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Close call for Coles

PUBLISHED: 16:35 02 April 2010 | UPDATED: 21:47 02 July 2010

ROMFORD S Robert Coles had mixed emotions after finishing in a share of fourth place at the Andalusian Open on Sunday. It was the 36-year-old Coles best European Tour finish for several years, but he was left wondering what might have been. I was deligh

ROMFORD'S Robert Coles had mixed emotions after finishing in a share of fourth place at the Andalusian Open on Sunday.

It was the 36-year-old Coles' best European Tour finish for several years, but he was left wondering what might have been.

"I was delighted with fourth, but disappointed I didn't play better on Sunday," said Coles, after a closing 71 left him 12 under par for the event.

Coles had fired rounds of 69, 65 and a superb seven-under par 63 on Saturday to find himself in the final grouping with Louis Oosthuizen and Gabriel Canizares on the final day.

But hopes of a first win on the main tour - after three triumphs to date on the Challenge Tour - disappeared at the 15th hole, where Coles carded a double-bogey.

He said: "I never got as many chances and my short game was not as sharp. I dropped shots around the green.

"It was difficult, being under a bit more pressure, and I couldn't get any momentum going. I'd make a birdie, then give one back, then had the double bogey at 15."

Coles bounced back from that shock to finish strongly, however, which proved important in the final standings.

"I was one-under for the last three holes, and 16 and 18 are two of the hardest, so I reacted well," he added. "And it made a big difference."

Somewhere in the region of 20,000 euros difference, as it turns out.

"It was a good experience being in the final group. I was trying to win and thought about winning. I'd played great tee to green the week before in Morocco (where he finished in a share of 15th place at the Trophee Hassan), probably better than in Spain, but I putted a lot better in Spain.

"I just wish I could've played tee to green on Sunday like I did in Morocco."

Coles has a short break now before returning to action in Madeira and was happy to be home with wife Sinead, who is expecting their second child this month.

"It's good to have another baby on the way, we're excited about that," said Coles.

"There's still a long way to go in the season, which is nice, and I'm looking forward to it. It was good to put two good weeks together, having not played an awful lot so far this year.

"It gives you a bit of confidence and the aim is to keep playing well now and hope the putting is good every week.

"It's down to that really. You always have to putt well, like football teams need goalscorers," he added, before a final lament about his favourite club, West Ham.

"I shot 63 on the Saturday and thought 'what a great start to the day'. Then I got the radio on in the car and they were 1-0 down to Stoke."

*ROMFORD'S Chris Bellamy picked up from where he left off last season by winning the club's first major competition of the new campaign.

A three-time winner in 2009, Bellamy linked up with Del Piper to lift the Diebel Spoon ahead of Rob Fenn and Steve Fisher, with Thornton Cup stalwarts Brett Bishop and Paul Aldridge in third place.

The winter mixed foursomes final was won by Fiona Arthur and Rob Smith, who beat Gary and Ann Tyler on the final hole.

Romford begin their latest Thornton Cup bid with a preliminary round tie against East Herts on Sunday, after reaching the semi-finals last year.

Captain Nigel Stokes said: "I was thrilled to be asked to captain the side again after going so close last year. The squad is still strong with a good mix of experience and youth."

Club champion Nick Tidder is unavailable, but victory would earn Romford a trip to Thorndon Park in the first round.


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