17.3 C
Thursday, August 13, 2020
- Advertisement -

McGee’s challenge runs out of steam in Turkey

Must read

You Give Love a Bad Name*

When passion boils over into anger, there's no excuse for taking your rage out on the golf course. Sadly, that's exactly what happened on the 17th green at North West GC recently

Hazeltine memories highlight the fervour and fanaticism of US supporters

Another year to wait but much to ponder in the interim; a Ryder Cup in America is no place for the fainthearted, be they European players or fans

Fast & Fascinating facts

More tidbits from around the world of golf including the one time Masters champ who not only correctly predicted his win but also his aggregate score

Cursed in Foxford and Puerto Rico

Some curses seem harder to break than others, whether you're a Mayo footballer chasing an All-Ireland title or a Puerto Rico champion sentenced to PGA Tour doom

It wasn’t the final round that Ruaidhri McGee had hoped for but his one-under par 71 ensured it was still a week well spent at the Turkish Airlines Challenge.

The Rosapenna professional fired five birdies but he also dropped four shots around Samsun Golf Club, having only posted two bogeys over his previous 54-holes.

With McGee chasing victory heading into the final day, he eventually finished five shots off the winning mark in a share of 13th at 18-under par. He picked up a cheque worth €3,300 for the performance and 3,300 valuable world ranking points to go with it.

Scoring proved much tougher on the final day in Turkey and Conor O’Rourke was another who struggled to replicate his numbers from the first three days. He signed for an even par 72 to close out a beneficial week in the sun after his pre-season preparations were hampered by a wrist injury that he picked up on the Mediterranean Tour.

O’Rourke finished in a share of 36th at 12-under par and earned €1,260 for his work that should just about cover the 26-year old’s week in Samsun.

The day belonged to Connor Syme who claimed his first European Challenge Tour title in style as he held his nerve to defeat Francesco Laporta in a play-off to triumph at Samsun Golf Club.

The duo played in the same group together for the second successive day and both carded five under par rounds of 67 to reach a 23 under par total, meaning extra holes were required to determine a winner.

Returning to the 18th hole, both players found the fairway with an iron off the tee before Syme hit a sensational seven iron approach to five feet and subsequently holed the birdie putt to win the first Challenge Tour Rankings event of the season.

The 23-year-old was showered with water in celebration by his compatriots after securing victory and he believes this win justifies his decision to play in Turkey, and not in Morocco at the Trophée Hassan II.

“It’s massive, I’m absolutely thrilled,” he said. “A few people might have been thinking why I hadn’t gone to Morocco this week so it was good to justify my decision to come here and win. I’m absolutely delighted and it sets me up for the season so hopefully it’s just the start.

“Of all the holes, I probably wouldn’t have wanted to play 18 because I’ve not really got a club for it. I’ve got a five wood in the bag this week but that brings the bunker into play off the left, so I just had to hit four iron.

“I had 190 yards in regular play and it was right in between and eight and a seven for me because it’s a little bit down breeze, so I had to hit eight and try and draw it and didn’t quite get it right, so I holed a good putt for par.

“There in the play-off, I had 196 yards and it was very quick, I just pulled seven because it was the shot I’d been practising on the range and it was the right shot at the right time, so I’m delighted.”

With players shooting rounds of 11-under par and 10-under par in the first three days, the course setup team set some testing pins for the final round, meaning scoring was more moderate and suited Syme’s game plan.

“The scoring has been crazy low the whole week and I had a feeling that I needed to get to 25-under par,” he said. “That was my target and I just wanted to play my own game but it’s just so difficult with the big leaderboards and you see people aren’t pushing as much as you possibly thought.

“I thought I had to get to 25-under par. The last few holes are challenging. I honestly thought last night that I was in the perfect position because the way the course is it’s so difficult to keep pushing all the time.

“When you’re ahead, it’s probably hard to keep pushing on so I was in a good position where I wasn’t sleeping on a lead. I was there still being able to shoot at a number and I was able to do that.

“I got a bit unlucky on 14 to make six; I was inches away from having a good opportunity to make birdie but I composed myself and made a really good birdie on 17 to give myself a chance.

“It was great to play with Francesco as well; we shot the same score and couldn’t be separated playing together two days in a row, so it was good that we finished with a birdie there to separate us.”

Dutch duo Wil Besseling and Darius van Driel shared third place on 22 under par following respective rounds of 65 and 67, while Mark Flindt Haastrup, who started the day in second place, and three-time European Tour winner Grégory Havret came tied fifth on 21 under par.

Overnight leader Adrian Meronk posted a one over par round of 73 to finish in a tie for seventh alongside English duo Gary Boyd and Matthew Jordan.

With victory in Turkey, Syme jumps straight to the top of the Challenge Tour Rankings with 32,000 points, while Laporta is second with 22,000.

The Challenge Tour now heads to Spain for the Challenge de España at Izki Golf, Urturi.

Full Scoring HERE


New Gear

Looks like a Mallet, Feels like a Blade, Forgives like a Spider

TaylorMade’s latest short-stick, the Spider FCG boasts a forward centre of gravity designed for golfers seeking the forgiveness of a mallet with the feel of a blade

TaylorMade dial it in even further with new iron additions

TaylorMade fans rejoice as the company announces additions to the Series of P700 Irons with the all-new P7MB, P7MC and P770 offerings

Special edition Tiger wedge added to Taylormade’s MG2 line-up

TaylorMade Golf Company has lifted the curtain on a limited edition Tiger Woods wedge; a club milled for precision and played by a champion

Versatility comes easy with TaylorMade’s new utility irons

The latest SIM UDI and SIM DHY deliver a new level of versatility to TaylorMade’s utility irons category sure to improve any player's game


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest News

Sam’s the man at Irish Boys in Thurles

Portumna’s Sam Murphy captured the Irish Boys title in style with a final round 65 (-7) to give him an eight stroke victory on 12-under par.

Clubs urged to join the Slip! Slap! Swing! campaign

The sun may not have shone too often this summer but UV rays remain a constant source of harm that golfers should be protecting themselves against

Johnson honoured with PGA Tour’s Payne Stewart Award

In acknowledgement of his character, sportsmanship and dedication to charitable giving, Zach Johnson has been named the recipient of the PGA Tour’s Payne Stewart Award

Howard and Eivers share the spoils at Cahir Park

Jack Howard and home player, Paul Eivers shared top spot after firing superb six-under par 65s at the latest Irish PGA event, the Cahir Park Pro-Am

Maguire set for Tour return at Ladies Scottish Open

Leona Maguire makes her eagerly-anticipated return to competition this week as the LPGA Tour and the LET touch down for the Ladies Scottish Open at the Renaissance Club