Still, McGinley achieved a victory of sorts in that his second-place finish elevated him to a spot in the world’s top 50, which provides him with an entree into this month’s U.S. Open at Pinehurst.
McGinley, who began Sunday two strokes behind Cabrera, set a torrid pace beginning at 3, ripping off four consecutive birdies. After a birdie at 8, he assumed the lead, although Cabrera drew even at 11. They stayed neck-and-neck until 16, where McGinley visited a bunker en route to a bogey-5, while Cabrera was holing a 20-foot putt for birdie and a two-stroke swing. McGinley?s drive on 17 produced a bad lie and led to another bogey, effectively ending his title hopes.
“It just wasn’t meant to be,” McGinley said after the round. “I played well but Angel played better and it was his week.”
McGinley finished 13 strokes under par at 275 (72-64-72-67), which was two better than the third-slotted Nick O’Hern. That second-round 64 equaled the course record at the Wentworth Club in Surrey, England. McGinley racked up an eagle and six birdies, while suffering no bogeys.
The Irish were well represented by a host of others who are banging on the door. Sharing 11th place with five others at 283 were Padraig Harrington (70-68-74-71) and Gary Murphy (74-68-70-71). Damien McGrane tied for 18th place at 284 (69-71-72-72), while Graeme McDowell got a piece of the 27th spot at 286 (67-76-75-68). First-round leader Peter Lawrie ended up mired in 39th place at 288 (67-75-75-71). He accounted for six birdies and an eagle-2 at the eighth hole on Thursday, but bogeyed that very same hole Friday and was burdened by four more of the same, as well as five more bogeys on Saturday.
Darren Clarke withdrew after two rounds to be with his wife Heather, who was admitted to the hospital. David Higgins, at 150 (75-75) after 36 holes, missed the cut by five strokes. Similarly severed were Philip Walton, 152 (75-77), Finbarr Madden, 153 (78-75), and Conor Mallon, 156 (76-80).
U.S. SENIOR PGA
Des Smyth’s 138 over the final 36 holes at Laurel Valley in Ligonier, Pa. tied Dana Quigley for the low score for that portion of this event, but 36 holes do not a championship make.
Because Smyth preceded that with an opening 150, the best he could do was a tie at sixth place with others who matched his 288 (74-76-70-68) for 72 holes. Among those were Mark McNulty, who held the lead midway through the tournament, but stumbled during the third round. He carded rounds of 74-66-76-72. Both men pocketed $60,000.
Denis O’Sullivan’s 151 (73-78) missed the cut by a stroke. Mike Reid was crowned champion after enduring a playoff with Quigley and Jerry Pate, who similarly shot 280 for 72 holes.
Colm Moriarty’s fine performance in last week’s Irish Open carried over to the Moroccan Classic at Golf du Soleil in Agadir, Morocco, where he tied for eighth place. At 11-under-par 273 (69-71-65-68), he finished four strokes off the low number, which was shared by a trio that went to a playoff, where Fredrik Widmark prevailed. A double-bogey 6 at 15 prevented Moriarty from an even higher placing. Needing 141 or better to make the cut but missing the mark were Michael Hoey, 143 (72-71), Tim Rice, 147 (73-74), and Daniel Sugrue, 147 (73-74).