Friday 23 March 2018

Ballantine's second gives Maybin rich consolation

Gareth Maybin came joint second in the Ballantine's Championship. Photo: Getty Images
Gareth Maybin came joint second in the Ballantine's Championship. Photo: Getty Images

Williams S Callahan

GARETH MAYBIN banked his biggest cheque in five years as a professional as he tied second in the Ballantine's Championship, but Jeju, South Korea, was treasure island for one man in particular, Marcus Fraser.

Naturally, Maybin found rich consolation in the €191,516 he earned yesterday. "I didn't really come in here with a whole lot of form, so to finish second is a great result any time," he said.

However, the windswept final day of this tournament promised so much more for the 29-year-old as he drew level with Fraser through the turn after playing the front nine brilliantly in three-under-par.

Then, as the going got tough on the back nine, Maybin faltered, stumbling to four bogeys as he came home in 39 strokes for a final-round 72. This left him four behind Fraser, who was in a different class as he closed out this 54-hole, weather-shortened tournament on 12-under after a superlative 69.

The five Maybin took at the difficult final hole summed up his frustration. After pushing his long approach into a right greenside bunker, he splashed out to about four feet and then looked on in horror as the par putt lipped out.


That missed putt cost Maybin €53,484 as he slipped back into a tie for second place with Fraser's fellow Australian Brett Rumford.

Maybin is blessed with a lovely swing and usually is splendidly consistent from tee to green. However, he is inconsistent with the putter, a problem he is going to have to resolve if he's to fulfil his potential and become a regular winner on the European Tour and a member of the world's top 50.

In fairness to Maybin, most of the field struggled on the back nine as the wind blew. Ernie Els played it in 40 as he slumped to ninth. Fraser rose above it all to clinch his first European Tour victory since the Russian Open in 2002. The Aussie (31) opened with the low round of the week with Thursday's 65.

A closing 71 left Graeme McDowell €19,624 the richer in a tie for 28th place on one-under, two strokes ahead of Shane Lowry, who took €12,789 for his share of 40th after a disappointing fourth-round 75. Peter Lawrie banked €6,615 in 57th on four-over after a 77.

  • West of Ireland champion Rory Leonard celebrated his 34th birthday on Friday by capturing the Dundalk Senior Scratch Cup yesterday. The Banbridge scratch player is the real in-form player on the Irish amateur circuit, winning also the Lee Valley Scratch Cup before his triumph at Rosses Point.

He pipped former pro Jim Carville on the back 18, with both returning level-par 144, with the winner's 70 in the second round titling it for him.

Meanwhile, Jason Bohn took the Zurich Classic of New Orleans last night with an 18-under total.

Irish Independent

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