Sunday 22 September 2019

Maguire gets off to a flyer in bid for Tour card


David Lipsky celebrates with the trophy following his victory at the Alfred Dunhill Championships South Africa. Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images
David Lipsky celebrates with the trophy following his victory at the Alfred Dunhill Championships South Africa. Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Brian Keogh

Leona Maguire got her bid for a Ladies European Tour (LET) card off to a positive start when she opened with a four-under 68 to lie just three shots off the pace in the Lalla Aicha Tour School in Morocco.

The 24-year-old shares third place with Spain's Maria Hernandez, English pair Sian Evans and Dulcie Sverdloff, France's Manon Gidali and Germany's Esther Henseleit in the five-round race for 25 cards in Marrakesh.

India's Astha Madan carded a flawless seven-under-par 65 to take a one-stroke lead over England's Lauren Horsford, as 115 players play both Amelkis and PalmGolf Ourika twice before the final round at Amelkis on Thursday. Following 90 holes, the leading five players will earn Category 5c membership of the LET, gaining entry into most tournaments, while those finishing from sixth to 25th will earn membership in Category 8.

In South Africa, American David Lipsky shrugged off a double-bogey at the par-three 16th to birdie the last and win his second European Tour title in the Alfred Dunhill Championship.

Four ahead standing on the 16th tee, he recovered to card a four-under 68 and win by two strokes from fast-finishing Scot David Drysdale on 14-under par, earning €237,750.

Justin Rose is also looking forward to big things next year, but the defending champion couldn't clinch the top 12 finish he needed to begin 2019 as world number one - with Brooks Koepka still top man - as Thailand's Poom Saksansin won the BNI Indonesian Masters at Royale Jakarta.

Rose closed with a disappointing, three-over-par 75 to tie for 17th on six-under, 14 strokes adrift of Poom, who chiselled out a 68 to win by three shots on 20-under par from compatriot Jazz Janewattananond.

As Muskerry's Niall Turner ($3,872) tied for 45th on one-over after a 72, Henrik Stenson had to settle for fourth on 14-under after a struggling to a 71.

England's Roger Chapman secured his first Staysure Tour title since 2012 when he closed with a three-under 65, and then made a curling 30-footer for eagle at the first play-off hole to beat Welshman Phillip Price and claim the season-ending MCB Tour Championship - Seychelles.

Price shot a five-under-par 63 to set the clubhouse target at six-under, but he couldn't match Chapman's eagle on their return to the par-five 18th in sudden-death. Paul Broadhurst, who tied for seventh in the final event, topped the Staysure Tour Order of Merit for the second time in three years.

In the PNC Father/Son Challenge, Davis Love and his son Dru added a 16-under 56 to their opening 62 to win the 36-hole scramble title by three strokes on 26-under par at Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando.

Retief and Leo Goosen, Stewart and Connor Cink and overnight leaders John and Little John Daly tied for second as Darren Clarke and his son Tyrone finished 15th in the 20-team event on 13-under.

Meanwhile, Francesco Molinari added the BBC Sport Personality of the Year World Sport Star award to his list of successes this season.

The Italian - winner of The Open, the BMW PGA, the Race to Dubai and five matches from five in Europe's Ryder Cup victory - beat off competition from Simone Biles (gymnastics), Ester Ledecka (winter sports) and Oleksandr Usyk (boxing) for the top award.

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