Duo suffer third-round problems

Sam Hutsby
Sam Hutsby
Scott Gregory. Picture: Andrew Griffin

Gregory misses out

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Sam Hutsby’s hopes of a big pay day were blown off course at a blustery Sicilian Open last week.

The 23-year-old was in prime position at the halfway stage of the European Tour event at the Verdura Club last weekend as he was just one stroke off the lead after fine rounds of 67 and 70.

But a third-round six-over-par 78 undid much of his good work as he toiled away in the gusty conditions.

And while he recovered well in the final round to post a one-under par 71, it was only good enough for a share of 47th place – although that did secure him his biggest cheque of the year (4,500 euros) and lifted him up to 179th in the Race to Dubai standings.

Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen defied the weather to record victory by one stroke, with a winning score of 15 under par – some 13 shots ahead of Hutsby’s mark.

But while his challenge petered out, the former Lee-on-the-Solent man will take positives from putting himself in contention and showing that his form is coming back after a difficult recent spell that saw him miss two consecutive cuts.

As Hutsby saw his quest come off the rails on moving day, Rowlands Castle’s Darren Wright also suffered a similar fate with third-round misery in the Barclays Kenya Open on the Challenge Tour.

Wright was well placed at two under par for a tie for 11th at the midway point.

But he went backwards quickly with a seven over par 78 and then finished the tournament with a 72 for a tie for 57th place and a cheque for 627 euros.

England’s Steve Benson took the honours after a play-off success over Denmark’s Lasse Jensen after both men finished on 10-under par.

While Wright may not have secured the kind of cheque he was looking for, it was still a promising debut in the second tier of European golf and should be a useful experience going forward.