Category: Archive

Golf Roundup Deja vu haunts Antrim’s Polland

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By John Manley

Heading to the 18th tee at Royal Portrush in County Antrim to begin a playoff for the championship of the Senior British Open, Eddie Polland certainly couldn’t claim to be unprepared for the task. Just the previous week, Polland found himself pitted against Brian Huggett and Neil Coles in the Schroder Senior Masters after finishing on even terms at the end of regulation. Huggett won that event on the first extra hole. So, when Polland looked up at the leaderboard after finishing his round on Sunday and saw another name with an identical low score of 5-under 283, he must have felt a twinge. The other name was Huggett’s.

There would be no turning of the tables at Portrush. Polland, who lives in Antrim, left his approach shot in the rough, to the right of the green, while Huggett was on in two, about 25 feet from the pin. Polland chipped on to within 12 feet of the cup, as Huggett putted to within a club length of the hole. Polland needed to sink the 12-footer, but the ball died on him and went wide of the target, leaving Huggett to tap in for par and the victory, his second over Polland in as many weeks. Polland finished regulation with a 2-under 70, clipping three shots off Huggett’s lead in the space of five holes to force the playoff. Polland shot identical rounds of 71 the first three times around the course.

Three other Irishmen finished in the top 10 of the most prominent event on the European Senior Tour. Denis O’Sullivan tied for 5th at 286 (71-73-71-71), while David Jones (69-77-71-74) and Paul Leonard (72-74-70-75) tied for 9th at 291. Also making the cut (152 or better) and tying for 32nd were Joe McDermott (74-76-73-75) and Kenny Stevenson (76-75-72-75) at 298. Liam Higgins (73-76-70-80) and Christy O’Connor (74-77-74-74) tied for 41st at 299, while Gordon Parkhill tied for 45th at 300 (75-77-71-77). Getting no farther than 36 holes were Arnold O’Connor (75-78) and Michael Murphy (78-75) at 153, Robert Wallace, 155 (76-79), Dr. Arthur Spring, 156 (77-79), Declan Branigan, 157 (80-77), Adam Whiston, 159 (79-80), and Barry Reddan, 163 (80-83).

New York State Open

P.J. Cowan cruised to an easy victory in the MONY New York State Open at Bethpage State Park on Long Island. Cowan gave himself plenty of breathing room with two rounds of 5-under 67. His finishing round was a 71, but his 54-hole score of 205 still left him eight shots in front of his nearest pursuer, entitling him to the winner’s purse of $15,000. Cowan has taken a reprieve from his regular stint on the Nike Tour to recover from injuries. A Bronx native, Cowan grew up on Long Island, attended St. John’s in Queens and is now based in Florida. His parents, Pat and Patsy, are from Templemore, Co. Tipperary, and Bandon, Co. Cork, respectively.

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European Tour

The German Open had onlookers asking if anyone wanted to win the thing. Orlando Garrido had a lead as wide as three shots early in Sunday’s final round, but he double-bogeyed the 13th hole to start his descent. Stephen Allan recorded a triple-bogey 6 on the 13th, while Mark Roe three-putted on the 17th green. Padraig Harrington thus had a chance to capitalize on everyone else’s misfortunes, but he bogeyed No. 18 with a tee shot that went deep left into the rough. In the end it was Allan who pulled through to a one-stroke victory over Harrington, Garrido, Roe and Steve Webster.

Harrington completed 72 holes at Bad Saarow with a score of 7-under 281, comprised of rounds of 73, 69, 70 and 69. Eamonn Darcy opened with a 77, but recovered to make the cut with a 69. He finished with rounds of 68 and 72, tying for 20th place at 286. Paul McGinley tied for 23rd at 287 (73-73-72-69), John McHenry tied for 51st at 292 (70-75-71-76) and Dave Higgins tied for 67th at 295 (77-70-70-78).

Clarke out of PGA

Darren Clarke has withdrawn from this week’s PGA Championship at Sahalee in Redmond, Wash,. to remain home with his wife, Heather, who is soon due to deliver the couple’s first child.

PGA Tour

Neither Richard Coughlan nor Keith Nolan were able to make the cut in the Buick Open at the Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club in Grand Blanc, Mich. Coughlan, whose modus operandi is to produce a shaky first round followed by an often spectacular second round, opened with a 1-under 71. He went in the other direction on Friday, however, carding a 73. His even-par score of 144 missed the cut by two strokes. Nolan came in at 75 and 74 for an aggregate of 149, which was 5 over par. Neither golfer is in the field in this week’s PGA Championship, but on Monday, Aug. 17, they return to Pebble Beach, Calif., for the final round of the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, the finish of which was postponed due to torrential rains last winter. Both made the cut in that event and look forward to healthy paychecks with one good round.

Nike Tour

John Kernohan tied for 43rd place in the Omaha Classic at the Champions Club in Nebraska. He carded rounds of 73, 69, 70 and 70 to finish 2-under for the event at 282, which was 11 strokes off the winning score. Kernohan earned $900.

European Challenge Tour

Sean Quinlivan placed 55th in the Finnish Masters at Espoo, Finland. His final score of 5-over 293 was comprised of rounds of 70,. 74, 76 and 73. Gary Murphy failed to make the cut, which required a 36-hole score of 144 or better. Murphy’s rounds of 77 and 73 left him far off at 150.

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