Saturday 25 March 2017

In brief: Defeat denies Donald No 1 slot

Luke Donald missed out on winning The Heritage tournament at Harbour Town Golf Links last night in a sudden-death play-off to Brandt Snedeker and with it the Briton blew his chance to take over as World No 1 from Martin Kaymer.

Donald's agonising defeat means that his compatriot Lee Westwood climbs back to the top of the World standings after he celebrated his 38th birthday by winning the Indonesian Masters hours ealier yesterday.

With Kaymer having a week off and Westwood playing in a tournament worth fewer ranking points in Indonesia, Donald knew a win in South Carolina would move him to the head of the standings. But after getting up and down from a bunker to par the last for a one-under 70 and a place in the play-off, the 33-year-old Englishman bogeyed the third sudden death hole after lipping out to give Snedeker the title and Westwood the rankings crown. Snedeker had earlier shot the round of the day with a sizzling nine-birdie 64.

Maguire falls to final-hole agony

Leona Maguire suffered heartache at the last hole of the Helen Home Scottish Women's Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship where a double-bogey six cost her the tournament by one stroke.

The 16-year-old Cavan star saw her three-shot lead with six holes to play disappear as England's Charlotte Ellis staged a sensational smash-and-grab charge over the final few holes at Royal Troon .

The 25-year-old, from Minchinhampton, birdied the 13th, 15th and 16th holes to be one shot behind Maguire with two to play.

Both parred the short 17th and then tragically Leona, who had made all the running from the start of the 54-hole tournament, ran up a double-bogey six as Ellis carded a par-four.Maguire finished with a 73 for 11-under-par 214 -- one shot behind Ellis who signed off with a 71 for 213. Leona and her sister Lisa did win the international team event for Ireland with a total of 437 -- six ahead of runners-up England, with Scotland third on 446. Lisa slipped down the final standings with a round of 78 for 223 and a share of 15th.

Smyth rewarded for friendly fire

DES SMYTH picked up a sweet $60,000 bonus for putting friendship first at the Liberty Mutual Legends in Savannah, Georgia.

As a winner of the Legends in 2005, Smyth, now 58, was entitled to a place in the tournament proper but instead opted to play with his old pal Mark James in the so-called 'Raphael Division' when the Englishman's original partner pulled out because of a family bereavement.

The former Ryder Cup team-mates then coasted to victory in their first event of the year. They posted two scintillating bogey-free, better-ball rounds of 63 to scoop the $120,000 first prize as the top pairing.

Irish Independent

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