From Brian Keogh in Cologne
Barring a phone call from Nick Faldo today, Graeme McDowell and Paul McGinley have resigned themselves to watching next week’s Seve Trophy from the comfort of home.
While McDowell closed with a three-under par 69 in the Mercedes-Benz Championship to tie for 11th place for the second week in a row, the Portrush native is not expecting a wildcard from the Great Britain and Ireland skipper for the clash with Continental Europe at The Heritage in Co Laois.
Lifted by a pair of eagles on the back nine, Denmark’s Soren Hansen cashed in on his sensational run of summer form to win for the first time since his play-off triumph in the Murphy’s Irish Open at Fota Island five years ago.
But by the time the Dane had signed for a closing 67 and a four-stroke victory over Scotland’s Alastair Forsyth and England’s Phillip Archer on 17-under par, McGinley and McDowell were already winging their way home.
McGinley signed off with a 71 to claim a share of 46th place on one-under par. And he did so still regretting a horrific second round 79 that effectively ended his chances of playing any part in the shake up for the title.
“I shot myself in both feet with that 79,” McGinley said. “It would have been easy to finish last after that but I battled over the weekend and shot six under.”
Asked if he was expecting a call from Faldo, who will complete his 10-man Seve Trophy team by announcing his two captain’s picks tomorrow, McGinley said: “It depends on what Nick's attitude is. Does he want to have a look at some younger guys or does he want to put some experience in with the younger guys he has?
“I would be disappointed, of course, to miss the Seve Trophy in Ireland. My record is excellent and my record with Padraig (Harrington) is excellent. My team record is pretty sensational.”
Needing a win to make the Seve Trophy team automatically, McDowell confessed that he was not expecting a call up to Seve Trophy duty after finishing 11 shots behind Hansen.
"I am happy enough. I have had some consistent play this week and the game is there,” McDowell said. “I’m looking forward to The Belfry next week.”
Hansen went into the final round tied for the lead with compatriot Thomas Bjorn (72) but cruised to a comfortable victory thanks to a brace of eagles on the back nine.
His victory lifted him to second in the 2008 Ryder Cup European Points List behind Archer, whose second successive runner-up finish bumped England’s Nick Dougherty out of the final automatic spot in the GB&I Seve Trophy team.
Hansen earned €320,000 and a C-Class Mercedes-Benz estate for his second tour victory, which moved him to seventh in the Order of Merit.
Darren Clarke finished 76th in the 78-man field on 10 over par after three-putting the 11th and four-putting the 12th.
"I'm still trying to work it out but I've worked as hard as I could have possibly worked this week," Clarke said. "I've been on the putting green a lot and a couple of times this week I've been on the only person left on the range. It's just not working."