Paul McGinley proved his mettle as a team captain by leading Great Britain and Ireland to victory over Continental Europe, 151/2-121/2, in the Vivendi Seve Trophy, a Ryder Cup-style affair at Saint-Nom-La Breteche in Paris.
McGinley's side took a solid 5-point lead into Sunday's final round, but saw that vanish when the mainlanders won the first five singles matches. Finally, Scott Jamieson, Ian Poulter and Mark Foster turned the tide with victories that guaranteed the win.
"I felt what I tried to do was balance it throughout the team, just in case things did go wrong, that I had pockets of experience throughout the team," McGinley said. "Fortunately, that bailed me out in the end. Who would have thought I would have won half a point out of the first six games? Quite incredible."
Darren Clarke was the only Irishman to take club in hand. He joined David Horsey for a one-hole victory over Nicolas Colsaerts and Matteo Manassero in Thursday fourballs. Clarke and Horsey then came out on the opposite end, 3 and 2, to Miguel Angel Jimenez and Pablo Larrazabal in Friday's competition.
Clarke and Horsey halved their Saturday match with Peter Hanson and Alexander Noren. Clarke then closed matters out on Sunday with a 4 and 2 loss in singles play to Jimenez.
By the completion of the Navistar LPGA Classic on Sunday afternoon, Alison Walshe's excellent first round was like so much water that had washed downstream. The Galway native stood just two strokes off Jennifer Johnson's first-round lead, having shot 5-under-par 67 on Thursday. Four frontside birdies saw her hit the turn in 32. Her only bogey of the day came at the par-4 12th hole, and she managed birdies at 16 and 17 to end the round on a high note.
"I went out there and made three birdies I think in the first four holes," Walshe said in explaining her first round. "That got my confidence going right off the bat. I think I hit it pretty long, so I had a lot of wedges in my hands on the front nine, so I took advantage of that. On the front nine, I don't think I hit more than an 8-iron ever."
But there were still 54 holes to go and they proved more arduous for Walshe. She shot 73 on Friday, and while the birdies weren't quick to come (there was only one), she held the bogeys (two) in check.
The weekend provided a smattering of good and bad. Walshe started slowly on Saturday, with bogey at the first hole and a triple-bogey 7 at the sixth. She fought back with birdies at the ninth and 10th holes, but bogeyed 11 and lost two strokes to par at 16. She got off 18 with 77.
Sunday started out reasonably well, as Walshe birdied the sixth to get her revenge for Saturday and go two under par for the round. But bogeys at three of the next six holes weighed heavily and she came off the course with another 73.
When all the scores had been tallied, Walshe finished two strokes over par at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Prattville, Ala., 19 strokes behind Lexi Thompson, who, at the age of 16, became the youngest-ever winner of an LPGA Tour event. Walshe tied for 51st place, which was good for earnings of $4,207.
LADIES EUROPEAN TOUR
The 370-yard, par-4 18th hole at La Quinta Golf & Country Club on Spain's Costa del Sol made the difference between Rebecca Codd's contending for a trophy and being content with a minor award. Seven strokes separated Codd from medalist Melissa Reid, and she gave up six strokes at 18 over the four days of the Open de España Femenino. Double bogeys on Thursday and Friday were trimmed to mere bogeys on the weekend.
On a more optimistic note, Codd managed to card eagles on both Saturday and Sunday, and was one of only three golfers to break 70 in the final round. She worked out rounds of 73, 74, 71 and 69 to finish the event one stroke under par at 287.
Four birdies over the final six holes lifted James Quinlivan to the PGA Ulster Championship at Templepatrick on the Antrim coast. Quinlivan, of Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, had turned a nearly similar trick the previous day, with birdies on four of the seven final holes. He shot 69 both days for an aggregate 138, with only one birdie on the front nine over the event's two days.
Cian McNamara took second place at 140, while Simon Thornton surged in the second round to gain a share of third place at 141 with Barrie Trainor. Thornton shot 76 on Tuesday, but blistered the course with eight birdies against one bogey for 65 on Wednesday. Michael Hoey had fifth place to himself, having shot 72 and 71 for an aggregate 143.
Mark McNulty tied for 27th place in the Songdo IBD Championship at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in Songdo, Korea. After opening with 75, McNulty shot 71 and 70 over the two final rounds to claw his way into the top half of the field. His even-par 216 left him 13 strokes off the low number, which was shared by a quartet, with Jay Don Blake prevailing in the playoff.
Paul O'Hanlon took a share of sixth place in the Integral Collection Classic at Hunley Hall in North Yorkshire, England. He signed to rounds of 73, 71 and 70 for an aggregate 214 that was two strokes under par and seven behind Dodge Kemmer, who ran away to a 5-shot victory. Michael McGeady also made the cut and got a share of the spoils in 26th position. He shot 219 (76-70-73).
Gareth Shaw finished joint-14th in the Internorm Dolomiti Golf Open at Dolomiti Golf Club in Italy. At 5-under-par 214 (71-70-73), Shaw was six strokes off the winning number registered by Farren Keenan.