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McGowan makes history at Royal Pines

McGowan makes history at Royal Pines

Ross McGowan fired a stunning 63 to break the course record at RACV Royal Pines Resort on the final day of the Australian PGA Championship.

Ross McGowan

The Englishman made it into the field this week by virtue of finishing 44th on last season's Challenge Tour Rankings and made the cut by a single stroke, going out on his own on Saturday morning to shoot a 70.

His closing nine-under-par 63 represented a brilliant turnaround for the week and he will now be hopeful it can start a turnaround in his career after a long spell in the doldrums.

The 36 year old won the Madrid Masters in 2009 en route to finishing 12th on the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex and was in serious contention to make the European Team for the 2010 Ryder Cup.

A combination of injury and a loss of form led to him losing his card in 2011 and despite graduating from the Qualifying School in 2015 and 2017, he has not managed to keep his place on the European Tour since.

He moved his focus to the Challenge Tour after a slow start to the 2018 season and, after missing out at Qualifying School in November, is now looking to kick on in 2019.

"This year I've made a lot of cuts even on the European Tour," he said. "Got my card at the beginning of the year but felt I should go back to the Challenge Tour because I put more money up there.

"I've just been making lots of cuts but not really kicking on and this was hopefully a step in the right direction."

McGowan birdied the third, fourth, fifth and eighth to turn in 32 and then made four birdies in a row from the tenth to get into double-figures. Another gain came on the 15th and he parred his way home to earn his place in the history books.

"This place is brutal," he said. "Really happy to shoot nine under and didn't really see a score like that out there but when I hit a few irons close and made the putts, it made life a little easier.

"I drove the ball brilliantly the last two days and that was one thing that was struggling a little bit the first couple of days, I started getting my yardage control a bit better as well."

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