Cormac Sharvin. Photo by Golffile
Cormac Sharvin shot a two-over par 73 in the first days play in the Challenge Tour Grand Final at Club de Golf Alcanada, Port d'Alcúdia, Mallorca, Spain. It was a poor front nine consisting of four bogies that saw the Ardglass professional turn in 40 but a strong finish with birdies on 17 and 18 left him tied for fifteenth place.
Francesco Laporta began the Challenge Tour Grand Final occupying the second position on the Road to Mallorca Rankings but is now projected to become Challenge Tour Number One after taking the first-round lead.
The Italian carded five birdies against only two bogeys to sign for a three-under par 68, which was one shot better than his nearest competitors on the difficult Club de Golf Alcanada layout.
The strong start continues an impressive run of form for the 29-year-old, who recently finished as the low-Italian at the European Tour’s Italian Open, a Rolex Series event, before winning the Hainan Open the following week.
Laporta holds a one-stroke advantage over home-favourite Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez and Welshman Rhys Enoch, who each carded rounds of two under par 70.
Francesco Laporta. Photo by Golffile
Now that the Challenge Tour Grand Final is underway, the projected Road to Mallorca Rankings come into focus, with the leading 15 players on the season-long points race earning European Tour cards at the end of the week.
While Garcia Rodriguez began the tournament positioned 13th on the Rankings, Enoch teed it up outside of the coveted cut off in 25th, but currently sitting in a two-way tie for second place, he is now projected to climb inside the magic number and finish the year in 13th.
Oliver Farr, who came into the Grand Final holding the 15th and final European Tour card, overcame a triple bogey and a double-bogey to finish his round in a tie for 11th place on one over par, which is currently enough for the Welshman to hold onto the final graduation spot.
The second round of the Challenge Tour Grand Final begins tomorrow at 8:30am local time, with Laporta, Garcia Rodriguez and Enoch set to go at 11:05am.
68 F Laporta (Ita) ,
69 S Garcia Rodriguez (Esp) , R Enoch (Wal) ,
70 D Whitnell (Eng) , M Jordan (Eng) , M Simonsen (Den) , J Senior (Eng) ,
71 R Sciot-Siegrist (Fra) , S Heisele (Ger) , E Ferguson (Sco) ,
72 A Meronk (Pol) , J Sjöholm (Swe) , O Farr (Wal) , W Besseling (Ned) ,
73 D Huizing (Ned) , O Lengden (Swe) , C Syme (Sco) , C Hill (Sco) , M Schneider (Ger) , M Baldwin (Eng) , C Sharvin (Nir) , B Poke (Den) ,
74 B Easton (RSA) , N Von Dellingshausen (Ger) , M Fenasse (Fra) , A Rozner (Fra) , J Geary (Nzl) , R Bland (Eng) , R Højgaard (Den) , B Stow (Eng) , L Van Meijel (Ned) , D Van Driel (Ned) ,
75 C Pigem (Esp) , R McGowan (Eng) , D Perrier (Fra) , J Lima (Por) , R Santos (Por) , G Havret (Fra) , S Tiley (Eng)
76 R Roussel (Fra) , U Coussaud (Fra) ,
77 E Cuartero Blanco (Esp) , L Scalise (Ita) ,
78 E Johansen (Nor) ,
80 L Canter (Eng) ,