Category: Archive

Golf Roundup Irish come out of the blue and onto the greens

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By John Manley

It was a tournament that drew the names. Clarke, Harrington and McGinley led the Irish contingent. Monty, Parnevik, Sergio and Van de Velde showed as well. Even Tiger crossed the Atlantic for this one. But it was a name among nine others who tied for 34th place in the Deutsche Bank-SAP open that lent the greatest intrigue to this European Tour event.

Ronan Rafferty has been nearly invisible over the last several years, beset by a hand injury that caused him to forsake the Tour last year as he recovered from surgery. To call his reappearance and return to form anything less than startling would be an understatement, considering the depth of talent that converged in Alveslohe, Germany, last week.

The conclusion of the third round found Rafferty a mere five strokes behind the leader, Tiger Woods, only the world’s most dominant player. Rafferty began with a level par 72 on Thursday, then proceeded to shave strokes off that number in rounds two and three, shooting 71 and 69, respectively. He stumbled a bit on Sunday, coming in with a 74. His aggregate 286 was 2- under-par for 72 holes.

The act of striking the ball with a club still brings with it a level of discomfort for Rafferty. He reportedly is limited to 40 swings on the practice range, lest he place too great a demand on his hands. In any event, his return only enhances the Irish presence on the international golf landscape, which has hit the heights, thanks to Ryder Cuppers Darren Clarke and Padraig Harrington. Paul McGinley is but a stroke or two from succeeding to their level, and Gary Murphy has made some inroads in his rookie year.

McGinley finished the highest of the bunch in Germany last week, tying for ninth place at 279 (73-65-72-69), which was six strokes behind Lee Westwood’s winning 273. Clarke tied for 15th at 281 (72-69-68-72), with

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Harrington a stroke behind at 282 (73-70-69-70). Murphy took a slice of 44th place, with his one-under 287 (74-69-73-71), while Eamonn Darcy played to even par 288 (71-72-74-71), which placed him with seven others in 51st


As for Woods, he settled for third place, shooting two-under 70 on Sunday to land at 277 for the tournament. Westwood fired a final-round 64 to break a season-long slump en route to medalist honors. The unheralded Emanuele Canonica of Italy grabbed second position.

Women’s Euro Tour

Aideen Rogers tied for 29th place in the Ladies Italian Open at Poggio Dei Medici in Florence. Three rounds of one-over-par 74 were accompanied by a third round 76. Her 72-hole score of 298 was 14 strokes behind Sophie

Gustafson’s winning 284. Lynn McCool, the only other Irish representative in the event, finished in 68th position, shooting 312 (79-73-79-81).

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