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Golf Roundup: Browne wins vital euros in Kazakhstan’s 1st tourney

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

But the effort may ultimately prove worth it as he won the competition. This event is a Challenge Tour fixture and Browne was stepping down a notch, hoping to rack up enough euros to finish in the top 20 on the Order of Merit, a distinction that brings with it automatic elevation to the European Tour. By virtue of his victory, he earned enough to rise to 22nd place with three events left this season.
Browne finished 15 strokes under par at 273 (66-69-69-69), good for a one-stroke cushion over a quintet of pursuers at 274, including Colm Moriarty. Starting the final round two strokes off the lead, he mixed two birdies with as many bogeys over the first five holes. He played three under par the rest of the way. The third and fourth holes proved to be his Achilles heel as he came in five over par for the four days on just those two frames.
“I do seem to play better on adrenaline and I was playing on it all week,” Browne said. “To be the first winner of a professional golf event in the history of Kazakhstan will probably take a bit of time to sink in, but it is a fantastic honor.”
After recording three bogeys in both of his first two rounds, Moriarty got into the mix by limiting his miscues to just one over the final 36 holes. His cards read 68, 70, 67 and 69.
David Higgins was also poised for a run, but a double-bogey 6 at the third on Sunday proved disastrous and he could only play the remainder of the course even, with a bogey at 18. He shot 279 (67-69-70-74) to join nine others in 12th place. Michael Hoey’s 284 (73-71-73-67) landed him in 35th place.
Both Hoey and Higgins appear assured of advancing to the European Tour next year as they’re situated third and seventh, respectively, on the Challenge Tour Order of Merit. Browne is less than (2,000 behind Kyron Sullivan, currently 20th on the list. Moriarty stands 35th, needing more than (17,000 to pass Sullivan.

‘Twas the week for matches pitting teams devised along geographical lines. While the U.S. was taking on the International side (made up of players from the Southern Hemisphere and Canada) in the Presidents’ Cup, Padraig Harrington, Paul McGinley and Graeme McDowell sided with a British team that faced off against Continental Europe in the Seve Cup at the Wynward Club in England. The Ireland/Britain team ran off a 16-11 victory over its rivals.
Harrington and McGinley were paired for four matches, producing two victories against one loss, while halving one match. McGinley won his singles match 1 up over Miguel Angel Jimenez, with Harrington falling to Emanuele Canonica, 2 and 1. McDowell split a pair of matches when teamed with Colin Montgomerie, and halved his third and final event when sent out with Stephen Dodd. In singles play, he was a 5 and 4 winner over Maarten Lafeber.

Denis O’Sullivan tied for 12th place in the London Senior Masters at the London Golf Club. The Corkman was three strokes under par at 213 (72-68-73), which left him 12 behind the victorious Sam Torrance. Well down the list stood John Curtis in 49th position at 225 (80-69-76), Liam Higgins in joint 52nd place at 227 (78-76-73) and Eddie Polland, who shared the 61st spot at 230 (77-79-74).

Surviving first-round qualifying in pursuit of a card on the 2006 European Tour were 11 Irishmen, including David Mortimer, Alan Murray, Eamonn Brady, John Kelly, Daniel Sugrue, Noel Fox, Jimmy Bolger, Chris Moriarty and amateurs Greg Bowden, Michael McGeady and Darren Crowe. The next round takes place the first week of November at three venues in Spain, with the finals scheduled for Nov. 10-15 at San Roque in Spain.

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