Tuesday 24 April 2018

Lowry, Power set to fall just shy of FedEx play-off spots

'The Dubliner, who made a promising start to the tournament, carded a six-over 76 that sent him scuttling from tied 27th to 80th and out of the event under the MDF cut rule.' Photo: USA Today Sports
'The Dubliner, who made a promising start to the tournament, carded a six-over 76 that sent him scuttling from tied 27th to 80th and out of the event under the MDF cut rule.' Photo: USA Today Sports

William S Callahan

Shane Lowry and Seamus Power look set to fall agonisingly short of the cut-off point for the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup play-offs.

Lowry needed a big week at the Wyndham Championship to move into the top 125 golfers on the standings and the Offaly man went mightily close thanks to a tied seventh-place finish in North Carolina.

The Offaly man completed the tournament with a solid three-under par 67, and a 15-under total, seven shots behind winner Henrik Stenson of Sweden.

However, going by the PGA Tour's latest projections, that places him in 127th position on the standings on 361 FedEx Cup points, four behind Rory Sabbatini (124th) and JJ Henry (125th).

Power was ranked 123rd heading into this week's event but a third-round 74, which saw him miss the cut on Saturday, dropped the Waterford native back to 130th on the PGA Tour's projected rankings on 350 points, a result which would also see him miss out on a guaranteed Tour card for next season.

Pádraig Harrington also failed to make the FedEx Cup - he needed a win or second-place finish to get into contention - after he also missed the third-round cut.

The Dubliner, who made a promising start to the tournament, carded a six-over 76 that sent him scuttling from tied 27th to 80th and out of the event under the MDF cut rule.

With Graeme McDowell also missing out on the play-offs following a missed cut at the Wyndham Championship, it means Rory McIlroy will be Ireland's sole representative as the PGA Tour heads towards its lucrative finale.

Meanwhile, Spain's Adrian Otaegui produced a brilliant fightback to win his first European Tour title and break German hearts by beating Marcel Siem 2&1 in the final of the Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play.

Alejandro Canizares had accounted for Paul Dunne's challenge on Saturday but the Spaniard needed three extra holes to get the better of the Greystones golfer.

Paul Dunne called a shot on himself and lost on the 21st to Cañizares but the Greystones star made a wonderful up and down on the last to take his last-16 match up the 19th.

Dunne called a penalty on himself when his ball moved in the left rough at the 21st. After calling a referee to tell him his ball moved at address, Dunne was penalised a stroke by Andy McFee, then played a big hook around trees to a swale left of the green.

Left with an impossible chip from a poor lie on a downslope, he still went ahead and walked in a 35-footer for a bogey, forcing Cañizares to make a three-footer to knock him out.

Elsewhere, the United States beat Europe to retain the Solheim Cup in Iowa after starting the 12 singles matches on the final day with a five-point lead, needing only four more points to secure victory at Des Moines Country Club.

After an early European rally, the US steadied to close it out reasonably comfortably. Angel Yin halved the fifth match against Karine Icher to ensure the US of at least a draw, enough to retain the cup won two years ago in Germany.

Moments later, the US were assured victory.

Irish Independent

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