By John Manley
Last week’s European Tour event, the Turespana Masters Open Baleares, enjoyed only a smattering of visiting Irish, but Paul McGinley nearly made off with the winner’s purse at the Santa Ponsa I course in Majorca, Spain. McGinley began the final round four shots off the eventual winner, Miguel Angel Jimenez, but had the Spaniard in the crosshairs, closing to within a stroke after 14 holes. Then McGinley proceeded to bogey the 15th and 16th holes, effectively ending his trophy aspirations. He finished the round with a 1-under 71, leaving him tied for third place at 6-under 282, 3 shots behind Jimenez. McGinley’s first three rounds yielded scores of 71, 73 and 67.
Richard Coughlan and Keith Nolan were both scheduled for late tee times in Thursday’s opening round of the Bell South Classic, played over the TPC at Sugarloaf course in Duluth, Ga. Rain pushed those times back well into the afternoon, and when the duo finally got out, it was well after 4 p.m. Neither was able to finish his round, and they had to pick it up on Friday morning, with Coughlan carding a 2-over-par 74 and Nolan, 76. They then played the next 18 holes just hours later, with both improving their scores (71 for Coughlan and 73 for Nolan), but neither was able to make the cut. Coughlan’s 145 was one stroke shy of the 144 needed to go on, and Nolan was 5 off at 149. Their sojourn now takes them to Texas for this week’s Byron Nelson Classic.
An opening-round score of 67 normally thrusts one into the thick of the scramble, but not so at last week’s Nike Carolina Classic, as P.J. Cowan and John Kernohan can tell you. The pair put their signatures to just such a score, but that still left them 7 shots behind Jimmy Green, who scorched the Raleigh Country Club fairways with a course-record 11-under-par 60. Neither Cowan nor Kernohan were able to make up much ground from there, although both earned checks for four days of golf. Kernohan tied for 26th place at 7-under 277 (67-71-69-70), earning $1,643. Cowan finished in a tie for 38th at 4-under 280 (67-72-72-69), which was good for $1,013. Brian Bateman won the tournament, outfinishing Green, 266-267. Next up is the Nike Dominion Open at the Dominion Club in Glen Allen, Va., May 14-17.
The European Seniors Tour wended its way to the Gloria Golf Resort in Turkey for the Beko Classic, which was won in a three-way playoff by Robert Lendzion of the U.S. David Jones was once again the top Irishman, tying for fourth place with a 54-hole score of 213, which was 2 shots shy of the 211 that Lendzion, Bobby Verwey and Antonio Garrido carded. Jones is now sixth in the Tour rankings after two events.
Others who made the cut after 36 holes included Denis O’Sullivan, who tied for 24th at 218 (72-75-71); Joe McDermott (70-77-72) and Paul Leonard (70-79-70), both tied for 27th at 219; Gordon Parkhill, tied for 32nd at 220 (72-72-76); Kenny Stevenson, tied for 35th at 221 (75-72-74); Dr. Art Spring (74-71-77) and Eddie Polland (74-74-74), both tied for 39th at 222; and Michael Murphy, 53rd place at 229 (75-74-80). Having to call it quits after missing the cut, which fell at 150, were Arnold O’Connor, 152 (74-78), Tommy Halpin, 157 (79-78) and Hugh Jackson, 158 (78-80).
Follow us on social media
Keep up to date with the latest news with The Irish Echo
Peter Walsh tied for seventh place in a recent Philadelphia PGA Pro-Am, held at the Rehoboth Beach Country Club in Delaware. Walsh, formerly of Dunmurry, Co. Antrim, shot a 3-over par 75, leaving him 5 shots behind Russ Davis, the top man at 70. Walsh is the head pro at the Toms River Country Club in New Jersey.
Also, Michael Hoey of the Shandon Park club in Belfast captured the Irish Amateur Open strokeplay title at Royal Dublin with a two under par aggregate of 286 at the weekend. The 19-year-old Hoey, who will take up a golf scholarship at Clemson University in South Carolina in September, birdied the final hole to win by two shots.