Monday 31 May 2010

Launch of the Dr. Tony O'Neill Scholarship Trust

Speech by Brendan Dillon

“Dr. Tony O’Neill passed away in October 1999 and in his memory the club is officially launching the Dr. Tony O’Neill Scholarship Trust Fund.

For those of you who did not know Tony he was an extraordinary man. A medical doctor by profession his great love was sport and in particular UCD Soccer Club. Known affectingly simply as “the Doc”, he was the most outstanding and visionary Irish Sports Administrator of our time. The fact that most of his work was voluntary simply added to the sense of awe which surrounded his achievements. His work in the Football Association of Irish Schools, the Athletic Union Council in UCD, the Irish Universities Football Union, the F.A.I. and UEFA proved that Tony was a man happy to spread his administrative talents in many directions.

There is no doubt however that his proudest achievement and his enduring legacy is the founding of the Soccer Scholarship Scheme in UCD. It seems hard to believe now but when the Doc announced the Soccer Scholarship Scheme in 1979 the notion of scholarships in Irish sports had previously been unheard of.

It was a concept Tony had noted and examined on the many tours to America he brought UCD teams to.

When he somehow persuaded the League of Ireland to accept UCD’s nomination in 1979 it was an opportunity to launch a new vision for Irish sport. Over thirty years later almost two hundred and fifty players have gone through the scholarship system.

All of them have had the opportunity of obtaining a third level education and playing at the highest level in this country. Many of them have represented Ireland at under age and League of Ireland level. A number of them were subsequently transferred to top English clubs. Many of them have being a great support to the Club none more so than our 1st ever Scholarship recipient Keith Dignam who is the current Chairman.

While sports scholarships in Ireland are now common place, the soccer scholarship programme in UCD continues to go from strength to strength and set new targets. Part of the reason for this was that Tony understood that a scholarship was far more than paying a player’s fees and putting him into the first team. It was about looking after the player and also imposing standards in terms of behaviour and character that continue to stand the test of time. The Club is very proud to say that players who represent UCD continue to do so with integrity and a unity of purpose that continues to defy the odds.

People would have been forgiven for thinking that following Tony’s sad passing in 1999 that the Club’s fortunes would suffer and the scholarship scheme would become a thing of the past. Not so. Tony’s legacy ran very deep. In fact the scholarship scheme has continued to thrive and you have seen this evening the magnificent achievements of our current crop of scholarship players over the last twelve months. The scholarship programme remains the bedrock of the Club’s involvement in Irish football.

It is why the Club feels that it is particularly appropriate tonight to commemorate the memory of Tony by creating a scholarship trust in his name.

In working with the UCD Foundation the Scheme can attract funding in a tax efficient manner which we hope will secure the scholarship programme into the future and support the development of the next generation of scholarship students.

Why you might ask is the scholarship scheme so successful? The answer is relatively simple. It remains a proven and trusted alternative to the unnecessary drain of the best of our young talent to England at fifteen and sixteen years of age, many of whom come back a number of years later with no qualifications but the memory of shattered dreams.

There is no doubt that the scholarship scheme has come a long way since the early days. Sometimes back then it was difficult to see how a place could be secured in a college course for a talented footballer.

Tony often told a story of one young scholarship hopeful at a time when a pass leaving certificate was enough to get you into Arts. Tony was concerned about the player’s academic achievements. When he suggested that the player might try Arts, the player replied “oh that’s great, I always loved drawing”.

Happily today our only artists are those performing very well on the football field!

Our target is to raise €250,000.00 over the next three years and the club has already secured €25,000.00 in donations. Brian Fitzpatrick, Tony’s brother in law has agreed to become a Trustee.

In conclusion I want to say that the UCD Scholarship Programme is one of the great success stories of Irish Sport and we hope you agree that it is well worth supporting.”

The 2010 UCD AFC Investec Alumni Dinner took place on Friday May 28th at the Radisson Blu St. Helens Hotel in Dublin with former Republic of Ireland midfielder, Matt Holland, as Guest of Honour.

UCD AFC are currently in 5th place in the Premier Division of the Airtricity League.

Matt Holland is a regular contributor to RTE Sport and will be a co-commentator for the station during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa this month.

Brendan Dillon was Secretary and General Manager of UCD Soccer Club for almost 20 years and an Officer of the Athletic Union Council in UCD, the governing body for sport in UCD. He is also a former Chairman of the FAI National League and officer of the FAI.

Investec came to Ireland in 2000 when the Group acquired Gandon Capital Markets, a highly-respected treasury and corporate banking specialist, and the first institution to have been granted a license to operate in the IFSC. Investec Ireland now employs a team of over 100 specialists focusing on private banking, capital markets and investment banking for a domestic and international client base.

Monday 24 May 2010

Matt Holland Speaks at UCD AFC

The 10th UCD Soccer Alumni Awards Night
Radisson Blu St. Helen’s Hotel
Friday, May 28th 2010
Black Tie

Sponsored by

This year’s dinner the club will launch a new Tony O’Neill Scholarship Trust to generate further funds for the scholarship system.

The MC for the evening will be Darragh Maloney of RTE Sport with the guest speaker former Republic of Ireland midfielder, Matt Holland.

In recent months the club has won the First Division Championship, the Under 20 Championship, the Harding Cup (Fresher’s Universities), the Collingwood Cup (Senior Universities) and the Third Level Colleges and Universities League.

Under manager, Martin Russell, UCD AFC have made a good start to the 2010 season in the Premier League and are currently in sixth place.

Matt Holland
Matthew Rhys "Matt" Holland was born on April 11th 1974 and represented Republic of Ireland at international level playing in the 2002 World Cup.

Initially rejected by Arsenal for being 'too small' Holland went to West Ham United where he moved up the ranks of the Academy but never played for the first team. In order to gain first team football, he joined Bournemouth in January 1995 where he played a total of 116 games scoring 18 goals at Dean Court becoming team captain along the way.

In the summer of 1997, Matt joined Ipswich Town for a fee of £800,000 where he captained the club into the Premier League by winning the First Division play-offs in 2000. In the first season in the Premier League the club finished in fifth place finish and qualified for the UEFA Cup in 2001. Although a year later Ipswich were relegated Holland stayed with the club after turning down a £4.5 million move to Aston Villa.

His spell at Ipswich is most remembered for the consistency he showed playing 223 consecutive games and only missing one league match (due to international duty) in the six years he was at Portman Road.

After Ipswich failed to win promotion in 2003, Holland moved back to the Premier League by joining Charlton Athletic for an initial £750,000 fee which later rose to £900,000. Again with this move he assumed the captain's armband and was ever-present in his first season for the club. Holland became one of the longest-serving Charlton players.

In 2007 Holland was were relegated from the English Premier League to The Football League Championship with Charlton after seven seasons at top-flight.

International career
Matt Holland qualified to play for Ireland through his grandmother who hailed from County Monaghan making his debut in October 1999 for the Republic of Ireland against FYR Macedonia.

He went with Republic of Ireland to the 2002 World Cup scoring the equaliser against Cameroon in their opening game.

Ireland were eliminated from this tournament in a Second Round penalty shootout against Spain. Matt Holland was selected to take a penalty, but missed it.

Following Ireland's failure to qualify for the 2006 World Cup, he announced his retirement from international football in early February 2006 having made 49 appearances and scoring 5 goals.

Media Career
Matt Holland has been a summariser for BBC Radio Five Live during the 2006 World Cup and has also on the BBC TV programme A Question of Sport and the radio quiz Fighting Talk.

Holland also works as a pundit on ESPN & Sky Sports and as a presenter for the Eastern England edition of the BBC regional football show Late Kick Off.

Matt Holland is a columnist with the Mail on Sunday.

He is also a regular for RTE Sport and will be a co-commentator during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa this summer.

Investec in Ireland comprises Investec Ireland Limited and Investec Bank plc (Irish Branch) for regulated activities. Investec Ireland Limited is regulated by the Financial Regulator. Investec Bank plc is authorised and regulated by the UK Financial Services Authority.

Simon Khan Secures BMW PGA Championship

Simon Khan carded a final round 66 to win the BMW PGA Championship on the redesigned West Course at the Wentworth Club on Sunday only months after regaining is card at Qualifying School to take the €750,000 winners cheque. Equally important is the five-year exemption on The European Tour and a place at this years Open in St Andrews.

Luke Donald of England was second in a tie with Fredrik Andersson Hed of Sweden.

Padraig Harrington signed for a one over par 72 having made the turn in level par but dropping a shot on the back nine to come in on 3 under for the tournament and the best of the Irish challengers. Harrington finished in a tie for 6th alongside Danny Willett and Robert Karlsson.

Paul McGinley had a level par round reaching the halfway one under and then dropping a shot on the back nine to finish two over for the event.

Damien McGrane was two under at the turn but then carded bogeys on 15 and 16 to go  one under for the day and 2 over for the tournament.

Graeme McDowell was two over one under for the day despite an eagle on the 17th. But a round with seven bogeys proved costly and he finished with a 3 over total.

Gareth Maybin carded two birdies early to finish the front nine in 33 completing the day one over with a 69 and finish 3 over.

Rory McIlroy was two over par for the day having lost momentum early with a double bogey on the 3rd hole. He ended the BMW PGA Championship on 5 over.
Peter Lawrie double bogeyed the 15th to card 39 on the back nine having made the turn in  33 to end the final round one over par  and 6 over for the tournament.
Shane Lowry finished 4 over par on the final day with a 75 to sign for 8 over total. A triple bogey on the 8th the biggest setback for the winner of last year's 3 Irish Open.

Sunday 23 May 2010

Wood Sets Pace Day 3 at BMW

Chris Wood posted an eight under par on Saturday at the BMW PGA Championship to take the outright lead from Robert Karlsson, who despite some travel problems overnight, set a the course record on day three but found it was not enough as he remains two shots off the pace at Wentworth, tied with 1st round leader Danny Willett. Both are one ahead of Luke Donald.

Despite very little sleep Sweden Karlsson carded a blitz of birdies making the turn in 30 and then finishing the back nine in 32. Chris Woods dropped a few shots on the back nine but made them up ending the last nine in one under for a 67 total.

Karlsson was so convinced he had missed the halfway cut that he took a mid-afternoon flight from London to Nice. On landing in France he heard the cut was at 3 over and returned to Nice Airport to make his way back to Wentworth via Paris. He reached the course on Saturday making with an hour to spare and proceeded to produce a stunning round of 62.

Padraig Harrington was one over for the day after bogeys on 5 and 17 and only one birdie on the 9th which places him in a tie for 5th and three under for the tournament.

Graeme McDowell opened with a bogey but then traded birdies to remain level for the day and one under for the tournament .

Paul McGinley reached the twelfth on 3 under roar and then went through the last three holes in bogey, bogey and double bogey to finish on 71 and remain two over par.

Damien McGrane dropped four shots on the back nine to finish with a 38 after making the turn in level par. He signed for a 78 and remains 2 over par overall.

Rory McIlroy eagled the 4th hole but dropped some shots to make the turn in 34. Then three bogeys on the back nine put him at 39 shots with a total of 73 for the day on 3 over.

Shane Lowry finished 3 over par for a 4 over total after dropping two shots on the back nine.

Peter Lawrie reached the fourth one shot worse off and the proceeded to card an eagle. He then dropped four more shots two each side of the turn to sign for a 76 and remain 4 over.

Gareth Maybin triple bogeyed the 15th which added to his two other dropped shots and signed for a 75.

Friday 21 May 2010

Clarke and Higgins Cut at BMW

The overnight leader of the BMW PGA Championship Danny Willett of England carded three birdies in the first four holes to set the pace at 9 under at one point. But two dropped shots on 5 and 7 brought him back to 7 under – one shot ahead of the club house leader, Luke Donald. But a three over par 39 on the back nine left him 5 under on Friday and in a three-way tie for second place with fellow Englishman Ross Fisher and James Kingston of South Africa.

A round of 68 by Luke Donald was enough to post the lead ahead of Saturday at 6 under topping the leader board out right pushing the cut out to 3 over – which benefited a few of the Irish players hovering on the projected cut of 1 over.

Three time major winner Padraig Harrington was the best of the Irish field following a round of 67 with two birdies either side of the run to push him back into the chase after the misery of Thursday.

Next best was Meath man Damien McGrane who went one under after three holes reaching half way on 34 and only dropping one shot on the back nine to finish on 71.

Graeme McDowell reached the 10th in 36 shots having bogeyed the 3rd and 9th with only one birdie on the 4th to recover a shot. A bogey on 12 was corrected with a birdie on 13 and was followed by another birdie on 16 to finish one under for the day and one under for the tournament.

Rory McIlroy was the first of the Irish players to finish on day two and reached the thirteenth hole on 4 under. But a double bogey on the par four 15th and then a bogey on the 16th left him waiting anxiously for a while when the projected cut of was 1 over. In the end he was safely through to the weekend.

Gareth Maybin reversed some of the good work from Thursday by reaching the turn in 37 after bogeys on holes 6 and 8. With two more dropped shots on the 10th and 13th holes he also fell close to one over par for the first two rounds hovering on the cut having signed for a 75.

Shane Lowry finished on 1 over for the day courtesy of a double bogey on the 17th having made the half way under par with a 34.

Paul McGinley was through four holes dropping shots on the 3rd and 5th hole with one birdie on 4 to complete the front nine in 35. But a two over par back nine left him signing for a73 and put 2 over for the tournament..

Pewter Lawrie remained level all day making up for mistakes with birdies until reaching the 18th where a costly triple bogey left him 2 over for the tournament and on the verge of going out only for the revised cut.

Darren Clarke opened with a birdie and then bogeyed 3 and 4 with a triple bogey to follow on the par three 8th hole to put him under pressure at the turn. Then a double bogey on 18 left him signing for a 10 over and a short drive home to Sunningdale for a free weekend.

David Higgins was 12 over after playing 15 holes trading birdies and bogeys to make the turn in 35. But three dropped shots on the back nine pushed the Waterville man well down the leader board and a missed cut as he returned from the Irish PGA region to the main Tour for the first time in a year.

Michael Hoey of Ballymoney withdrew from the tournament on Thursday.

Maybin Best at Wentworth Day One

Danny Willett of England finished day one with a 65 and held his nerve despite a dropped shot on the 15th hole to recover with three consecutive birdies on 16, 17 and 18 to lead the European Tours flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship, at Wentworth by one shot from Australian Richard Green on day one.

Padraig Harrington, who had been in the chase with Danny Millett and Ernie Els for most of the day then fell back after triple bogey at the 17th and signed for a level par round of 71 –having made the turn in a three under par 32.

Ernie Els ended the day on 2 under after dropping a shot on the 18th.

Gareth Maybin continues his good form unfazed by the field at Wentworth and returned to his hotel on Thursday night in an eight way tie for 7th place having also made the turn in 32 shots but then completing the round on the back nine on level par - matching birdies with bogeys.

Graeme McDowell finished his round on 1 under carding three birdies and two bogeys on day one for a 71.

Peter Lawrie signed for a one under par recovering from mistakes at 5 and 16 with three birdies to sign for a 70.

Paul McGinley remains level overnight having failed to pick up shots after matching three birdies with 3 bogeys.

Damien McGrane went through the redesigned West Course in two under having made it to the 15th level with any mistakes corrected with birdies. Then two birdies on 16 and 17 gave the Kells man a two under par finish for the day and some momentum ahead of Friday.
Shane Lowry returned to Wentworth after his first appearance last year and signed for a one over par round with two dropped shots on the back nine erasing the birdie he picked up on the  2nd hole.

Rory McIlroy, saw his day hit trouble when a triple bogey on 11 added to his three bogeys on the front nine as he made the turn in 38. But two birdies on 16 and 17 left him on 3 over for day one.

Darren Clarke was unable to break the cycle of recent weeks on the European tour finishing with a four over round having double bogeyed the third hole.

Michael Hoey had a triple on 17 and a double  bogey on the redesigned 18th and signed for a four over round of 75.

David Higgins of Waterville returned to the fray of the European Tour after an absence and found trouble on the 11th with a double bogey and then quadrupled the 15th to leave him fighting for weekend playing rights on 9 over.

Defending champion Paul Casey of England was one over par after round one.

Wednesday 19 May 2010

2011 European Solheim Cup Team Vice Captains

Ladies European Tour members Annika Sorenstam and Joanne Morley have been selected as vice-captains for The 2011 European Solheim Cup Team by Captain Alison Nicholas.

Sorenstam, the event’s all time leading points scorer with 24, played in eight straight Solheim Cup competitions from 1994-2007. The former world number one won 89 tournaments around the globe before stepping away from competitive play at the end of 2008 to focus on business interests and start a family. Morley, who was a vice-captain to Nicholas at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois, in 2009, competed in The 1996 Solheim Cup and is a two-time Ladies European Tour winner.
“I am thrilled, humbled and honoured that Joanne and Annika have accepted my invitation to be my vice-captains for The 2011 Solheim Cup matches at Killeen Castle in Ireland,” said Nicholas. “I am looking forward to working with them both over the next 15 to 16 months. Their combined Solheim Cup experience will be invaluable. Joanne’s expertise working behind the scenes in two previous Solheim Cups and Annika’s wealth of experience as the most successful female golfer of all time provides a strong, inspirational, passionate and unified team which will guide the European players to success in bringing The Cup back to Europe.
“Joanne is a great character with a gift of encouragement to whomever she is with and gives her all in whatever she does. Annika is a born winner who thrives under pressure with a cool efficiency and passionate desire to win in whatever she undertakes. I am adopting the same strategy as last time in terms of having a vice-captain on both sides of the Atlantic.”
Sorenstam, a winner of 10 major championships, holds a number of records in Solheim Cup competition. In addition to earning the most points (24), she has won the most matches with 22 and scored the most points in foursomes with 11.5. She has also competed in 15 of the 19 foursomes matches played, tying for the most foursomes matches played with Laura Davies.
“I was a little quiet on the phone when Alison asked me because I was totally surprised,” said Sorenstam. “She asked me and I said, “Could you give me 24 hours?” I knew my answer would be yes but I wanted to make sure I could live up to her expectations with my schedule and fulfil my role properly. I called her back and said: yes. Some of the highlights of my career as a professional have been at The Solheim Cup. That helped with my answer, but I would love to be a part of it. Now I can participate and help to bring the trophy back.
“I’m looking forward to being with the players again, not inside the ropes, but closer. I can help from past experience: the way I approached it, give a different perspective and provide an extra hand when needed. I can help with strategy with regards to course set-up, administrative roles and anything Alison needs help with. I’m just going to follow my orders!”
Morley commented: “I am humbled at Alison's confidence in me to help bring home The Cup and grateful for this opportunity. I am looking forward to once again learning and growing under Alison's captaincy. The thing that struck me about Alison is that she left no stone unturned in her quest to bring The Cup back. Alison is not just a great golfer, she is also a fantastic business person with good communication skills I could not think of a better person more suited to lead Team Europe in 2011.”
Alexandra Armas, Executive Director of the Ladies European Tour, commented: “We are delighted that Alison has been able to build such a strong team for the 2011 matches at Killeen Castle and we are confident that, in Annika and Joanne, she has selected the best possible vice-captains to help achieve an historic home victory when the competition is played for the first time in Ireland.”
John A. Solheim, Chairman and CEO of PING, said: “The Solheim family is very pleased to have Annika Sorenstam and Joanne Morley named as vice-captains to assist Alison Nicholas. The Solheim Cup experience of both Annika and Joanne will add tremendously to the European team. Having World Golf Hall of Fame member Annika involved will generate a special excitement all its own.”
The 2011 Solheim Cup will be the 12th staging of the biennial, transatlantic team match play tournament, which features the best 12 European players from the Ladies European Tour and the best 12 US born players from the LPGA. The US leads the series 8-3, having won by a score of 16-12 at The 2009 Solheim Cup at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois. The Europeans last won the event at Barsebäck in Sweden in 2003, when Nicholas was a vice-captain to Catrin Nilsmark and Sorenstam played a pivotal on-course role.

Tuesday 18 May 2010

Simon Thornton Gains In Re-Rank

European Tour Rookie Simon Thornton received good news today following the first re-rank of the season when he moved up 10 places in Category 11 to hold 18th place. The former Royal County Down Assistant Professional had been hoping to do even better and already had the re-rank in his sights when he committed to the Madeira Islands  Open BPI  - Portugal, the weekend his first child was due.

Last weekend’s event in Mallorca though was the final chance for those players who earned their cards at the 2009 Qualifying School, or through finishing 11th to 20th in the Challenge Tour Rankings, to improve their ranking, with the second opportunity coming in August.

Having started his first season on the Tour in difficult personal circumstances - given the untimely passing of his Father in January - Thornton stuck to his schedule and played the Africa Open ahead of the funeral - as he had agreed with his Father. Understandably Thornton missed the cut.

Having flown home for the funeral he then returned to make the cut at the Jo’Burg Open with a 17th place finish. In the subsequent two events, the Open de Andalucia and in Madeira Islands he also made the cut garnering valuable pay cheques in both. However at the Open de España in Seville, Thornton had a poor second round missing his first cut in months.

He then travelled to a very rainy Turin for the BMW Italian Open only to suffer the same fate after two poor rounds.

On arriving in Mallorca last weekend Thornton was looking for a timely reversal to his fortunes only to be forced to withdraw midway through the first round due to a back injury - which intense physio therapy could not improve.

For Gary Murphy though the bad news continues who battled hard last week by leading the Irish challengers in Mallorca – even reaching 3rd place on day 1 – to suffer a major setback with a nightmare collapse on Friday afternoon after carding a 79 to miss his 11th cut of the season.

Having qualified in 17th place at “Q School” he now drops to 28th place and moves in the reverse direction to Thornton as he was outside the top 20 money earners in Category 11.

The real story though is Alejandro Cañizares of Spain who topped the first Re-Rank of 2010 after the Iberdrola Open Cala Millor Mallorca - which he lost on a play off – with €280,000 in prize money, mostly of which was the result of a second place finish at the Open de España.  

The first event to be affected by the re-rank will next week’s Madrid Masters.   

Monday 17 May 2010

David Higgins Earns Place at BMW Championship

Another week of travel chaos is predicted, as a result of the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud, and so it is once again a hazardous time for European Tour players trying to get between tournaments as the season enters the business end of things.

For Irish professional David Higgins some of that so called glamorous jet travel might be welcome challenge as he arrives in Wentworth as 2009 Irish PGA Order of Merit winner and steps up from regional golf this week to take his place at the BMW PGA Championship.

His last major event was a year ago when he qualified for The Open and travelled knowing he had the pedigree on links courses to perform well at Turnberry. But a 75 on the second day put an end to any hopes of playing the weekend and it remains his sole appearance at The Open so far.

In November last year he failed to make it through European Tour Qualifying School but has remained active on the Irish circuit over recent months working on his game. This few days Surrey will be a telling reminder though if he is missing the cut and thrust of competitive golf on the international circuit.

The Irish contingent joining Kerry man David Higgins will be the top golf names in the country including last year’s 3 Irish Open winner, Shane Lowry; Quail Hollow Champion, Rory Mclroy, 2 time Open Winner, Padraig Harrington; Ryder Cup heroes Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley along with Graeme McDowell, four time winner on the European Tour.

For Damien McGrane the worries are about travelling from the Mallorca Open this weekend to London where he hopes to join Gareth Maybin, who finished runner up in the Ballantine’s Championship in Korea recently; Michael Hoey, who was sixth in the Madeira Islands Open BPI – Portugal and 2008 Open de España winner, Peter Lawrie.

Paul Casey of England will defend his BMW PGA Championship title against one of the strongest fields ever to have assembled for The European Tour’s flagship event, with five of the World’s Top Ten set to tee up over Wentworth Club’s newly remodelled West Course.

European Number One Lee Westwood, Race to Dubai leader Ian Poulter and defending champion Casey will be joined next week by three-time Major Champion and course designer Ernie Els all challenging for a major of the €4,500,000 prize fund.

The BMW PGA Championship will run from Thursday May 20th until Sunday May 23rd 2010 on the West Course at the Wentworth Club.

Moriarty Best of Irish in Mallorca

Having traded the Challenge Tour this week for the main Tour Colm Moriarty of Team Ireland finished the final day with a one under par 69 at the Iberdrola Open Cala Millor Mallorca to earn a share of 32nd place and was the best of three Irish players who made the cut for the weekend at Pula Golf Club.

Although his final tally of 7 over was well of the pace Moriarty can draw satisfaction from this week having missed the cut on his last outing on the European Tour in the Madeira Islands Open BPI – Portugal last April. Moriarty played the front nine in level par mixing two birdies with two bogeys and then went two shots better to finish the back leg in 34 after a birdie on 17.

Alejandro Canizares shot a four under par round to match Sweden's Peter Hanson earning a play off which the Swede went on to win.

Peter Hanson has now added to his European Tour wins having won the SAS Masters at Arlandastad Golf in Stockholm in 2008

The early tournament leader James Kingston dropped to 2 under after a 1 under par final round to card an aggregate of 278 and finish 3rd in a tie with Pelle Edberg of Sweden who was 3 over for the final day having started out the morning in a share of the lead.

Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano battled through the day but a double bogey on 16th added to his problems and finished 4 over for the day on 1 under for the tournament.

Damien McGrane also completed the final day in one under par for a 7 over total after making the turn in 36 shots. Two birdies on 14 and 17 gave him his best round of the week.

Paul McGinley, still struggling to find form after his knee operation, dropped two shots through the first 4 holes then picked up a birdie on 7 only to drop another shot reaching halfway in 38. On the back nine he traded two early birdies on 11 and 12 with bogeys on 17 and 18 to end his round on three over on a total of 15 over.

Davies Champions in Germany as Team Ireland Falter

Henderson Order of Merit leader on the Ladies European Tour Laura Davies shot a final round of 68 to secure another title in Gut Häusern Golf Club on Sunday by two shots from fellow English player Melissa Reid who signed for a one over par round. Overnight leader Ashleigh Simon of South Africa carded a 75 to slip to third place on 8 under.

Laura Davies defied the unseasonable cold and windy conditions to fire a closing round of 68 and claim her 74th career victory at the UniCredit Ladies German Open, presented by Audi - coming from nine strokes behind after Friday’s second round.

Australian Karen Lunn took fourth place after a 69  with Sweden’s Helen Alfredsson (71), Denmark’s Iben Tinning (71) and Sweden’s Linda Wessberg (75) sharing fifth.

Alison Walshe of Team Ireland was the best of the Irish in a six way share of 14th place following a round of 74.  Having started with a birdie on the first Walshe then dropped a shot to reach the half way in 38 battling through two birdies and two bogeys to complete the back nine in level par.

Team Ireland colleague Rebecca Coakley picked up no shots all day in the difficult conditions and with five bogeys on her card signed for a 77 and a one under par total.

Tara Delaney matched her first round score of 74 after making the turn in level par despite dropping a shot. The back nine saw her lose two more shots and end her trip to Germany  with a five over par total.

Hazel Kavanagh who had remained level par through the last two rounds came home in 78 shots with six bogeys on her card to finish on 6 over.

Friday 14 May 2010

Murphy Misses Out Again


James Kingston of South Africa finished level par in round two of the Iberdrola Open Cala Millor Mallorca to post 5 under at Pula Golf Club and a share of the lead with Pelle Edberg of Sweden who signed for a 5 under 65 earlier in the day. Two dropped shots by Kingston on holes 11 and 12 pushed the South African to 4 under with 5 holes to play. Then a birdie on 17 secured a share of the lead for the South African ahead of day three.

Having been the leading Irish player from Thursday Gary Murphy was on course through six holes on 3 under. Then a double bogey on the 8th hole pushed the Kilkenny man back to one over par with nine holes to play. Added misery of two dropped shots on the 11th, a triple bogey on the 12th, another double on 17 and then a dropped shot on the 18th added another missed cut for Murphy as he finished on 7 over - one shot beyond the projected cut off mark.

Colm Moriarty, playing his second European Tour event this season, completed a level par round only dropping one shot on the fifth. The Glasson professional then carded a birdie on the 11th hole to finish with a 4 over total ands the chance to compete over the weekend.

Damien McGrane double bogeyed the 10th at the very start of the second round and then picked up a birdie immediately afterwards to make the turn in 36. A level par back nine could not improve on a 5 over total but was enough to remain one shot inside the projected cut.

Paul McGinley went around Pula in one over par with a double bogey on the 11th the biggest problem making the halfway mark in a 2 over par 37. The homeward leg of 34 came after two birdies and his 6 over was to prove enough, in the end, to earn a weekend stay as the cut extended to an aggregate of 146 shots.

Thursday 13 May 2010

Team Ireland Five at German Ladies Open

Following on from Turkey last week Team Ireland Golf fields five players in the UniCredit Ladies German Open presented by Audi which starts on Thursday May 13th in Gut Haeusen Golf Club, near Muenich, on the next stop on the Ladies European Tour.

The group that played last week in the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open - Hazel Kavanagh, Rebecca Coakley, Martina Gillen, Tara Delaney and Alison Walshe return to action again this week in Germany.

In 2009 Martina Gillen finished in 43rd place and was the best of the Irish players with Coakley, Kavanagh, Delaney and Coughlan-Ryan all missing the cut.

Last weeks winner in Turkey, Melissa Reid of England, moved into the 3rd place in the Henderson Order of Merit following her victory and plays this week hoping to improve on her 3rd place finish last year. 

Order of Merit leader Laura Davies also plays at the Ladies German Open.

For the 120 professionals competing this week there is increased prize money of €330,000 on offer, with a fifty thousand Euro cheque for the winner who would also take home an Audi A5 Convertible

In 2009 Jade Schaeffer of France emerged as the winner after a close battle with Paula Marti Zambrano of Spain.