Category: Archive

Golf Roundup O’Connor repeats in British Senior Open

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By John Manley

Christy O’Connor Jr. successfully defended his Senior British Open title by coming from behind to defeat John Bland by two strokes at Royal County Down in Newcastle. O’Connor carded a final round 68 to finish nine under par for 72 holes at 275. Bland, of South Africa, shot 71 on Sunday, and has now placed in this event in three of the last four years.

O’Connor teed off at 18 on Sunday with a one-stroke advantage, sealing the tournament when he pitched to within four feet of the hole from 70 feet out. He sank the birdie putt, while Bland saved par after his approach shot rolled off the green and into a ditch. O’Connor’s earlier rounds finished with scores of 69, 68 and 70.

"It is very special to win on the best course in the world and it is even better to do it in front of all these fantastic fans," said O’Connor after the event. The Galwayman won the championship at Portrush last year in his first year with senior status. He earned $94,500 for his victory this year.

David Jones, of nearby Bangor, Co. Down, rallied to tie for 12th place at four-over 288 (79-70-72-67). Denis O’Sullivan was in contention until the third round, when he came in with a 77. He tied for 18th place at six-over 290 (70-71-77-72). Eddie Polland tied for 33rd place at 294 (77-71-75-71).

Gordon Parkhill earned a share of 42nd place at 296 (76-74-73-73). Kenny Stevenson was another who stumbled in the third round. He ended up tied for 48th place at 297 (70-70-77-80). Liam Higgins tied for 58th place at 301 (73-77-75-76).

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European Tour

Tiger Woods has left Europe and a sense of normalcy returned via the TNT Dutch Open in the Netherlands. Darren Clarke was the top Irishman, lodged in 17th place with eight others. Clarke finished nine under par at 279 (72-69-67-71), which was 10 shots behind medalist Stephen Leaney.

Padraig Harrington tied for 28th place at 281 (69-70-73-69), while Eamonn Darcy was the only other Irish representative to complete 72 holes. He took a piece of 48th place at 285 (71-73-69-72).

Those who were unable to shoot 144 or better and thereby make the cut included Des Smyth, 145 (71-74), Gary Murphy, 146 (77-69), Paul McGinley, 147 (74-73), and Philip Walton, 150 (74-76).

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