Maybin clinches Tour card after Ballantine effort

GARETH MAYBIN has wrapped up his Tour card early for a second year running after finishing joint second in the Ballantine’s Championship in Korea.

Maybin’s par putt lipped out at the last for the Ballyclare star to card a 72 and end tied on eight under par with former Irish Open champion Brett Rumford of Australia.

Maybin and Rumford ended four shots behind Australia’s Marcus Fraser who ended a seven-year winless drought to capture the shortened event on Jeju Island.

Maybin battled the effects of upset stomach to post three outward nine birdies before a 13th hole birdie sandwiched between four bogeys including dropped shots on the 16th and closing holes.

However, the €191,516 prize cheque has lifted Maybin from 59th and inside the top-20 on the Race to Dubai money list.

For the second year in succession the 29-year old has secured his Tour card for the following season after ending in second place early last year in the South African Open championship.

“It has been a pretty good week as I didn’t come in here with a whole lot of form, so to finish second is a great result any time,” he said.

Maybin went into the third and closing round just a stroke behind Fraser and took it right to the burly Australian with birdies at the first, fourth and ninth holes to be out in 33.

But it proved the highwater mark of the Ulster golfer’s challenge as he proceeded to drop shots at 10th and 12th holes.

And former Ballantine’s winner Graeme McDowell bogeyed his closing two holes in a score of 71 to end in a share of 28th position.

Meanwhile Rebecca Coakley and Hazel Kavanagh of Team Ireland completed the fourth best round of the day of two under at the Comunitat Valenciana European Nations Cup in Denia, near Alicante.

Despite a bogey on the par four 5th hole the Irish duo birdied the 8th, 12th and 13th holes to reach the clubhouse on 70 to finish one over par overall.

However, it was not enough to push the Irish ladies up the table and they finished joint bottom with Norway on 289.

After finishing tied on 267, Sweden won a play-off with Australia to take the honours.

267 Anna Nordqvist & Sophie Gustafson (Swe) 67 62 70 68 (Anna & Sophie wins at third playoff hole), Karrie Webb & Karen Lunn (Aus) 69 65 67 66

289 Rebecca Coakley & Hazel Kavanagh (Irl) 72 75 72 70

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