Friday 30 April 2010

Irish Field Falters in Sevilla

An eight under par round by Johan Edfors of Sweden set the pace in round 2 of the Open de España at the Real club de Golf  de Sevilla as he finished day two on 64 shots. He leads in Spain by two shots from Fanny Willet of England and Raphael Jacquelin of France.

The overnight leader Ricardo Gonzalez of Argentina ended on 78 and dropped 56 places to level par and beyond the projected cut.

Damien McGrane started the day as he ended on Friday and went one under after a birdie on his second hole. But two bogeys on the 4th and 7th holes left him one over at the turn.  Then three birdies on 12, 13 and 16 pushed him back to 2 under for the day until he bogeyed 16 to finish on 71. McGrane is on 5 under overall and is in a 6 way tie that includes  Shane Lowry

Lowry went through the first nine on level par following a birdie on the 12th and then a bogey on the 16th. A four under par back nine left him five under for the tournament after two rounds of the Open de España and in a tie for 12th place.

On the front nine holes Darren Clarke matched two bogeys with two birdies to stay level at the halfway mark and four shots the wrong side of the projected cut. Then a three under par round on the back nine proved insufficient to secure a weekend stay for the Dungannon man on level par score overall.

The 2008 Open de España winner Peter Lawrie had his hopes dashed when he carded three bogeys through his first nine holes to end the day on 6 over. On teeing off at the tenth the Castleknock pro double bogeyed the par four but followed it up with a birdie at the 11th. He then picked up two more bogeys to end the day on 77 and an early departure from the south of Spain on 6 over.

Michael Hoey was 37 at the turn after a mix of four bogeys and three birdies. On the tenth he double bogeyed but then carded three birdies before three double bogeys on the 15th, 16th, and 18th left him signing for a 77 for a total of 9 over.

Simon Thornton struggled on the first nine holes with a  mix of bogeys and birdies to reach the 10th on level par.  Then three consecutive bogeys added to his woes leaving him three over as he teed of on the 14th. With a birdie to follow on 16 and then two more bogeys Thornton finished with a birdie on the 18th for a two par round of 74. With a 7 over par total Thornton misses the cut for the first time since the Africa Open last January.

Gary Murphy battled the odds from the outset on Friday started with two consecutive bogeys on his opening holes 11 and 12 only to make amends with two birdies on holes 13 and 16. However, a quadruple bogey on the par three 17th ended any hopes as he made the turn in 40 shots. Murphy finished the back nine on level par ending the round on 75 and a total of 10 over par for the tournament.

The Open de España is one of the longest-running tournaments on The European Tour and boasts a legendary roll of past champions including Severiano Ballesteros, Arnold Palmer, Sir Nick Faldo, Bernard Gallacher, Bernhard Langer, Sam Torrance and Padraig Harrington.

Thursday 29 April 2010

Collins and O'Hanlon Tied at Motocaddy Masters 2010

Australian Daniel Gaunt of Burhill Golf Club went around in 69 shots in the final round of The Motocaddy Masters to secure the ten thousand pound winner's cheque by five shots from his nearest rivals, Dale Marmion and Andrew Johnston of England.

Paul O’Hanlon of The Curragh ended the final day one under par after a series of birdies and bogeys early in the round. Then a double bogey on the 6th slowed down his chase for second place. On the back nine his game steadied to finish on four under overall and in a three way tie for fourth with Michael Collins and Italian John Spagnuolo

Michael Collins of FORE Ireland recovered from the onset of flu yesterday to complete the last day convincingly and included a triple birdie blitz on the last three holes to end his trip to Norfolk on 4 under overall.

Neil O’Briain ended with a 74 and Tim Rice ended with a 70 to share 25th place.

Brian McElhinney of team Ireland finished on 73 to remain 2 over par for the tournament.

Noel Fox opened with a double bogey and ended on the par five 18th with an eagle to sign for a 2 over 74 total ending the Motocaddy event on 5 over.

Brendan McCarroll ended with an 80 to finish 11 over for the event after three bogeys and two double bogeys.

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Staunton Missed Cut at Motocaddy Masters

A two under par round by Paul O’Hanlon of The Curragh was enough to make him the leading Irish man and secure third place in The Motocaddy Masters at Wensum Valley in Norfolk on Wednesday. Two birdies helped him reach the turn in 32 shots and with a level par round on the remaining nine holes with a mix of two birdies and two bogeys still left him 2 under par on 70.

The overnight leader Dale Marmion competed the with a 76 after carding five bogeys in his round.

Australian Daniel Gaunt of Burhill Golf Club went around in 68 shots and moved up the lead board to set the pace at 7 under.

Michael Collins of FORE Ireland signed for a 74 having gone 2 over at the 10th following consecutive bogeys on the 9th and 10th. A level par finish on the remaining eight holes could not improve the score and the Mallow man dropped to 17th place with his level par total.

The second member of FORE Ireland in Norfolk Mark Staunton had a double bogey at the 6th hole and two more bogeys on 10 and 12 to placed him four over with six holes to play. A finish of bogey, par, birdie left Staunton with a 4 over total at the Motocaddy Masters and one shot the wrong side of the cut.

Neil O’Briain completed the day with a 70 to remain 1 under overall with Brian McElwhiney one over after a one under par 71 on day two.

Brendan McCarroll is 3 over in total after signing for a one under par round on Wednesday and inside the projected cut..

Noel Fox was 2 over on day two and 3 over for the tournament as is Tim Rice of Limerick who finished day two with a 75.

Michael McGeady carded a 76 which followed a 74 on Tuesday and at 6 over for the tournament misses the cut.

Barrie Trainor of Team Ireland Golf ended on a 76 for a total score of 7 over and also misses the cut.

The other Irish players who also fell short cut included David Rawluk of The Island who finished on a 12 over total after carding a 78 after two double bogeys on the 9th and 16th holes caused most of the damage.

Michael Kelly was 23 over after finishing with 87 on day two.

Tuesday 27 April 2010

Staunton and Collins Play Europro Event

The FORE Ireland duo of Michael Collins and Mark Staunton join the 2008 Order of Merit winner, Noel Fox, in The Motocaddy Masters which tees off on Tuesday at Wensum Valley Golf Club in Norfolk.

This year there will be a number of past winners playing in the event including the 2008 Tour Championship winner at Les Bordes in France, Robert Steele, along with a number of previous winning names like Matthew Ford, James Busby, Nicky Harris, Brian McElhinney and Graeme Clark - the 2007 Order of Merit winner.

Andrew Marshall currently sits in sixth spot on the Challenge Tour Order of Merit and plays a course that is local to him, while Zane Scotland featured in 12 European Tour events in 2009 and could prove to be the man to beat in Norwich.

This will be Mark Staunton’s second outing this season and first EUROPRO Tour event of the season having played the Irish PGA Sprint event at Killeen Castle last month. For Michael Collins there are a few additional events in Spain under his belt when he played in two Hi5 Series tournaments in Murcia in February.

The FORE Ireland pairing will be joined a large group of fellow Irish players that includes Damien Mooney, Michael McGeady, Gareth Shaw, Paul O’Hanlon, David Rawluk, Tim Rice, Darren McWilliams, Neil O’Briain and Brendan McCarroll.

Set in 350 acres of beautiful Norfolk countryside, Wensum Valley Hotel and Golf Club offers the Par 72 Championship Wensum Course that requires length off the tee and has smaller well protected greens, some with water, that need accuracy to score well.

Monday 26 April 2010

Maybin Secures Tour Card

A second round of 68 by Gareth Maybin at the Ballantine Championship in Jeju Island in Korea put him into second place behind event leader Marcus Fraser of Australia on 9 under. The event has been reduced to three rounds following the fog disruption of Thursday where six hours 40 minutes of play was lost.

The Belfastman is tied with Tona Goya of Argentina and Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand with South African Ernie Els stalking the group one shot behind on 7 under.

Shane Lowry finished with a level par round after completing the first nine holes in one under par. But a double bogey on the par five 16th and another bogey on 18 were no match for the two birdies on 14 and 17. So Lowry dropped seven places with his 2 under par total.

Peter Lawrie was unable to build on the momentum of his 69 in round one and carded a two over par 74 on Saturday to move down the leader board on one under for the event.

Graeme McDowell started with two consecutive bogeys which he immediately followed with two birdies on the 3rd and 4th holes to make the turn in level par. Then three birdies and a bogey on the back nine left him two under for the day and level par for the tournament following a 74 in his opening round.

Paul McGinley is well outside the projected cut of one under par after signing for a 75 following a triple bogey eight on the 16th hole. With a three over total his visit to the Korea’s Honeymoon looks over.

A five over par second round for Damien McGrane left him on four over for the tournament despite shooting a 71 on day one. Five bogeys and a double bogey were the problem and with only two birdies on the 3rd and 10th holes McGrane was unable to repair the damage.

Sunday 18 April 2010

No Irish Fireworks in China

Graeme McDowell shot a four under par round on the last day of the Volvo China Open in Suzhou Jinji Lake Golf Club to get within five shots of the tournament leader Y E Yang of Korea when he reached the 13th following birdies on the 4th 5th and par five 12th holes. But on the last six holes the Portrush man found no more fireworks and signed for a 68 to remain in a tie for 8th on 10 under.

Welshman Rhys Davies continued on from where he left off on Saturday to go five under after 11 holes to reach 13 under overall and within two shots of the leader Y E Yang. But with no birdies after the tenth hole and some wayward irons the Welshman ended the day with a five under par 67 to remain 13 under.

He is tied with fellow Welshman Stephen Dodd who shot 69.

In the end the US PGA Championship winner, Y E Yang,  played a bogey free round until the 18th green to hold off the challengers which included his playing partner on Sunday Mikko Ilonen of Finland who could do no better than a 73.

The World Number 26 from Korea carded a final round of 71 to win the Volvo China Open by two shots from the Welsh duo of Davies and Dodd.

US Ryder Cup Captain completed his last day with a two under par 70 to finis 9 under and  16th place. His rival European Captain, Colin Montgomerie did not fair as well with a three over par 75 to leave him on one under for the tournament.

Another Welshman, Jamie Donaldson saw his challenge also fade on the back nine after 38 shots following a double bogey on the on the par three 13th hole.

Damien McGrane started the day well with consecutive birdies on the 2nd and 3rd holes to make the turn in 2 under. Another birdie on the 13th moved him level with McDowell until bogeys  on the 15th , 17th and 18th ended his chase.

A winner of the China Open in Beijing in 2008 McGrane could no better than a tie for 17th after his round of 71 for a total of 7 under.

Offaly’s Shane Lowry finished one over par in the final round with a bogey on the 6th the only error on the outward nine holes. But two bogeys and two birdies on the way to the finish left him one over for the day and 5 under for the tournament.

Peter Lawrie carded 5 bogeys and 4 birdies on Sunday to complete the China Open with a  73 and a one over par total.

Dubliner Paul McGinley made the turn on level par with no errors in his 36 shots but went on to pick up two bogeys and one birdie on the back nine to end up with a one over 73 and one over for the tournament with an aggregate of 289.

Gareth Maybin came in on the last day on 71 shots to move one under par overall. Two bogeys before the turn and a birdie on the 6th  were followed by three birdies on the back nine with the only error on the 11th hole.

Thursday 15 April 2010

Maiden Win in Madeira

James Morrison, secured a maiden European Tour title following an a round of 70 that gave the Challenge Tour graduate the Madeira Islands Open BPI – Portugal on Sunday. After recovering from a poor start, following bogeys on two of his three opening holes, Morrison slipped back to 16 under for a while and within reach of the chasing pack.

However a birdie on the par five sixth then an eagle on the 8th put his round back on track and a two under par finish proved just enough to hold the lead from Ollie Fisher.

England’s Fisher started with four straight birdies lifting him to within a stroke of Morrison at one point. With only two birdies after the turn Fisher was unable to improve on a 65 and ended his four days on 19 under overall to take second place.

George Murray of Scotland bounced back from an opening bogey with an eagle at the sixth to keep up the chase before he made the turn. But a level par last nine holes held him at 14 under for third place one shot ahead of Charles-Edouard Russo of France on thirteen under.

Michael Hoey was the best Irish score on Sunday finishing in Porto Santo Golfe with a 69 to end on 11 under and repeat last year’s sixth place. After reaching the tenth on 33 shots two bogeys on the homeward leg and two birdies meant he could not improve on his three under par round.

For Simon Thornton the challenge ended on the par five 10th hole par when a quadruple bogey sent him back down the leader board. Although he recovered with two consecutive birdies on the following holes bogeys on the 17th and 18th left him 3 over par for the day and 8 under overall.

The Newcastle Co. Down resident had other things on his mind though this weekend as his wife Ciara was due to give birth to their first child on Saturday.

"I won't leave, no," said Thornton about the prospect of flying home if his wife wnet into labour over the`weekend. We made that decision before I came here. It's been nice spending the last few weeks together and now we're approaching D-Day as such,” explained Thornton after his round.

"There was a lot of debate over whether I'd come this week but because of the lack of opportunities in the last month I had to come and play it. If I'd not come here and taken a couple of weeks off then all of a sudden you get a card but not taking the opportunities, I had to come. I keep checking my phone all the time. There's no word yet."

The last Irish winner in Madeira was in 2001 when Des Smyth beat English man John Bickerton by two shots.