McGregor Trophy – Final Day: Magical Mark clinches play-off thriller

Mark Gazi held his nerve to lift the 2022 McGregor Trophy following a nail-biting victory over Charlie Croker on the second play-off hole at Sherwood Forest Golf Club.

Playing together in the final group of the day in Nottinghamshire, the pendulum swung both ways throughout but the pair couldn’t be separated after 72 holes of stroke play.

Both men made pars on the opening play-off hole before the Tralee golfer secured an impressive birdie on the par four second to clinch a nerve-shredding success.

The result will have come as a disappointment to Croker (pictured below) who performed superbly throughout the tournament but he did go away with the Jean Case Memorial Trophy which is awarded to the highest ranked player aged 15 or under.

Gazi and Croker began the final day locked on seven under par but it was the Irishman who enjoyed the early exchanges in the morning as his third round of 72 saw him move into a two-shot lead before the afternoon’s final 18 holes.

As the pair made the turn in their final round, Gazi remained two shots clear but he began to falter, dropping shots at 10, 12, 14 and 15 and Croker’s impressive consistency saw him move two shots ahead as the tables turned dramatically.

View final leaderboard

Amid all the drama, Gazi was able to refocus on the task at hand and he made birdie-par-birdie on the final three holes, against Croker’s birdie-bogey-par, to force an intriguing play-off.

Having exchanged pars on the opening hole, Gazi sunk an excellent six-foot putt on the second to claim the trophy, to the delight of his Ireland teammates who had stayed to watch the tournament’s conclusion.

Bourgenay golfer Louka Morin (pictured above) finished in third place on two under par, five shots ahead of Enville’s Ben Bolton in fourth with Drew Sykes a shot further back in fifth.

Sykes, Croker and Oscar Lent were also named winners of the Nations Cup trophy after finishing top of the international team leaderboard as part of the England 1 team.

Photography credit: Leaderboard