Saturday 24 February 2018

McGee delight after leading home efforts

McGee: “This is my home tournament and to come out as the top Irishman, I’m delighted.
McGee: “This is my home tournament and to come out as the top Irishman, I’m delighted." Photo by Patrick Bolger/Getty Images

Brian Keogh

Derry's Ruaidhri McGee gave his confidence a timely boost when he claimed the Christy O'Connor Jnr Memorial Trophy as the leading Irishman in the Irish Challenge at Mount Wolseley.

As Frenchman Julien Guerrier turned his one-stroke overnight lead into a six-shot win, McGee made seven birdies in a final-round 69 to finish tied 15th on six-under-par.

"It's great," said the 26-year-old, who is hoping now to finish the campaign strongly, starting with this week's €450,000 Kazakhstan Open, and make the season-ending NBO Golf Classic Grand Final in Oman.

"This is my home tournament and to come out as the top Irishman, I'm delighted.

"Growing up as a young Irish golfer, Christy Jnr was a big inspiration, so I am honoured."

After holing a wedge for an eagle two on the 18th on Friday to just make the cut, Moyola Park's Chris Selfridge holed an eight-iron from 155 yards for another eagle two at the 15th as he closed with a 70 to finish tied 33rd on level par.

Ardglass' Cormac Sharvin slipped to tied 41st on one-over after a 74, with Castleknock native David Carey two shots further back in 48th after a 72.

Guerrier closed with a five-under-par 67 to win by six strokes on 17 under from Sweden's Oscar Lengden (72), England's Steven Brown (69) and Norway's Jarand Ekeland Arnoy (70) to claim the €28,800 top prize.

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