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Smyth on fire ahead of Seniors Open

DES SMYTH is sizzling as the British Senior Open looms at Walton Heath in 17 days' time.

Smyth (58) rounded off the Bad Ragaz Open in Switzerland yesterday with a fabulous eight-under-par 62 -- the Bettystown man's lowest round in seniors golf, equalling his career best.

It lifted Smyth, winner of his fourth European Seniors tour title in Holland last week, into seventh place on 10-under, four behind triumphant Aussie Peter Fowler.

A €9,000 cheque moved Ireland's two-time Ryder Cup star into 12th in the Seniors Order of Merit.

As the climax to the European Seniors season looms, hopes soar that Smyth might be able to improve on his performance at the 2005 Senior Open at Royal Aberdeen, where he was shaded in a play-off by Tom Watson.

After opening with stunning rounds of 61 and 63, Chile's Angel Fernandez slipped into a tie for third with a five-over-par 75 yesterday as Fowler snatched victory with back-to-back 65s at the weekend.

Denis O'Sullivan closed with a sweet bogey-free 65 as he loped into a tie for 16th on six-under, worth €3,881 to the Corkman.

COLM MORIARTY shot 69 in the final round of The Princess by Schuco at Sweden's PGA National to earn a share of ninth place on nine-under-par.

Moriarty banked €4,000, lifting him to 41st in the tour rankings. The Glasson man finished seven behind Ricardo Santos (28) after the Portuguese ace pummelled the opposition with super rounds of 65 and 66.

REBECCA CODD picked up a cheque for €1,511 as a final round of one-under-par 70 left her tied 33rd on three-over par, 14 behind winner Caroline Hedwall of Sweden at Saturday's climax to the Finnish Masters.

Irish Independent