McGrane ready to win

By Brian Keogh

Damien McGrane has beaten Tiger Woods and blasted his way nearly 100 places up the world rankings over the last month.

And after grabbing second place in the Indian Masters on Sunday, the Kells kingpin is now more convinced than ever that he can win a tournament.

Up 86 places to 225th in the world - he was 320th at the end of last season - McGrane is now 10th on the European Tour Order of Merit thanks to his runner up cheque for €187,038.

All that remains for him to do now is win a tournament and while he always believed he could do it, Sunday's performance has given him even more confidence.

McGrane said: "I have no ambitions other than to win a tournament and I feel that I can win a tournament.

"And I think it will be easier for me now. I liked the golf course in Delhi and I felt that it suited me. Thinking that the golf course suits you is one thing, but it's no use if you don't play well.

"When you actually play up to your potential on a course that suits you, it all feels so much easier.

"It felt easy for me at the weekend and I am delighted that I at least won a cheque."

Unheralded Indian SSP Chowrasia took the title by two shots from McGrane after a brilliant closing 67.

And while McGrane, 36, was disappointed not to break into the winner's circle for the first time, he was happy to have something to show for his hard work over the past four weeks.

Now ranked 13 places ahead of Darren Clarke in the world pecking order, he said: "It is very satisfying to put a result on the end of a few very good performances.

"In recent months I have been playing very good golf but just fallen away in tournaments. I've been playing three rounds out of four and not putting four together.

"So it was good to do it in India and get a result at the end of it. I could have won but at least I made him play really good golf to get his win."

McGrane fell away on Sunday in Abu Dhabi and Qatar before earning worldwide fame by going head to head with Woods in Dubai and beating him 72-73 in the third round.

They were paired together again on the final day but while Woods shot 65 to win, McGrane's closing triple bogey cost him a 79 and sent him crashing to tied 44th.

His closing 70 on Sunday showed that he can string four rounds together.

But what pleased him even more was how comfortable he felt under the kosh.

He said: "Anything could have happened but I am very happy with the way I played and how easy it almost felt. I felt really good and played well within myself.

"It feel satisfying to get that reward at the end of the day. I have been playing so well without achieving it - falling away in one round.

"But now I have put it all together and it feels good. I don't see why I can't win a tournament. I know I can win one."

McGrane will return to action in India at the Johnnie Walker Classic at DLF Golf and Country Club in New Delhi in two weeks.

Clarke and Paul McGInley are the sole Irishmen competing in this week's Enjoy Jakarta Astro Indonesia Open at Cengkareng Golf Club.

Clarke will be looking for a boost after being struck down by Delhi Belly in India.

Tied 12th at halfway, he slumped to rounds of 79 and 82 at the weekend.