Wednesday 23 January 2019

Irish quartet set for Open failure

Paul McGinley, Shane Lowry (pictured), Michael Hoey and Gareth Maybin's chances of making the British Open look slim as they failed to make the field for next month's Open Golf Championship following the final international qualifying event at Sunningdale yesterday.

Ten places were up for grabs in the 36-hole qualifier, but McGinley, with a combined total of 137, and Lowry, on 141, were both well outside the score of 127 set by England's Graeme Storm.

Hoey shot a 69 in the first round but was forced to retire in the second. Maybin shot a 72 before withdrawing in the second due to a leg injury.

The quartet could still make Royal St George's with a top-five finish at either the French or Scottish Opens, while two spots are available through a mini-money list on the European Tour, which continues at this week's Italian Open.

Colin Montgomerie now has a last-place finish in an Open qualifier to add to his worst performance ever on European soil -- in the space of just four days. After crashing out of the Wales Open on 15-over-par last Friday, Montgomerie did at least improve to six-over yesterday.

Singh in major trouble

Former world No1 Vijay Singh is in danger of missing his first Major in 17 years after failing to turn up for a qualifying event for next week's US Open at Congressional.

The Fijian, a three-time major winner, has played in each of the past 67 majors. Spain's Sergio Garcia ensured he would make his 47th consecutive appearance in the majors when he made it through one of the 11 36-hole qualifying events held across the United States.

O'Donovan takes title

Richard O'Donovan, who had only survived the midway cut on the mark, won the East of Ireland amateur championship at County Louth Golf Club in Baltray yesterday.

Lucan man O'Donovan, a plus-two handicapper, shot a superb final-round 66, the best of the championship, to take the title by two strokes.

The 20-year-old was seven adrift going into the final round.

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