Maybin assumed the lead during Saturday’s third round, but stumbled slightly with bogeys at 16 and 17 after avoiding any blemishes over the previous 39 holes. After playing the first three holes even on Sunday, he bogeyed 4, but then racked up birdies at 6, 8, 10 and 11 to go into cruise control. He had two strokes on his nearest pursuer, Camilo Benedetti, at the finish.
“This feels awesome,” said Maybin, 24. “My 10 sponsors will be partying it up tonight back in Ballyclare at the Five Corners Pub. I got off to a good start this week with the 66, and I usually always play well on the weekend, so I just played my normal game and I putted great this week also.”
Maybin, who is now based in Mobile, Ala., allowed that he will probably splurge on a motorcycle in the wake of his win. The $31,000 first prize catapults him to the top of the Tour’s money list with $52,109 for the year. The Hooters Tour goes on hiatus for three weeks and will resume on July 25 in Owasso, Okla.
The River Liffey turned out to be the star at the Smurfit European Open. Water came into play in the most bizarre fashion late on Sunday at the K Club, washing the names of Thomas Bjorn (the Dane hit three into water on the 17th) and Raphael Jacquelin off the leaderboard, leaving England’s unfancied Kenneth Ferrie to claim the trophy.
Bjorn, who withdrew from this event after just six holes last year, complaining about needing to tend to his “inner demons,” appeared to have those critters nicely under control.
He started Sunday with a four-stroke lead, but that dissipated with a bogey at 16, brought about when his ball rolled into the water bordering the green. He then stole the script from Tin Cup at 17, sending three balls into the Liffey to score 11 there. His lead now a memory, he bogeyed 18 to end up with a share of 33rd place.
Jacquelin, meanwhile, bogeyed 16, then found water at 17 and 18 for double bogeys at both. He settled in at 19th position.
Ferrie’s 285 was three strokes under par and two better than Graeme Storm and Colin Montgomerie. Darren Clarke might have improved on his tie at fourth place had he not started off so poorly on Sunday.
He was four over par for his round after six holes, but finished with three birdies beginning at 16 to close with a score of 288 (69-71-75-73). This was his first outing in about a month. He’s been by the side of his wife Heather, who is battling cancer, and has been tending a minor injury to his left knee.
Gary Murphy and Damien McGrane both showed well, emerging with five others in sixth place at 289. Murphy, whose cards read 68, 76, 73 and 72, had his own difficulties with the 15-17 stretch, playing it seven over par for the four days. McGrane, however, found that territory to be a piece of cake, playing it two under. His troubles came elsewhere as he shot 70, 71, 74 and 74.
Graeme McDowell, who tied for 13th place at 290 (72-75-70-73), also had some unusual moments. He recorded two eagles and one albatross, but more than offset those with six double bogeys.
As for Padraig Harrington, the excitement from the previous week’s Barclays Classic win proved too much. He made a quick exit after shooting 79 and 74, missing the cut by five strokes. He three-putted five times on Thursday and admitted to being “mentally drained,” advising that had this tournament been played outside of Ireland, he would have taken the week off.
Des Smyth settled for joint 25th place in the Commerce Bank Championship at Eisenhower Park’s Red Course on Long Island. At 207 (68-67-72), he was six strokes below par for 54 holes and 10 behind the victorious Ron Streck. Smyth’s take was $13,987. He stands sixth on the tour’s money list at $847,618. Dana Quigley tops the list with $1,293,340.
Denis O’Sullivan popped up with a near-stellar performance that came in the midst of Carl Mason’s hot streak. Mason won the Wales Senior Open at Royal St. David’s for his second victory in as many weeks, with O’Sullivan and Bob Charles sharing runner-up honors at 207, five strokes behind Mason.
O’Sullivan’s Achilles heel was the stretch of acreage beginning at 13 and running through 15. He played those holes seven over par for the event’s three rounds. His cards read 70, 69 and 68.
Eamonn Darcy tied for 14th place at 213 (70-70-73), with Eddie Polland getting a share of 35th position at 218 (74-73-71), Paul Leonard good for part of 42nd place at 220 (72-74-74), and Liam Higgins at joint 49th with 222 (73-75-74).