Maybin hoping to break duck

Maybin hoping to break duck

Ireland's Gareth Maybin described himself as a "no-name" when he played with Lee Westwood in the final group on the final day of the South African Open last year.

The 29-year-old from Belfast then went out and beat Europe's new number one by three and also finished one ahead of Ernie Els and Rory McIlroy - but it was not quite enough to give him the title.

He lost a play-off to Richard Sterne, who thus kept the trophy in home hands for the eighth successive year.

Maybin hoped it would not be long before he tasted victory himself but he was back today at the same event and on the same Pearl Valley course still looking for his first European Tour title.

"I love this part of the world," he said. "The food is good and it's one hell of a golf course, too."

Maybin, who did not turn professional until four years ago, finished 53rd on the Order of Merit last season and stands fourth after one event in the new campaign.

That could have been better, though. He finished the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek with a double-bogey seven when lying third.

At least he has a chance to make instant amends. Frenchman Michael Lorenzo-Vera, who was lying fourth and took eight, and Welshman Sion Bebb, who was in fifth spot and ran up an 11, have not qualified.

Spain's Pablo Martin, South African Charl Schwartzel and Dane Anders Hansen, who filled the first three places on Sunday, are playing, though, and so is Dubai World Championship runner-up Ross McGowan.

He needs a top-two finish to have a chance of making the world's top 50 and so earn a place in next April's Masters at Augusta.

Schwartzel has the same target, while Italian World Cup winner Edoardo Molinari could do it by finishing in the first eight this weekend.

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