England’s Ross McGowan kept his cool to win the Italian Open by a single stroke on Sunday to clinch his second European Tour title — 11 years after his maiden win in Madrid.
McGowan started the day tied for the lead along with compatriot Laurie Canter, three shots clear and despite a topsy-turvy final round, a one-under-par 71 was enough to keep Canter and Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts at bay.
The 38-year-old Englishman did not start well, playing the front nine over par for the first time at the tournament despite an eagle on the sixth.
However, he took the outright lead when he holed a perfect bunker shot at the 16th for a birdie and finished the tournament at 20-under-par.
“I can’t believe it,” McGowan said. “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,” he added. “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.”
Germany’s Sebastian Heisele finished fourth, two shots behind, while five players were tied for fifth a further stroke behind.
Earlier, Denmark’s Joachim Hansen was forced to withdraw before the final round after his caddie Adam Drummond tested positive for the coronavirus.
Hansen tested negative and did not exhibit any symptoms but was withdrawn as a precaution and asked to self-isolate.