In a thrilling finish to the Cassidy Golf 103rd €30,000 PGA Irish Championship at Roganstown yesterday, Michael McGeady snatched the title by a whisker from Damian Mooney and Cian McNamara.
This morning the new champion flies out to Sandwich to, hopefully, add further success to his end-of-season glories as he bids to qualify for the PGA Challenge Tour. The big Derry man will play, tomorrow until Thursday, in the EuroPro Grand finals, with the top five finishers getting their EuroPro card for next season.
“Winning the Irish Championship is a fantastic boost heading for the EuroPro finals,” enthused Michael (35). “It would be a great double to add my Challenge Tour card to my Irish Championship title. This win is amazing for me as I have struggled recently.”
McGeady posted rounds of 66, 72, 70 and 67 for a nine-under-par winning 275, one stroke ahead of Mooney and McNamara, after the leadership changed hands a few times during the day.
As well as the silverware, the winner also collected the top prize of €3,500 while Mooney and McNamara earned €2,125 each and Mooney moves up to second in the 2013 end-of-season Order of Merit with €26,217 points, less than 90 behind winner John Kelly, who withdrew from the championship because of family commitments.
* Darren Clarke tied for second place at the Nanshan China Masters as a level-par final round left him one shot behind winner Charl Schwartzel.
The South African ace dug deep for a four-under 68 to finish ahead of Clarke and defending champion Liang Wenchong, who had led jointly going into the final round.
Two behind the leaders overnight, Schwartzel birdied the 15th and 16th to draw level with Clarke.
A loose tee-shot at the par-three 17th proved crucial as Clarke made a bogey.
Former Masters champion Schwartzel ended nine under, with Clarke and Liang Wenchong eight under.
Clarke, seeking his first victory since claiming the Open Championship at Royal St George’s in 2011, seemed to be cruising until missing a three-footer on the 13th.
Clarke still had a share of the lead on the 17th until finding the thick fringe of a greenside bunker.
“It was horrible. It couldn’t have got any worse,” he said, after hacking it out and missing the par putt.”
* England’s David Lynn surged through the field to claim his second European Tour title and climb back into the world’s top 50 in the Portugal Masters yesterday.
Lynn, whose only previous win in almost 400 events came in the KLM Open in 2004, carded a superb closing 63 to finish 18 under par at Oceanico Victoria Golf Course in Vilamoura.
The 39-year-old, who turns 40 next Sunday, started the day six shots off the lead but charged into contention with five birdies in a front nine of 30 and, after a bogey at the 10th, picked up further shots at the 11th, 14th, 15th and 17th to set a clubhouse target that was never matched.
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