Mcgrane Clinches Title Under Heavy Rains at Volvo China Open

Sun 20 Apr 2008

Mcgrane Clinches Title Under Heavy Rains at Volvo China Open

Beijing, April 20: Ireland?s Damien McGrane battled through torrential rains at the Beijing CBD International Golf Course to claim his much-awaited maiden title at the Volvo China Open on Sunday.
McGrane closed with a one-over-par 73 for a 10-under-par 278 total to take a nine-stroke victory over Oliver Wilson and Simon Griffiths from England as well as French rookie, Michael Lorenzo-vera who are all tied for second on 287.
Current Asian Tour Order of Merit leader, Mark Brown of New Zealand is a further shot back on 288 with defending champion, Markus Brier of Austria and Northern Ireland?s Graeme McDowell.

The torrential rains that battered down hard on the final day simply did not provide ideal scoring conditions and the event would go down the history books as one of the few tournaments that did not even see a single player breaking par in the final day.

Only four players from the top had the honours of achieving a four-day total of under-par rounds at the US2.2 million event sanctioned by the Asian Tour, European Tour and China Golf Association. And McGrane would be one of them.

"Anyone with any sense wouldn't have gone out in that. It was one of those days where everyone had to knuckle down and do they best they can," said McGrane, who earned US$366,660 from the US$2.2 million prize purse.

"It came my way today, the weather if not on my side, helped stop other players making a charge at my lead. Once I made as many pars as possible, the tournament was mine and the Volvo China Open was mine," added the jubilant Irishman.

Asian Tour regular, Griffiths began the day tied for ninth made a spirited charge by battling to post two important birdies, making up for the four bogeys that he made throughout his round.

"I knew it was going to be bad when I woke up this morning and saw the grey skies. I just went in with a positive attitude as I knew it was going to be very difficult for everyone," said Griffiths.

"You just have to try your best. Luckily, I hit the ball well off the tee and I got half decent scores," added Griffiths.
Meanwhile, Brown seemed certain to take the runner?s-up spot until a triple bogey on the closing 18th ruled out all hopes.
Two-time Asian Tour winner, Knutzon who was also one of the Asian Tour?s best hopes for glory this week would have hoped for better weather to turn in a stronger performance.

"You know, it's one of those days when it?s not even golf. It's so hard just to make a swing. I was just hoping not to shoot over a hundred!" said the American.

"I was trying to make par on every hole. You don?t like days like this. You like a normal day when you can go out there and see what you can do," added Knutzon.

2007 Asian Tour number one, Liang Wen-chong of China struggled on his opening front-nine with four bogeys to make it to the halfway mark at four-over par. Two consecutive birdies on the 10th and 11th brought back that much needed confidence. However, the home favourite could not make further birdies after that to close in on the leaders.

"I was actually very worried whether I'll eventually get a final round score of about 80 after my bogey-bogey-bogey start on the first three holes," said Liang. "Luckily I saved myself on the back nine with two birdies."
"I'm so touched to see so many of my fans carrying their umbrellas and supporting me out there in the pouring rain. I hope to put in a stronger performance for my fans in Shanghai next week," added Liang who finished as the top Chinese player in tied-eight this week.

Leading final round scores

278 - Damien Mcgrane (IRL) 68-69-68-73
287 - Simon Griffiths (ENG) 68-72-73-74, Michael Lorenzo-vera (FRA) 67-69-72-79
Oliver Wilson (ENG) 72-66-70-79
288 - Graeme McDowell (NIR) 73-72-68-75, Markus Brier (AUT) 71-69-72-76, Mark Brown (NZL) 71-71-69-77
289 - Noh Seung-Yul (KOR) 71-71-74-73, Peter Whiteford (SCO) 73-72-71-73, Liang Wen-chong (CHN) 73-68-73-75, Jason Knutzon (USA) 68-72-72-77
Selected Scores
295 - David Howell (ENG) 72-73-71-79


About the Asian Tour

As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia.  This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Carlsberg (Official Beer), ESPN Star Sports (Official Regional TV Broadcaster), Pin High (Official Apparel Partner), Sofitel (Official Hotel) and Srixon (Official Ball). Sentosa, Singapore's premier island resort getaway, is the Home of the Asian Tour.

For further information, please contact Asian Tour's Calvin Koh at the Volvo China Open media centre at +861 8739 4945.