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Tom McKibbin loses Italian Open play-off but qualifies for the Open

Tom McKibbin narrowly missed out on a second DP World Tour title, losing a play-off to Marcel Siem at the Italian Open.

The Holywood golfer began the day six shots behind a four-way tie for the lead and teed off three hours before the final group, but carded a flawless closing 65 to set the clubhouse target on 10 under par.

Even that did not look like being enough when joint leaders Siem and Antoine Rozner reached 13 under par, only for the final pair to collapse on the back nine.

Siem, who had birdied the third, fourth and eighth, bogeyed the 11th, 14th, 15th and 17th to fall one behind, but then holed from 22 feet for birdie on the last and around half that distance on the first extra hole.

FULL LEADERBOARD

Rozner, who only made the cut with a birdie on the 18th in round two before carding a brilliant 62 on Saturday, reached 13 under after his third birdie of the day on the 12th, but then dropped five shots in the next five holes.

McKibbin, whose caddie had left the course and headed to a nearby train station when there looked no prospect of a play-off, had the consolation of joining American Sean Crocker in securing the two qualifying places for the upcoming Open Championship at Royal Troon.

Crocker finished in a tie for third with Germany's Jannik De Bruyn but gained the berth thanks to his world ranking.

"It was really, really tough," said Siem, who was playing just his fourth event since undergoing hip surgery earlier this year.

"Everyone was making bogeys and doubles, the wind was swirling and the pins were tucked in the corners.

"Holing that putt on 18 [in regulation] was one of the coolest moments in golf for me and doing it again there in the play-off was fantastic.

"I love this sport. It's so much fun to work hard

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