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McGrane poses a challenge in Moscow

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By John Manley

Damien McGrane put forth his finest effort of the 2001 season on the European Challenge Tour in the BMW Russian Open. He started the final round at the Moscow Country Club two shots behind Jamie Donaldson, but shot 72, while Donaldson posted 68. McGrane settled for a share of seventh place at 276 (68-70-66-72), which is 12 under par.

Gary Murphy also made the trip and finished in a tie for 47th place at 289 (69-68-71-81). Francis Howley earned a slice of 51st place with his 291 (69-72-75-75). Paddy Gribben ‘s 36-hole score of 142 (70-72) missed the cut by a stroke. Peter Lawrie was another shot back at 143 (70-73) after Friday’s play.

EUROPEAN TOUR

Darren Clarke tied for 16th place in the Volvo Scandinavian Masters at the Barseback Golf & Country Club in Loddekopinge, Sweden, but he wasn’t the Irishman making headlines. That fell to caddie Miles Byrne, who was fired by Ian Woosnam for oversleeping and missing the Welshman’s tee time on Sunday.

Two weeks ago in the British Open, Byrne cost Woosnam two penalty strokes and valuable momentum when, on the first green, he discovered one club more than the maximum permitted in the bag. Woosnam finished tied for third place, four shots behind champion David Duval, and one behind runner-up Niclas Fasth. Although holding Byrne responsible for not counting the sticks before teeing off, Woosnam stuck by Byrne until Sunday.

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Woosnam had a 7:15 am tee time, and had to employ the course caddiemaster in Byrne’s absence. Woosnam’s locker also had to be broken into to obtain his shoes, as Byrne had been entrusted with the key. Woosnam proceeded to shoot his best round of the tournament, a three-under 69. He finished tied for 59th place.

As for Clarke, he combined rounds of 66-70-70-73 to finish at 279, five shots behind the victorious Colin Montgomerie.

BUY.COM TOUR

Keith Nolan put four solid rounds together in the Omaha Classic at the Champions Club in Nebraska. Nolan tied for 36th place by shooting nine-under-par 279 (71-70-69-69). His earnings amounted to $2,573. Heath Slocum’s 266 was good enough to win the championship.

EURO SENIORS TOUR

Denis O’Sullivan had the best run at Noel Ratcliffe in the De Vere Hotels Seniors Classic, played at De Vere Slaley Hall in Hexham, England. The Corkman earned a 10th-place tie, his five-under-par 211 (70-71-70) leaving him six strokes behind Ratcliffe at the finish.

Others who went the distance included Joe McDermott, who tied for 17th place at 214 (72-68-74), Paul Leonard (69-71-75) and Eddie Polland (71-72-72), who tied for 24th place at 215, and Arnold O’Connor, who shared 48th place at 222 (73-72-77).

LOCAL NEWS AND RESULTS

Emerald Golf Society played Split Rock course on July 29. Brian Egan from Dublin won with a par under 67 and Martin Murphy managed a 68. Tim McCannon came in at 81.

Mike Donovan won the IGA President’s trphy at the Links at Union Vale on July 22. Aine Brazil won the women’s President’s trophy on the same day. The IGA will play the Belfast Club in the Interclub competition at the Knoll Golf Club on August 11.

Meanwhile, at Blue Hill Golf Club, the Celtic Club saw some interesting shots. Kieran Spellman won with a canny 65 under par, his third win of the year. Martin Dollard shot a nice 66, showing no ill effects from a wedding the day before.

David Collum’s 66 keeps the three players in contest for Player of the Year.

The Cavan 2001 Irish golf tour will start on August 20, at Dundrum golf club, Co. Tipperary. The team will stay at the Majestic Hotel, Tramore, Co. Waterford, and test their skills on various courses. For information on the trip, call Connie Smith at (212) 267-3032.

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