‘Golf’s a challenge when Ryder captain’

It was not surprising victorious Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley should walk off the final green in his final tournament of 2014 confessing he had never played a proper golf season.

‘Golf’s a challenge when Ryder captain’

McGinley’s 23rd straight tour season concluded just prior to 3pm local Shanghai time after he landed a 4-iron to just five feet but missed his birdie putt in a round of 71 for a two under par tally in the BMW Masters.

It earned the Dubliner a prize cheque for €52,100 but given he was competing on an invitation the money does not count on the Race to Dubai money list and McGinley ends his year 168th on that ranking.

“I don’t feel like I’ve had a golf season and it won’t be a season I will remember for my golf,” he said smiling.

“I never got going and it’s definitely a challenge playing golf when you’re a Ryder Cup captain. That’s what everybody said to me would happen and they were right.

“What’s disappointing is that I didn’t have one top-10 but then I’m in the twilight of my career and we all know that, so I will probably play a minimum number of 14 or 15 events next year. But then there’s also lots of stuff going on with corporate sponsors. I won’t play any tournament golf now until sometime in the New Year and my clubs have been away for most the year anyway,” he laughed.

The Irishman is returning home for a fortnight before joining the Sky Sports commentary team in Dubai for the season-ending DP World Tour Championship.

Meanwhile, Shane Lowry was left lamenting dropping two shots over the last two holes in a round of 71 for a 10-under par and a share of 16th with Graeme McDowell (73).

What hurt Lowry more was the world ranking points he let slip, and points that would lift him closer to ending 2014 top-50 in the world and the assurance of a start in all four 2015 Majors.

“If I had parred the last two holes I would have finished top-10 and missing out on those world ranking points is the biggest killer for me. I am a little bit annoyed to say the least.”

Lowry capped his final round by holing a 160-yard 9-iron second shot for eagle at the par four second hole.

Germany’s Marcel Siem won the Shanghai event in dramatic manner, chipping-in for birdie at the first extra hole to defeat Frenchman Alexander Levy and England’s Ross Fisher after all three tied in regulation play on 16-under.

Welshman Jamie Donaldson, who shared fourth in Shanghai, moves to second on the Race to Dubai — €3.1m behind Rory McIlroy.

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