Golf Clément Ader’s Tommy O’Driscoll blasted a closing 64 to make a three-way playoff before going down in sudden death on the Gecko Pro Tour at Paraíso Golf Club in Estepona.
The 20-year old former Ulster Boys champion, a regular on the Alps Tour, followed an early bogey with eight birdies to finish on 10 under par 132 alongside eventual winner Jordi García del Moral of Spain and Germany’s Finn Fleer. Scores
García del Moral triumphed with a par on the third extra hole and dedicated the win to his grandmother Rosa, who passed away recently.
The Spaniard, who was playing for the first time after the disappointment of missing out at Stage Two of the European Tour Q-School last year, was upset that the snow storms that affected the south east coast last week had prevented him from attending her funeral in Castellón.
“Don’t worry about it,” García del Moral’s mother told him. “These things happen. You play the tournament and dedicate it to your grandmother.”
“Sincerely, the win fell into my lap a little bit,” García del Moral confessed. “It’s true, I could have won on the last hole. I had a six footer for birdie that horseshoed out. Then I had a 12 footer, downhill on the first playoff hole that looked in but didn’t drop.
“On the second extra hole, Fleer missed a 12 footer to win and on the third I took advantage of a couple of mistakes by my rivals.
“O’Driscoll got into trouble and Fleer three putted. He had a really fast putt from 50 centimetres for par (18 inches) and missed."
Winner of the Gecko Tour’s Order of Merit two years ago, García del Moral confessed that missing out at the Second Stage of Q-School was a blow.
“I missed out because of my only bad round of the year at El Saler," he said. "It was tough. I was debating whether or not to keep going. This win has given me the impetus to continue and shows I’m doing the right things.
“It’s hard to win anywhere. I had to shoot 10 under to get into a playoff. The level is very high everywhere."
Despite the disappointment of the playoff, O'Driscoll will be happy to have made €775 and boosted his confidence with that closing 64.
Simon Ward finished tied 24th on four under after a pair of 69s with Ballymena's Dermot McElroy (70-69) a shot further back.
The Gecko Tour moves on to the New Course at Atalaya this Thursday and Friday.
(Thanks to The Gecko Pro Tour for the details and quotes)
McNamara cut in Egypt
EPD Tour — Headfort’s Rory McNamara dropped four shots in his last five holes to miss the cut in the Red Sea Ain Sokhna Classic in Egypt.
He followed an opening 69 with a 75 as he bogeyed his 14th and 15th holes and then ran up a double bogey six at the last to miss the two under par cut by two strokes.
McNamara was fourth in his first start of the season in Egypt last week.