Keeping Score

Ross McGowan grabs 'magical' Italian Open title

Englishman birdies 2 of final 3 holes to edge Laurie Canter and Nicolas Colsaerts for his 1st European Tour victory since 2009

11 and 15: Number of years and days between victories on the European Tour for Ross McGowan, who won the Italian Open on Sunday at Chervo Golf Club in Brescia, Italy. McGowan, 38, of England, birdied two of his last three holes, including a 20-foot putt on the par-5 closing hole, to salvage a rocky round and steal a one-stroke victory. “I can't believe it,” he said. “I hit the ball terrible today, but luckily the putter kept me in it again.” And there was a time, notably at the par-4 16th where he sat 2 in a greenside bunker, when he didn’t even need the putter. “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.” It was the second victory of his career and his first since the 2009 Madrid Masters. Despite three bogeys and a double bogey in the final round, McGowan shot 1-under 71 for a 20-under 268 total to edge playing competitor and countryman Laurie Canter, the 54-hole leader, and Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts. “I didn’t really foresee this,” said McGowan, who was No. 560 in the Official World Golf Ranking. “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.” (scores).

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