Sport Golf

Friday 15 November 2019

Lowry forced to play catch-up as Dunne must rally to save his Tour status

Shane Lowry. Photo: Bradley Collyer/PA Wire
Shane Lowry. Photo: Bradley Collyer/PA Wire

Brian Keogh

Shane Lowry is playing catch-up and Paul Dunne is battling to save his card after Bernd Wiesberger claimed the Italian Open to soar to the top of the Race to Dubai.

The Austrian took advantage of Jon Rahm's absence and Lowry's first missed cut since the Masters by closing with a bogey-free, six-under 65 to win by a shot from overnight leader Matthew Fitzpatrick on 16-under par.

Fitzpatrick, who had birdied the second, was left to rue a double-bogey seven at the ninth, where he drove out of bounds.

The Englishman birdied three of his last six holes to close with a 69 and claim his fourth runner-up finish since last November.

But he never unduly worried Wiesberger, who birdied the 14th and 16th to secure his third victory since May as Graeme McDowell tied for 15th on seven-under after a 71.

With only the top 117 in the Race to Dubai projected to keep their cards, Dunne finds himself 116th and desperately seeking one more cheque to avoid a trip to Q-School.

The Greystones star (26) missed his last four cuts in a row and 10 of 12 since he tied for fourth behind Wiesberger at the Made in Denmark in May, and now needs a result in the Open de France or the Portugal Masters over the next fortnight to be safe.

Torrential

In contrast, Dunne's former Walker Cup team-mate Cormac Sharvin tied for fifth in the weather-curtailed Stone Irish Challenge at Headfort to secure promotion to the European Tour.

The Ardglass star's sixth top-five and his eighth top-10 of the season moved him from eighth to fifth in the Road to Mallorca Rankings with the top 15 guaranteed cards.

Torrential afternoon rain flooded the course with the leaders on the third and with the course quickly becoming unplayable and light running out, the 54-hole scores were declared final.

He finished three shots behind overnight leaders Emilio Cuartero Blanco of Spain and Sweden's Oscar Lengden, who played-off for the title at the 195-yard 17th - one of the few holes still playable.

On the PGA Tour, Seamus Power opened his 2019-'20 account at the Houston Open when finishing bogey-bogey for a level-par 72 and share of 62nd in the clubhouse on one-over par.

Meanwhile, Galway amateur Ronan Mullarney (24) will tee it up in next month's Second Stage of the European Tour Qualifying School after he tied for ninth in the First Stage qualifier at Bom Sucesso in Portugal on Saturday.

The AIG Irish Close champion (24) closed with a one-under 71 to finish on two-under.

Irish Independent

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