Play-off win for Kaymer as Lowry fades

SHANE LOWRY played a perilous shot at the final green before wrapping-up a French Open share of 50th place yesterday.

Lowry’s parents, Brendan and Bridgett, along with girlfriend Deirdre, looked on as the 3 Irish Open champion was forced to stand with one foot on a wooden parapet on the 18th green of the National Club course in Versailles.

Lowry’s 8-iron approach hit the island green with his ball coming to rest inside the line of the hazard, and just inches from finding a watery grave.

Fortunately, Lowry was able to play a chip shot before walking off with a par and a round of 73 for a one over par tally.

“I just played the wrong club there because I thought the wind was straight across but it turned to behind me so I was very lucky my ball didn’t go into the hazard,” he said.

Lowry’s effort, in his fourth event as a professional, earned him €16,800 and his name now appears in 253rd place on the 2009 European Tour Race to Dubai money list.

“Now that I have played four rounds I am very happy,” he said.

“I had an eagle and 14 birdies over the four days so that is good but there was also a lot of mistakes so that is something I have to work on when I get to Loch Lomond.

“So I’m going to have to try and eliminate putting pressure on myself early as I was a few over today and yesterday and also on the first day but I did manage to get it back.

“So getting off to a bad start has been hurting me and if I can get off to a good start, hopefully it will all be down hill for the round.

“But it’s nice also that I finally get my name up there on the Race to Dubai money list though I had one cent already but I don’t know what that was for. It should be a decent pay cheque and I can now start building on that.”

Lowry’s next event is Thursday’s starting Barclays Scottish Open at Loch Lomond.

It will be Lowry’s first competitive round along the banks of the famed Scottish loch while he may still yet qualify for the following week’s British Open by finishing top-five and ahead of any player who is already exempt into Turnberry.

Germany’s Martin Kaymer captured his third European Tour title by defeating England’s Lee Westwood with a par at the first extra play-off hole.

Both had ended tied on 13-under par and with Kaymer carding a 68 and Westwood, who was looking to end a two-year winless drought, a 65.

However, Westwood virtually handed the €666,660 first prize cheque to his rival when he put his second shot, at the extra hole, into the water guarding the green.

Ian Poulter, with a 67, produced his best result in Europe since finishing runner-up in last year’s Open Championship.

Ballyclare’s Gareth Maybin captured his fourth top-10 of his rookie season but only after Argentina’s Rafa Echenique, the player who snared second place in Munich a week earlier with a stunning albatross, had a disastrous triple-bogey at the last to eventually end in a share of 13th on five under par.

Echenique’s mishap thus opened the for Maybin to compete in this week’s Scottish Open.

“You never want to see your fellow competitors mess up and I do feel sorry for Rafa and we saw last week in Munich what a great player he is,” said Maybin who carded a 67.

“I thought I might have done enough to get into the Scottish Open but as the day went on, it looked more unlikely. So while I feel for Rafa I’m delighted I am playing a first Scottish Open.”

The result is Maybin’s fourth top-10 this season while the €74,133 prize cheque has boosted him from 61st to 46th on the European Tour Race to Dubai money list.

Damien McGrane carded a closing round 68 for a five under par tally and one fewer than Peter Lawrie who had a 67.

And Darren Clarke plunged 20 places to 31st after finding the water at the last and taking a quadruple bogey ‘8’ in a 72 for a two under par tally.

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