Sep 13 2011 by Gordon Bannerman, Perthshire Advertiser Tuesday
PERTHSHIRE pro Gavin Dear was licking his wounds yesterday after a disappointing sign-off round cost him a chance of capturing the Kazakhstan Open.
The Scone golfer had mounted a serious challenge in the European Challenge Tour’s “major” event after carding an impressive third round 66.
That had carried the Murrayshall graduate and one-time Eisenhower Trophy winner to within touching distance of the leader with 18 holes remaining.
He had surged through the field with a superb display at Nurtau Golf Club in Almaty, notching five birdies in his first six holes en route to reaching the turn in just 31 strokes.
After hitting a five iron to eight feet and rolling in the putt for eagle on the par five tenth hole, Dear appeared to be on the verge of something very special, only for bogeys at the 11th and 13th holes to check his charge.
But he rallied with his sixth birdie of a very satisfying day on the 17th hole to finish on eight under par, five shots off the lead held by promising English youngster Tommy Fleetwood.
Dear admitted: “It was a very big week for me because I need to start climbing the rankings pretty quickly. It’s been a disappointing season and I’ve really suffered with a bad back, but I’m feeling much better now so hopefully I can have a strong end to the season.”
Formby starlet Fleetwood saw-off all-comers in Sunday’s fourth round to bank the 64,000 Euro cheque, while Dear followed up his rounds of 74, 68 and 666 with a 73 to leave him trailing eight shots behind.
Now it’s on to Moscow for Dear and the rest of the Challenge Tour professionals with the M2M Russian Cup getting under way on Thursday.