Wednesday 17 January 2018

In brief: In-form Mooney leads Irish pack

European Tour Q-School

Damian Mooney led a group of seven Irishman through stage one of the weather-delayed European Tour qualifying school.

The Antrim golfer closed his campaign at Dundonald Links in Ayrshire with a level-par 72 for a two-over 290 and finished second, three shots behind former Walker Cup player Wallace Booth, who hit a 69 for 287. Michael Collins eased through in a share of fourth on 296 after a 72, while Gareth Shaw posted a 69 to qualify on a 300.

Barrie Trainor and David Mortimer both grabbed one of the 25 stage-two spots on offer with 303s.

At Fleesensee in Germany -- where play was also disrupted during the week by poor weather -- Stephen Grant and Mervyn Owens both squeezed through with nothing to spare on the level-par 288 limit.

Grant signed off with a 71 while Owens had a 73. German amateur Max Kieffer led the 25 qualifiers on a 12-under 276 after a 65.

Europeans Seniors Tour

ENGLAND'S Gary Wolstenholme (50) completed a brilliant wire-to-wire victory at the Casa Serena Open to secure his golfing future in just his second start on the European Seniors Tour.

Former Walker Cup stalwart Wolstenholme -- who turned professional in 2008 -- picked up a two-year Seniors Tour exemption along with the €90,000 first prize in Prague, where his final-round 67 clinched a three-stroke victory over Scotland's Gordon Brand Jnr.

Des Smyth shot a level-par 71 to finish tied 30th on one-over with, among others, Denis O'Sullivan (72), with both Irishmen earning €4,332.

Meanwhile, Eamonn Darcy (73) picked up €1,740 after finishing 49th on five-over, while 58th place on eight-over was worth €1,140 to Jimmy Heggarty (72).

European Challenge Tour

CARLOS DEL MORAL (25) captured his second Challenge Tour title by a single stroke with his stunning six-under 66 at the M2M Russian Challenge Cup.

His winner's cheque for €28,000 lifts the Spaniard to 19th in the rankings, within sight of a return to the European Tour. Colm Moriarty earned €1,172 in a two-way tie for 37th on five-over after his final-round 75.

Ladies European Tour

WONDER woman Laura Davies (46) held out defiantly for her fourth victory of the season and 76th on the LET with a final round of level-par 71 in the Open de Espana Femenino.

Alison Walshe ran up a disastrous quintuple-bogey nine on the 10th hole and a closing 75 sent her tumbling to 29th on three-under, eight behind Davies, worth €3,360. Rebecca Coakley banked €1,470 in 51st on three-over after a round of 77.

Irish Independent

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