Two bogeys in his last three holes cost Simon Thornton a place in next week's Challenge Tour Grand Final.

Third win of the season for MolinariThe former Royal County Down assistant bogeyed the 16th and 18th at Olgiata to finish tied for sixth behind winner Edoardo Molinari in the Italian Federation Cup.

As a result he finished up €3,658 short of the top 45 in the rankings who qualified for the season ending championship in southern Italy.

Ranked 64th in the money list starting the week, Thornton closed with a one under par 71 to share sixth place with Benjamin Herbert of France and earn €5,400. 

That only moved him up to 51st and it turned out that he would have needed a cheque for more than €9,000 (or third place) to make the Grand Final.

Colm Moriarty (73) finished tied 31st and only moved up to 52nd in the rankings while Jonny Caldwell's 69 saw him share 12th and claw his was to 111th in the money list .

Micahel McGeady finished joint last in a share of 60th after a closing 69 and like Caldwell, Moriarty and Thornton, he will be looking for better luck in the European Tour Qualifying School.

There will be no visit to the school for Molinari, who captured his third Challenge Tour title of the season iwith a 30ft birdie putt on the 72nd hole to maintain his 100 per cent record on home soil this year.

Trailing overnight leader Nicolas Colsaerts by one stroke with one hole to play, Molinari knew he needed something special to delight the home crowds at Olgiata GC in Rome, Italy.

Hope seemed to be fading when he could only find the left edge of the green with his approach, but Molinari rose to the occasion with a perfectly-weighted putt which snaked into the hole for a flawless round of 66 and a 21 under par total.

Behind him, Colsaerts had found the fairway but was impeded by overhanging branches for his second shot, which fell short of the green to leave him a testing chip.

The Belgian failed to get up the up and down he needed to force a play-off and so the title went to Molinari, whose €24,000 winner’s cheque took his season’s earnings to an incredible €231,879.

The 28 year old from Turin will now head to the season-ending Apulia San Domenico intent on capturing his fourth title of the campaign and his third on home soil, having already triumphed at the Piemonte Open and Kazakhstan Open earlier in the year.

Molinari, who recently treated himself to a new Audi sports car as a reward for his record-breaking season, said: “Finally I managed to win a tournament in the last couple of holes, which makes up for Denmark and Colombia, where I lost on the last day. It was a fantastic moment when that putt dropped on the last hole.

"I’d had that exact same putt in the practice round, so I knew the pace and how it would break.  I hit it on the right line, and once it rolled down the small tier I knew it had a great chance."

A round of 71 saw Welshman Rhys Davies finish third on 16 under par to climb to sixth place in the Rankings, but perhaps the most significant move was made by his compatriot Stuart Manley, who climbed from 48th to 36th to secure a berth in the season finale.

In contrast to the Welshman’s joy, Norwegian Jan-Are Larsen could only despair after his missed cut meant he fell two places to 47th position.

England’s Adam Gee took the 45th and final place, as he finished just €1,574 ahead of unlucky “loser” Carl Suneson of Spain.    

Wales’ Llewellyn Matthews also had reasons to celebrate after he became the second Challenge Tour player this season to record an albatross, as he holed his second shot on the fifth hole.