St Fran­cis win gives Mcguigan sec­ond vic­tory of sea­son

Sunday Tribune - - SPORT - SPORTS RE­PORTER

DOUG Mcguigan may have to re­think the or­der he placed for a new put­ter af­ter he fired a fi­nal round six-un­der-par 66 yes­ter­day to win the Vo­da­com Ori­gins of Golf event at St Fran­cis Links.

Even with a bo­gey and a dou­ble­bo­gey on his card, his 13-un­der to­tal for the 54-hole event was enough to give him a two-stroke edge over Hen­nie du Plessis, with Eng­land’s Scott Camp­bell and Steve Surry shar­ing third with Neil Schi­etekat, who fin­ished at nine-un­der.

“I or­dered a new put­ter this week and I never used it,” said Mcguigan.

“I used my old put­ter, an old Odyssey I’ve had for about 15 years. It just seemed to line up nicely and stroking the ball beau­ti­fully.”

In fact, two ea­gles, rather than putts, were the shots that cat­a­pulted him to the win, his sec­ond of the sea­son af­ter he won the Ori­gins opener at High­land Gate at the end of July.

He made the first from the fair­way on the first hole, and then, af­ter he had dropped three shots on the sev­enth and eighth, he made his sec­ond on the 13th af­ter two birdies in suc­ces­sion on the pre­ced­ing two holes.

“It started off nicely when I ea­gled the first and made two birdies in a row af­ter that,” he said.

“I gave it all back on seven and eight, and then on the next 10 holes I played un­be­liev­able golf. I was very for­tu­nate. I was

“Af­ter those drops I thought back to the seven I made in the fi­nal round at High­land Gate. I thought that I’d got it back from there and I could try and do the same thing here.”

Al­though the weather started off in the fi­nal round with some driz­zle, heavy rain held off, and the wind which makes St Fran­cis Links such a good test be­gan to come up. And af­ter his ea­gle on 13, he needed to con­sol­i­date the lead he had grasped.

The chance came on the par-five 16th, which “was one of the hard­est par-fives I’ve played,” said Mcguigan.

“I hit driver, four-wood and three­iron and made birdie, which wasn’t on the cards off the tee – one of the best three-irons I’ve ever hit.”

He had the lux­ury of play­ing his ap­proach to the 18th green con­ser­va­tively and us­ing a put­ter from well off the green to ad­vance the ball to within eight feet, know­ing he could still drop a shot and win.

“That fi­nal putt didn’t feel great, de­spite the fact that I know I had two putts for the win,” he said. “But the first putt went in and that’s good.”

It was his eighth Sun­shine Tour ti­tle in a ca­reer that has spanned nearly 25 years, but it was the first time he has won two ti­tles in a sin­gle sea­son.

“That it was my sec­ond win of the sea­son was very un­ex­pected. It’s a big con­fi­dence boost ahead of the sum­mer sea­son, but now it’s back to the prac­tice range next week and get work­ing again.”

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