By the time Michael Campbell held his trophy aloft, the two other Irish players in the field had quietly packed up. Paul McGinley ended up amidst a crowd in 42nd place with scores of 13-over-par 293, which was actually one stroke better than the number produced by Jason Gore, who was in the final pairing on Sunday. McGinley began the Open with a 76 that reflected six bogeys and no birdies. He limited the bogeys to four on Friday, while coming up with two birdies to help him make the cut. A birdie on the first hole Sunday seemed auspicious, but was quickly erased by a double bogey-6 on 2. McGinley earned $26,223.
Graeme McDowell’s cards also reflected a high degree of turbulence. His best round was the third, in which his 72 was bought with only four bogeys trimmed by two birdies. Sunday brought with it a host of horrors. He shot 81, which he manufactured with six bogeys, one double-bogey and one triple-bogey. There were no birdies. He dropped to a share of 80th place at 21-over-par 301 (74-74-72-81). His consolation was $10,547.
With Europe’s top guns trained on Pinehurst, an opportunity beckoned for up and coming golfers like Stephen Browne. While Browne didn’t make the most of his chances in the St. Omer Open at St. Omer Golf Club in Lumbres, France, he did grab a piece of 17th place. He finished even at 284 (71-70-71-72) for the event. David Higgins overcame a troublesome first round to share 30th position with those who also shot 286 (75-69-71-71). Joakim Backstrom and Paul Dwyer both finished with low scores of 280. Backstrom won the playoff.
Tim Rice missed qualifying for the weekend by four strokes. He carded 149 (77-72). Likewise for Michael Hoey, 152 (74-78), and Colm Moriarty, 155 (80-75).
A couple of dry spells kept Eamonn Darcy from prospering in the Mobile Cup at Collingtree Park in England. In order to challenge eventual champion Giuseppe Cali, Darcy needed to card birdies, a habit he enured himself to quite well during Saturday’s second round, when he shot 67, thanks to six birds, offset by only one bogey. But while he didn’t stumble badly during the first and third rounds, picking up three bogeys in each, he could manage but one birdie on Friday and two on Sunday. Thus, he settled into joint eighth place at 2-under-par 214 (74-67-73). Cali’s cards totaled 208. Denis O’Sullivan took 39th place at 226 (71-76-79), while Eddie Polland joined two others in 40th position at 227 (78-74-75).
Five bogeys over the last 12 holes took a little luster off Peter Williamson’s performance in the Swallow Challenge at Swallow Surrey in England, but he still managed to hold onto sole possession of fifth place. At even-par 219 (70-74-75), Williamson finished eight strokes behind medalist Phil Worthington. Michael McDermott (76-75-72) and Damian Mooney (74-75-74) comprised two parts of a quintet that inhabited 12th position with scores of 223. Also on hand were Ciaran McMonagle, who tied for 20th place at 225 (70-78-77), Eamonn Brady, in joint 30th at 227 (71-81-75), Justin Kehoe, grouped in 42nd place at 231 (77-77-77), and Michael Collins, in 50th place at 233 (82-72-79). Victims of the cut (scores of 154 for 36 holes qualified) included Gavin McNeill, 156 (79-77), Padraig Dooley, 158 (78-82), Alan Murray, 159 (81-78), Jason Law, 161 (80-81), and Patrick Geraghty, 162 (81-81).
GREY GOOSE/GATEWAY TOUR
P.J. Cowan had the honor of shooting the best round of this circuit’s Tournament 3, 63 in the second frame, but he had to settle for a share of 12th place when the final scores were reckoned. Cowan, who holds the course record at the Thurles Golf Club in Co. Tipperary, notched nine birdies at Loblolly Pines in Hobe Sound, Fla., including seven in a row, beginning at 11. Otherwise, he began with 71 and completed the event with consecutive rounds of 72 to finish 10 under par at 278. Reid Edstrom and Steve Hart shot 271 for top spots on the leaderboard, with Edstrom winning the playoff. Cowan collected $2,694. If you shot 142, you made the cut, a privilege that eluded Sean Quinlivan, 147 (77-70), and Declan Glynn, 157 (74-83).
Never miss an issue of The Irish Echo
Subscribe to one of our great value packages.