Alan Murray braved the rain at Collingtree Park to win the Ivobank UK Masters by one stroke.
The Irishman shot 11 under for the tournament with a final round of five under in miserable weather in Northampton. The Team Ireland/Greystones GC man held his nerve down the back nine, with pars on the final four holes securing the title after picking up six birdies on the day.
He had a nervous wait as players in two of the three groups after him still had a shout of the title. Daniel Gaunt was first to have a go but bogeyed the last to finish eight under for the tournament. Penultimate pairing Lloyd Kennedy and Tom Haylock had solid rounds and went down 18 nine under – Kennedy birdied it to take second at ten under, but Murray followed his runners-up spot at The Shire London last week with his first win on the Tour and collected the trophy from Collingtree’s co-owner Eddie Jordan, the founder and former owner of the Jordan Formula One team.
“I came close last week and I got a taste for it, so it feels good to get the win,” said Murray, who carded 205 for his three rounds (68, 70 and 67). “I didn’t strike the ball well today to be honest and I wasn’t really in control, but my short game was good and I never got into any real trouble.”
The man from Bray scoops £10,000 for his win and heads into next week’s event at Faithlegg in Waterford in good spirit – and hoping to carry on a great start to the Tour for the Irish players.
“All the Irish lads want to do well in Faithlegg, I’m sure there will be lots of friends and family there,” said the 30 year-old. “We’ve had a good start to the year and hopefully we can keep on taking the sterling out of England!”
Overnight leaders Michael Hempstock and Daniel Brooks had disappointing rounds, the former shooting two over for the day to finish seven under, the latter shooting an eight over 80 to finish one under.
Dale Marmion shot 69 to finish joint third with Haylock and Gaunt, with Lee Gauthier joining the winner Murray in shooting five under for the final round and finishing on seven under with Hempstock. Murray’s playing partner Noel Fox, who led early in the tournament, finished six under along with James Ruebotham.
The players head to Ireland next week to tackle Faithlegg in Waterford for the fourth event on the Ivobank PGA EuroPro Tour.
Date Posted: 16/05/08, 4.45pm