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Golf RoundupKernohan falters in final round of Nike event

February 15, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By John Manley

John Kernohan was poised to win his first Nike Tour event, entering Sunday’s final round of the South Caroline Classic just one stroke off the lead. After playing the front nine of the Country Club of South Caroline in 1-under-par 35, Kernohan shot a 2-over 38 on the back nine to finish the day at 1-over 73. His total score of 283 was 5-under for 72 holes, but left him tied for sixth place, 3 shots off the winner, Gene Sauers.

Kernohan, who’s 33, opened with a 71 on Thursday, then climbed the leaderboard with a 67 on Friday. He earned six birdies in that round, with just one bogey to tarnish his card. He came back on Saturday with a 72. The Indiana University grad earned $6,830. He was 44th on the Nike Tour money list for 1998 going into last week’s action and should now move up about 10 spaces. The top 15 on the list at year’s end automatically earn a qualifying card for next year’s PGA Tour. Kernohan, a Kentucky native, takes pride in letting people know that his mother and father are originally from Tyrone and Belfast, respectively. Next up is the Nike Carolina Classic in Raleigh, N.C., beginning Thursay.

Meanwhile, Keith Nolan got off to an auspicious start in the first round of the Shell Houston Open, shooting a 2-under-par 70 in Thursday’s opening round, placing him in a tie for 17th place. Heading toward the clubhouse during Friday’s tour of the TPC at The Woodlands, the rookie from Bray, Co. Wicklow, had to sweat the small details in order to make the cut. He succeeded at that, although his 76 for the day was no cause for joy. Nolan got his game back under control over the weekend, shooting 72 and 71, to leave Houston tied for 47th at 289, which was 13 shots in back of the winner, David Duval. Nolan earned $5,207. He needs a breakthrough outing to boost him up the money list if he is to avoid having to qualify for next year’s Tour at Q-School in December. The top 125 are good to go, but Nolan has about 70 guys in his way at present.

Richard Coughlan is in much the same situation. The County Offaly product was one shot behind Nolan, tied for 53rd at 290 (72-73-73-72). His earnings for the tournament totaled $4,587. Both Coughlan and Nolan tee off this Thursday in the BellSouth Classic in Deluth, Ga.

Paul McGinley was the first-round leader in the Italian Open, but the Dubliner’s lead lasted just hours. Rain washed out play at Castelconturbia in Milan on Thursday, then on Friday only about half the field got out. McGinley, well rested, finally teed off on Saturday morning and came in at 9-under 63. He wasn’t long in the clubhouse, however, when it was time to go out and play the second round. What a difference the noon-day sun made. McGinley was even for the next 18 holes and ended Saturday 6 shots in back of Patrik Sjoland. Where McGinley fell apart was the par-5 eighth hole. He had eagled it in the morning, but twice landed in a pond fronting the green that afternoon. His card read 8 in that frame after that debacle. McGinley rebounded with a 69 in the third and final round on Sunday, but Sjoland was long gone, en route to a three-stroke victory. McGinley tied for 13th at 12-under 204, 9 shots behind Sjoland.

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Further down the leaderboard were Padraig Harrington, tied for 43rd at 208 (70-69-69); Eamonn Darcy, tied for 47th at 209 (68-70-71); Darren Clarke, tied for 51st at 210 (65-71-74); Raymond Burns, tied for 66th at 213 (71-66-76), and Ronan Rafferty, tied for 69th at 215 (67-72-76). The number to make the cut was 4-under 140. Shooting higher than that were Francis Howley, 143, Christy O’Connor, 144, and Philip Walton, 145.

The European seniors dusted their clubs off and took their show to the El Bosque Golf Club in Chiva, Valencia, Spain for the El Bosque Seniors Open. The 98-man field included 13 Irishmen. Scores of 70 and 67 had David Jones sitting second, four strokes behind the leader and eventual winner, Tommy Horton, going into the final round. But Jones stumbled and came in with 8 the third and final time around to finish tied for 11th at 215. He was joined there by Eddie Polland, who closed with a 67. Joe McDermott was tied for 16th at 217 (74-72-71), which was one shot better than Denis O’Sullivan at 218 (74-69-75), good for 20th place. Also out and about were Dr. Art Spring, tied for 30th at 220 (74-73-73), Arnold O’Connor, tied for 40th at 222 (73-75-74), and Paul Leonard, tied for 51st at 226 (78-71-77).

A score of 149 or better was required to make the cut. Unable to achieve that were Kenny Stevenson at 151, Michael Murphy at 152, Gordon Parkhill at 153, Tommy Halpin at 154, Liam Higgins at 155 and Hugh Jackson at 157.

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