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Friday, September 25, 2020

McGinley forced to settle for top-10 at Staysure PGA Seniors

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Paul McGinley struggled to ignite any sparks in a final round 72 at the Staysure Tour’s PGA Seniors Championship.

The Dubliner found himself in contention heading into Sunday’s final round but struggled to get going before eventually finishing in a tie for 9th at 11 under par.

The former Ryder Cup captain headed the Irish Challenge for the week with Irish/Zimbabwean, Mark McNulty returning a 71 this afternoon to register a minus-five tournament total.

Des Smyth’s one over par tournament tally saw him sneak a top-50 finish after a productive week for the veteran as the title went to Phillip Price who claimed his second Staysure Tour title in three years.

The 2002 Ryder Cup star recorded rounds of 67-66-71 and a final round of 67, five under par, to win the championship by two-shots ahead of Michael Campbell, James Kingston and Peter Lonard.

The Welshman’s first victory on the over-50s circuit came at the 2017 WINSTONgolf Senior Open and after five top tens in 2019 he became a Staysure Tour winner once again with victory at the European Tour Destinations venue.

Price began the final round two strokes behind 54-hole leader David McKenzie but started his surge up the leaderboard with three birdies in his first six holes, including one at the first hole.

A bogey on the seventh saw him make the turn at two under par to apply the pressure on the leaders before he moved swiftly passed them on the back nine. Price shot a blemish-free 33, including an eagle on the 11th and a birdie on the 16th to set the target at 17 under par.

With Kingston and Lonard unable to match the Welshman’s total, Price was crowned champion to become the first player from Wales to win the event since Brain Huggett in 1993.

“This win is a little nicer than the first one,” he said. “I’ve had my wife and two children here with me, and the children haven’t seen me win anything so that made it special. It’s nice to have them both here and nice to see me win something.

“I’ve been playing quite well all year with a lot of top ten finishes but without a win, so this was a huge relief for me.

“The birdie on the first got me off to a nice start. I hit a good tee shot and a nice six iron and then a good chip. I holed a nice putt and that settled me down.

“I had a number in my mind all week. 18 under won last year and I wanted to get to that. I got to 17, which is pretty close, and 18 under would’ve seen them off but 17 under was good enough to get the job done.”

Major Champion Campbell recorded a final round of 67, including an eagle finish, to finish two shots behind Price in second place alongside South Africa’s Kingston and Australian Lonard. While overnight leader McKenzie signed for a final round of 72, level par, to take fifth position.

With his win, Price moves into third place on the Staysure Tour Order of Merit, up from sixth.

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