Rosapenna’s Ruaidhri McGee was denied his first Challenge Tour victory by a shot in just his second start back after 21 months off.
The Derry man (31) moved to Florida during the Covid-19 pandemic and stayed sharp enough to secure his best Challenge Tour finish since 2015 and €27,500.
He went into the final round of the Blot Open de Bretagne tied for the lead with England’s Alfie Plant at Golf Blue Green de Pléneuf Val André. They were tied through 10 holes before McGee eagled the par-five 11th from 15 feet to go in front.
However, he bogeyed the 16th and watched Plant birdie the 17th to card a 68 to his 69 and win by a shot on 11-under and claim his second Challenge Tour win. Ballymena’s Dermot McElroy tied for 11th on three-under after a closing 70.
Plant, now a two-time Challenge Tour winner, was delighted to add the Blot Open de Bretagne to his Hopps Open de Provence victory last season and believes playing in France brings out the best in his ability.
“It feels amazing because it’s another dream come true,” he said. “I feel at home here in France because it’s not too far away, the courses are quite similar and it’s a great country to be in.
Jordanstown’s Stephanie Meadow clinched just her second top 10 finish in a major, with a two-over final round in the KPMG Women’s PGA.
She came home in 10th spot at Congressional Country Club in Maryland after recovering for a horrible start to her final round.
She dropped shots at the first, third and seventh, but a fourth bogey on the 11th was sandwiched by two birdies as she kept in touch with the leaders.
The title went to South Korean In Gee Chun who carded a three-over 75 to scrape to victory on five-under.
Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy finished with a 3-under 67 in his final round at the Travelers Championship at the TPC River Highlands in Connecticut.
After his blistering start at the event on Thursday where he posted a 62, disappointing returns on days two and three always meant he was never going to be in the running for the title.
Things started badly in his final round as he shipped two more shots at the fourth and fifth but he finished brightly, collecting five birdies to finish on nine-under for the tournament, one ahead of Seamus Power.
Elsewhere China’s Haotong Li dramatically holed a 40-footer on the first play-off hole to defeat Belgium’s Thomas Pieters in the BMW International Open.
Three clear overnight and winless since 2018, Li made clutch birdies at the 16th and 17th, but lipped out from 11 feet on the par-five last for victory.
His 70 left him tied on 22-under with Pieters, who shot 67, before he followed a thinned chip with that monster birdie putt on their return to the 18th.
“Ten months ago, I thought about quitting golf,” an emotional Li said after the Belgian missed from 11 feet to extend the play-off.
“I don’t have the words to describe it now,” Li, who admitted he was ready to quit after slipping to 542nd in the world last year, said.
“As soon as I chipped the ball I thought ‘I just gave another chance away. I just can’t believe it can happen to me again’.
“Ten months ago I literally decided to quit but I’m somehow where I am now. Golf is hard. I had no idea I could win this play-off.”
Royal Dublin’s Niall Kearney finished tied 15th on 13-under after a 69 to win €26,533.