Italy’s Marco Crespi snatched a home victory in the Mugello Tuscany Open with four birdies in his last six holes to claim his second Challenge Tour title by a single stroke.
The 34 year old thrilled the Italian crowd at UNA Poggio dei Medici GC, near Florence, with his grandstand finish, coming from four strokes behind on the final day with a closing 65 for a 17 under par total of 267, one better than Norway’s Knut Borsheim, who had led from the start, and Portugal’s José-Felipe Lima.
It was Crespi’s second Challenge Tour success and comes hot on the heels of a runner-up finish two weeks ago, lifting him from 26th to sixth on the Challenge Tour Rankings.
“It was perfect to win on home soil,” he said. “I had so much support and everyone really enjoyed it.”
Crespi got off to the ideal start, holing from six feet on the first and then from 20 feet on the third to edge closer to the lead. And as Borsheim slipped up with mistakes on the back nine, Crespi seized the opportunity with birdies on the 13th, 14th, 17th and 18th.
“I knew I had to make birdie on the last two holes to have any chance but thought maybe for second and then Knut made a few mistakes,” said Crespi, whose previous success came in last year’s Telenet Trophy.
Crespi put this run of form down to his long game. “My long game has always been good but the last three weeks has been amazing. I missed a few putts around the turn but the putt on the 13th really got me going. Now I am looking forward to celebrating.”
Borsheim led from the moment he started the week with a 62 and looked to be in control until he double bogeyed the 14th and dropped another shot on the 15th. He was unable to pick up any shots coming in thereafter and finished with a 70 and 16 under par 268.
Lima shot the round of the day, eagling the last for a 64 to post the target that only Crespi could beat, for his fifth top ten of the season to move up to fifth on the Rankings.
Spain’s Adrian Otaegui and England’s Lloyd Kennedy shared fourth place on 13 under par after closing rounds of 67 and 70 respectively.