21 October 2023
~3 minutes read
Relentless Irish book Singapore date
By Daragh Small
Alex Maguire was to the fore on the final day of the Eisenhower Trophy as a relentless Ireland comeback helped to seal T8 in the World Amateur Team Championships in Abu Dhabi Golf Club.
The Irish had struggled in harsh temperatures on Wednesday but they bounced back in Round 2 and led by Matt McClean (Malone) they were still in contention heading into today’s action.
A USA side backed by three of their Walker Cup winning contingent, including sensation Gordon Sargent, were hotly fancied all week and they were too strong, finishing on -36, 11 shots clear of the field.
However, Ireland rallied again on the final day and Laytown & Bettystown clubman, Maguire, laid down the gauntlet with a blistering 65 to help Ireland secure their place in next year’s championships in Singapore.
“Delighted to finish T8,” said Ireland Team Captain Niall MacSweeney.
“A great overall team performance after a disappointing day one. Great to come from a position of T26 after day one to finishing T8 and securing Ireland’s place at the next World Amateur Team Championship.”
McClean continued to take the fight to the rest of the world through Thursday and Friday, ably supported by Liam Nolan who notched rounds of 71 and 70 on both days.
The Galway golfer finished up with a tidy round of 70 today while McClean went one better with a 69, to finish T8 on -11 in the individual standings, which was just five shots off winner Kazuma Kobori (New Zealand).
The Irish team finished -20, a miraculous return after their slow start, which meant they were third for the final 54 holes and second to the US only, for the final 36 holes.
“Delighted for Matt, showed great leadership all week and brought in scores when we needed it, and great individual performance from him this week,” said MacSweeney.
“And the other guys, Liam, counting yesterday and the day before and Alex obviously with a stunning 65 today. He was our first man out and he set the tone for the day, birdied the first three holes and kept that going, finished off holing a bunker shot for birdie on 17 and a two-putt birdie on 18.
“Everyone contributed to an overall great team performance. I want to acknowledge the support I received all week from team coach Michael Collins. And also the many many good wishes we received during the week from supporters at home.
“Disappointed that we don’t feature on the podium but finishing eighth in the world is no disgrace and Ireland can look forward to participating in Singapore.”