McGee grinding in Rome; O'Sullivan working on French Riviera

Matteo Delpodio. Picture: Alessandro Bellcini

Challenge Tour — Rosapenna’s Ruaidhri McGee is just a shot outside the top 20 with four holes to play in the third round of the weather-delayed EMC Challenge Open in Rome.

After Alan Dunbar (72-77) missed the six over cut by one stroke and Reeve Whitson (77-75) by four shots, McGee began the day on four over and opened with three straight bogeys to slither to last place.

But he then slowly clawed his way back and while there was a bogey at the par-three second, his 11th, he made birdies at the 14th, 17th and fourth to get back to five over at Olgiata Golf Club, just north of the city

Ranked 21st in the Road to Oman standings with the top 15 winning tour cards, the Derry man needs to make up as much ground as he can with just three events remaining this season, starting with the Volopa Irish Challenge at Mouynt Wolseley next week.

At the top of the leaderboard, Italy’s Matteo Delpodio maintained his commanding lead as darkness fell, preventing the third round from being completed.

At seven under par, he’s five shots clear of three players with 12 holes of his third round remaining.

Heavy rain on the first two days saw the completion of the second round delayed until the third morning, when fog postponed the resumption further.

Turin-born Delpodio was unaffected by the long waiting game, dropping only two shots in the first three days and minimising any errors made as he led by three shots at the halfway point.

England’s Simon P Brown. Picture: Getty Images

European Senior Tour — Denis O’Sullivan shot a one over 73 to lead the Irish challenge as the weather-affected French Riviera Masters was reduced to 36 holes.
As England’s Simon P Brown birdied the last to take the outright lead with a six under par 66, O’Sullivan’s one over round left him tied for 29th and boosted his chances of making the Top 60 money winners who make the season-ending MCB Tour Championship. 
Des Smyth (74) is tied 40th in France with Ronan Raffery (75) tied 50th and Philip Walton (78) tied 67th.
After heavy rain washed out the first day on Friday, the €400,000 tournament was reduced to two rounds at Terre Blanche Hotel Spa Golf Resort.
This is the final Senior Tour event before the season-ending MCB Tour Championship, for which the top 60 players in the Order of Merit qualify.

Walton is 12th, Smyth 35th, O’Sullivan 58th and Rafferty 69th in the money list.

First round scores:

66 S Brown (Eng), 
67 A Franco (Par), 
68 G Emerson (Eng), 
69 G Manson (Aut), G Marks (Eng), 
70 S Luna (Esp), J Gould (Eng), 
71 M Martin (Esp), G Rusnak (USA), P Eales (Eng), D Gilford (Eng), R Sabarros (Fra), C Monasterio (Arg), J Sallat (Fra), R Gibson (Can), A Oldcorn (Sco), A Bossert (Sui), P Broadhurst (Eng), 
72 G Ryall (Eng), A Forsbrand (Swe), M James (Eng), R Drummond (Sco), F Lamare (Fra), M Davis (Eng), P Linhart (Esp), G Joyner (Aus), P Golding (Eng), B Lane (Eng), 
73 D O'Sullivan (Irl), T Thelen (USA), J Carriles (Esp), C Mason (Eng), S Cipa (Eng), J Remesy (Fra), P Fowler (Aus), M Farry (Fra), M Atlevi (Swe), L Zhang (Chn), W Grant (Eng), 
74 B Conser (USA), C Rocca (Ita), J Quiros (Esp), C Williams (RSA), A Sherborne (Eng), D Smyth (Irl), M Mackenzie (Eng), M McLean (Eng), S McAllister (Sco), P Scott (Eng), 
75 D Russell (Eng), S Tinning (Den), D Hospital (Esp), B Cameron (Eng), G Wolstenholme (Eng), T Price (Aus) , R Rafferty (Nir) , M Mouland (Wal)
76 K Tarling (Can), P Wesselingh (Eng), G Cali (Ita), M Piñero (Esp), M Bianco (Ita), J Rivero (Esp), L Carbonetti (Arg) , G Brand Jnr (Sco)77 H Carbonetti (Arg), 
78 M Cunning (USA), P Walton (Irl), 
79 J Harrison (Eng), N Job (Eng), 
80 P Dahlberg (Swe), 
82 G Brand (Eng).