Frenchman Anthony Snobeck won the Mugello Tuscany Open by one shot after carding a flawless four under par 67 in the final round on a wet and windy day at Poggio dei Medici Golf Club in Florence.
The 28 year old withstood the pressure of 19 year old Englishman Chris Lloyd, who mounted a valiant late charge with a 67 to finish second, and Swede Leif Westerberg, who posted a fine five under par 66. Iceland’s Birgir Hafthorsson shot a 68 to finish tied third with Westerberg.
Snobeck had birdies at the fourth, sixth, tenth and 15th to reach 12 under overall, and it is the second time he has won in Italy, his only other Challenge Tour victory coming at the Tessali-Metaponto Open di Puglia e Basilicata in 2006.
“I am very happy,” he said. “It was a long day and the weather was very bad, but I played well again so it was perfect. I had no bogeys in the last two rounds which I am extremely pleased about.
“My long game was good so I didn’t miss a lot of fairways, and everything else went well too. Apart from a double bogey on the first day it has almost been the perfect tournament.
“I love this country, I love the food, the weather, the people – everything. It is a nice place to win.”
Lloyd birdied the 17th and 18th to move to within one shot of Snobeck, but the Frenchman only had to par the last to win, and he duly delivered.
Lloyd said: “I’m a little bit disappointed because I played well today. To shoot four under in those conditions I was very happy with, so I can’t be too down. It’s the first two rounds I should be unhappy about – I should have made more of my opportunities.
“The game’s there, I just need to hole a few more putts. I’m playing well and I’m high on confidence, and I’ve had two top tens in the last two weeks. It’s still only my third or fourth event on the Challenge Tour so I’m very pleased and taking it all in my stride.
“I holed a 20ft putt on the 17th for birdie and another nice one from the front of the green on the last but I sort of knew it wouldn’t be enough. Fair play to Anthony. I’ve shot four under and he’s done the same so I haven’t lost the tournament – I’ve chased him down and he’s just pipped me.”
Westerberg birdied the first three holes to move into a share of the lead, but then bogeyed the fifth and seventh. He had three more birdies on the back nine but it proved insufficient to catch Snobeck.
He said: “It’s always nice to have a good start, but I felt a little iffy with my game and I made two bogeys after that. Then I turned it around a bit on the back nine and I had an eagle chance at the 18th which I knew I had to make to have any chance of winning.
“I had a few lucky breaks today and I managed to hit good shots when the weather got nasty. To be honest I will take second place. I’ve been struggling for a few years now but I definitely feel like I’m coming back and I’ll take a second place.”