Stone one shy at US Adaptive Open: I’m a Saturday morning golfer not full time

Ronan MacNamara

Conor Stone (Robert Beck/USGA)

Conor Stone admitted his lack of competitive action cost him as he came up one shot shy of Kipp Popert at the US Adaptive Open at Pinehurst no.6.

Stone carded a three-over 75 to match Popert’s final round but he had to settle for a share of second place on one-under-par as the Englishman took the title. The Carton House man felt not being a full time golfer proved the difference under pressure, particularly around the greens where previous struggles with the wedges reared their ugly head.

“I actually felt okay. I wasn’t hitting the ball too well starting off, but made a nice birdie on the first and nice birdie on the second; hit a poor shot on the third.


“My third shot was off the back of the green, and the putter was just racing. Me chipping really let me down today. It was all going fine. I was 3-under after eight holes, and got to the ninth hole.

“You know, I had the yips at the start of the year, and all of a sudden they came back with my wedges and I chunked two shots in a row. I hit one over the back there and walked off with a triple out of nowhere.

“I guess that’s what — I’m a Saturday morning golfer, I’m not a full time golfer, and stuff like that shows up under pressure, I guess.

“I’m still happy. I don’t mind losing. That doesn’t bother me. I’m more just disappointed that I had the yips, and it’s frustrating. I’ll go play golf once a week. For a guy who plays once a week to come second in a championship like this, it’s not bad.

“Look, if I was fortunate enough to play golf every day, I probably would have won it, but I don’t, so.”

The Co. Meath Golf Club Senior Cup golfer started well with a brace of opening birdies before following up a bogey on three with birdies on six and seven before the aforementioned triple bogey turned the round on its head and he never really recovered, dropping a shot on 12 before double bogeying 14.

Still, he was pleased to push Popert all the way having considered withdrawing before the championship began.

“I’m proud of myself that I managed to even just lose to Kipp by one shot because he’s a machine. Back home in Europe you see him walking away — he’s like the Tiger Woods of disabled golf in Europe. He just runs away with tournaments. It was nice to keep up with him. I don’t think he had his best stuff this week, either, so if he had played better, I think he could have won it by a long way. But at the same time, if I played as good as I should have played, I could have been six, seven, eight shots better. That’s golf.”

Next up for Stone is getting back to the day job with weeks like this few and far between.

“I don’t have the money to keep doing this anymore. So I said last night, if I didn’t win tonight — I have one more event, the European Championships next week, and I’ll probably call it a day I would say.

“I just can’t afford to keep doing this. I am fortunate to have one sponsor who has helped me out, but it’s not enough to cover a whole year, and what my sponsor does is fantastic, but you need five or six sponsors to actually do this for a living. I can’t do it anymore. Not that I’m old, but I just have other things to put first, as well. I had fun the last year. Yeah, time to go back and focus on my job, I think.”

Aidan Grenham shared 31st place.


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