Saturday 27 May 2017

Maybin facing test of resolve to retain Tour card

William S Callahan

SERGIO GARCIA'S 'guests' were playing for a lot more than second place yesterday in Castellon as crunch time comes on the European Tour.

Prominent among the players facing an increasingly desperate fight for their livelihoods is Ulsterman Gareth Maybin, who dropped out of the all-important top 115 on the Money List last night after missing the cut at the Castello Masters.

Maybin has fallen five places to 116th in the pecking order and will be under pressure to halt that worrying slide in the four remaining events open to Tour strugglers, starting with this week's Andalucia Masters in Valderrama.

Damien McGrane managed to hang on to 107th spot in the Order of Merit, courtesy of the €11,200 cheque the Meath man banked in a tie for 41st on four-under after closing with a level-par 71.

Garcia earned €333,330 as victor but the €222,220 second-place cheque must have seemed like a lottery win to his countryman Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano as he signed for a sizzling 64 yesterday. It lifted the Spaniard from 173rd to 89th in the rankings, saving his card for 2012.

The top 115 on the final money list hang onto their playing credentials, while the rest must go to Q-School.

Recent Dunhill Links winner Michael Hoey marked his return to action in a tie for 20th place (worth €22,029) on eight-under after a steady 66 yesterday.

The Ulsterman is 17th in the Race to Dubai, while Dubliner Peter Lawrie is 54th on the money list after he shot two-under in Castellon for a share of 27th (worth €18,100) on seven-under.

Shane Lowry dropped one spot to 63rd in the pecking order after missing Friday's cut by a country mile.

Irish Independent

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