‘Very happy’ McBride claims fifth-place finish in MENA Tour season-opener

Mark McGowan

Paul McBride (Photo by Oliver Hardt/Getty Images)

Mark McGowan

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Paul McBride shot a three-under 68 in the third and final round of the MENA Tour’s Egyptian Swing tournament at Madinaty Golf Club, which brought the Malahide man back to sub-par figures for the week and secured a fifth-place finish in the tour’s season-opening event.

Having battled through a tough opening two rounds amidst heavy winds, particularly on day two, McBride was one of the unfortunate contingent who had just completed his second-round when play was halted due to high winds, and those who got to complete their rounds this morning had the considerable advantage of ideal playing conditions.

Starting the final round seven shots off the pace, McBride parred the opening three holes before dropping a shot at the par-4 fourth, but a birdie-two at the next and another on the par-5 eighth saw him reach the turn at one-under for the day.

Two bogeys to start the back nine threatened to derail his round, but with the unusual scenario of having four par-5s to come – and he would birdie all four – he was able to sign for a 68, his best score of the week, post -1, and secure a tie for fifth place.

“It played a lot easier today,” McBride admitted afterwards. “There wasn’t much wind so it was much more gettable, as the scoring suggests I suppose.

“I had a good chance on one and missed, then the next stretch is quite difficult and I three-putted the fourth – it was a tough two putt – then I birdied the fifth. I played pretty well all day, I just had to be patient and keep doing my thing, I suppose. I knew the par-5s were coming and they were gettable so I knew there’d be chances there.

“12, 16 and 17 are gettable, maybe not with irons, well maybe 16 is, but the other two are easy enough around the green so if you can get it up around there, you’re in good shape, but I hit a great shot into 13. I had 265, into the wind, over the water, and I hit it to about 12 feet and two putted for birdie so that was probably the highlight of those birdies.

“I’m very happy with how I went about my business, it’s hard when it’s windy, and stop-start, and you’re not sure when you’re going to be playing, but I just kept trying to play my golf and I did do that. I made some mistakes that I’d like to have back, but every tournament you’re going to have that.”

Meanwhile, Gavin Moynihan, the only other Irishman to make the cut from the six starters, fired a closing two-under 69, that included three birdies on the spin on the back nine to reach the clubhouse tied for 15th at +1.

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