Donaldson makes timely delivery
IF THE percentages were to believed by the 11,950 fantasy golf managers, there was to be an Irish winner of the sell-out Irish Open at Royal Portrush last week – 37.4 per cent of the bosses went for a Rory McIlroy win, 27.48 per cent went for a Pádraig Harrington triumph, while Graeme McDowell found favour with 22.51 per cent of people. But it didn’t quite work out that way.
Only 210 team managers – which equates to 1.76 per cent of the competition – had the name of Welshman Jamie Donaldson in their team. But one person who was glad she did was weekly winner Michelle Harding with her Under Construction team, the only one to reach three figures for week 13.
Of course Donaldson , costing just €1 million, paid the richest of dividends for Harding and the 209 people who had him on their team as he picked up his first tournament win in 255 starts. With 32 points for the win, Harding was off to a flyer, but then to add to that Harrington and David Drysdale picked up 16 points each, while Francesco Molinari, Ross Fisher and McIlroy added 13 points each for Under Construction.
With the winner of the Irish Open and the other five members of her team all finishing in the top 10, she finished with a grand total of 103 points for the week to claim the weekly prize of golfing merchandise and move her up to 464th on the overall leaderboard.
Her nearest challenger for the week was Cormac Finn’s Out Of The Rough team with 99 points, thanks also to having Donaldson and a host of other good finishers, including joint second-placed Rafael Cabrera-Belo, but perhaps missing out on the top prize for the week as Australian Richard Green missed the half way cut in Co Antrim.
Meanwhile, on the overall leaderboard it is as you were at the top of affairs with just eight counting events remaining. Bryan Crowley’s Gullane team have actually stretched their lead at the top to 19 points over Aideen Flynn’s Living Dolls, with Kieron Hyland, Gavin Kennedy and John Paul Scallon still occupying the other places in the top five.
Of course, the Irish Open also saw the end of a monthly competition, where Colm O’Reilly top scored for June with his Luuuuuuuke team amassing 410 points for the period, eight clear of Andrew Adair’s Citigolf Players, while Eamonn Briscoe’s Rodney Dangerfield Is King team are third on 391 points.
O’Reilly claims a fourball at Moyvalley, New Forest is the venue for Adair and three of his pals, while a €100 credit card for the driving range at Spawell Golf Centre is winging its way to Briscoe.
This week sees the action head to continental Europe for the French Open at Le Golf National, venue for the 2018 Ryder Cup.