McGowan hangs on for first win in Madrid|
Madrid, Spain (Sports Network) - Ross McGowan managed a one-under 71 Sunday to
collect his first European Tour win at the Madrid Masters.
McGowan completed the victory at 25-under-par 263. He finished three shots
clear of the field, but his lead, which started at seven strokes after a
third-round 60, dipped as low as two shots during the final round.
"I came here this week in form and it's lovely to come away with the trophy,"
McGowan said. "It means a lot to win -- that's another goal out of the way and
hopefully from here I can progress and move on to bigger things."
Mikko Ilonen finished alone in second at minus-22 after firing a six-under 66
on Sunday. David Drysdale ended one shot further back at 21-under 267 after a
McGowan stumbled to a bogey on the first and he dropped another stroke on the
fourth to slip to 22-under, where he was two clear of Ilonen.
The 27-year-old McGowan fought back with birdies on the fifth and sixth to get
back to 24-under at Centro Nacional.
McGowan birdied the ninth to push his lead back to six strokes. Ilonen made a
run early on the back nine and, coupled with McGowan's three-putt bogey on the
11th, McGowan's lead dipped to two after he parred the 14th.
The Englishman sank a 10-footer for birdie on the 15th to get back to 25-
under and move his lead back to three. McGowan got up and down for par on 16
and 17 before a two-putting for par at the last.
McGowan put the win in jeopardy at the last, though. He knocked his second
shot to the par five over the green and his ball stopped on wood pilings
bordering a pond left of the putting surface. He pitched onto the green and
two-putted from 25 feet to close out the victory.
"Once I saw where some of the pins were, it was a lot trickier and my game-
plan was to hit as many greens as I could," stated McGowan.
Ilonen, playing in the group ahead of McGowan, birdied the first two holes and
got to 19-under with a birdie on the fifth. Around the turn, birdies on 10, 12
and 15 got Ilonen within two of the lead.
However, Ilonen parred the final three holes, like McGowan, to finish at 22-
under. Despite the loss, Ilonen soared from 159th well inside the top 115 on
the Order of Merit, which helps him keep his tour card for next season.
Gareth Maybin fired an eight-under 64 to finish at 18-under-par 270. He was
joined in fourth place by Gary Murphy (68) and Alexander Noren (65). Ignacio
Garrido (67), Anthony Wall (68) and Danny Willett (72) ended one stroke
further back at minus-17.
Charl Schwartzel, the 2008 winner, closed with a five-under 67 to share 23rd
with eight other players at 13-under 275.
10/11 13:11:08 ET