By John Manley
Paul McGinley admitted to taking a measure of inspiration from Darren Clarke’s match play victory over Tiger Woods and nearly squeezed a victory out of the emotional boost. McGinley settled for a second-place tie in the Dubai Desert Classic at the Dubai Creek and Yacht Club, two strokes behind Argentina’s Jose Coceres.
The Dubliner started the final round eight shots behind Coceres, but the Argentinean almost gave the tournament away with a closing round 73. McGinley, meanwhile, was closing ground with a 67. Following earlier rounds of 67, 72 and 70, he finished at 267, as did Patrik Sjöland. McGinley tied for third place here last year.
Clarke can be forgiven for a letdown. He had little time at home in which to enjoy his triumph at LaCosta, having to fly to the Mideast for this European Tour event. He tied for 17th place with a 72-hole score of 283 (71-70-69-73).
Keith Nolan missed the cut by a stroke in the Doral-Ryder Open at the Doral Resort in Miami last week. The Wicklow man shot consecutive rounds of one-under-par 71.