Words by BGB Editorial
Ross McGowan rolled in a birdie putt at the last to break a winless streak stretching back over 11 years on the European Tour and win the Italian Open following a dramatic final day at the Chervò Golf Club.
“I didn’t really foresee this, my form hasn’t been great. But I felt like I was playing better, definitely around the greens.“Ross McGowan
The Englishman had started the day with a three shot cushion alongside countryman Laurie Canter but struggled to find consistency off the tee for much of the day.
It took a piece of magic at the 16th – a spectacular hole-out from the green-side bunker for birdie – to fire the 38-year-old into outright lead for the first time on Sunday. A lead he would not relinquish.
“I can’t believe it,” said a delighted McGowen after signing for a 71 and a 20-under par total of 268. “I hit the ball terrible today but luckily the putter kept me in it again.
“The tee shot on 16 was a shocker, the second shot wasn’t much better and then I holed the bunker shot so I think that was the one that gave me a bit of belief. Then to roll that putt in there (on the 18th) was magical.
“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 think I’m going to have to go now and have a nice big glass of red wine and think about what’s next.”
Canter struggled to get going on Sunday, failing to break par on the outward nine for the first time of the week. Having restored an advantage with birdies at 10 and 11, a poor chip on 15th opened the door for McGowan.
With a putt to take the event into extra-time failing to drop, Canter had to be content with a runners-up finish alongside Belgium Nicolas Colsaerts, who closed out with a fine 68.