fourth.

Madrid Masters Centro Nacional de Golf, Madrid, Spain Oct 8-11, purse €1,500,000, par 72

1    Ross McGowan (Eng)    66    66    60    71    263    €250,000 2    Mikko Ilonen (Fin)    74    63    63    66    266    €166,660 3    David Drysdale (Sco)    66    65    69    67    267    €93,900 T4    Gareth Maybin (NIR)    70    68    68    64    270    €63,700 T4    Gary Murphy (Ire)    67    65    70    68    270    €63,700 T4    Alexander Noren (Swe)    71    67    67    65    270    €63,700     T7    Ignacio Garrido (Esp)    74    63    67    67    271    €38,700 T7    Anthony Wall (Eng)    66    67    70    68    271    €38,700 T7    Danny Willett (Eng)    66    67    66    72    271    €38,700

Player scores listed in bold signifies Titleist ball usage only

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?