Maybin beaten in Florida play-off

Ireland's Gareth Maybin was beaten in a three-way play-off for the $100,000 Ocala Open at rainy Candler Hills Golf Club in Florida.

Wearing short-sleeves despite the conditions, the Ulsterman closed with a three-under par 69 to tie with Jesse Smith and eventual winner Travis Hampshire on 15-under par.

But it was an emotional Hampshire who took the $20,000 winner's cheque thanks to a stunning birdie at the first extra hole.

The 26-year-old from Indiana fired his approach to just a few feet at the 407-yard 18th as Smith missed green and Maybin left himself a long-range birdie putt that failed to drop.

After tapping in for his second professional victory and hugging his wife, Hampshire set his sights on earning his place on the PGA Tour.

"This means a lot to my family and myself," said Hampshire, whose only other win came in last season's Florida Open. "It keeps the dream alive.

It was still a lucrative week for Ballyclare native Maybin, who earned $10,000 (€6,375) on top of the €15,000 in grant aid he was awarded by the Team Ireland Golf Trust on Wednesday.

The 27-year-old Challenge Tour player, who is a graduate of South Alabama University, was one-stroke behind overnight leader Hampshire entering the final round.

After two seasons on the Hooters Tour, Maybin returned to Europe last year and took advantage of invitations and four top-ten finishes to claim 49th on the 2007 Challenge Tour rankings from just 10 starts.

With Ireland's European Tour players unavailable, he teamed up with Horizon Sports stablemate Michael Hoey and qualified for last November's Omega Missions Hills World Cup in China.

The Ulster pair finished second in an international qualifier in Aruba and eventually claimed 24th place at Missions Hills.

"I'm planning on playing 20-22 Challenge Tour events and I'll probably get in about five European Tour events as well," Maybin said in Alabama before heading to Ocala. "I'm hoping to play well, have a good year and get exempt on the European Tour."

Ocala Open, Candler Hills GC (Par 72) Florida Professional Golf Tour

1st * Travis Hampshire Wesley Chapel, FL 67 64 70 201 -15 $20,000 (after play-off)

2nd Jesse Smith Dover, NH 65 70 66 201 -15 $10,000
Gareth Maybin Ballyclare 66 66 69 201 -15 $10,000

4th Matt Borchert Orlando, FL 67 66 69 202 -14 $6,000

5th Matt Every Scottsdale, AZ 69 68 66 203 -13 $3,500
George Bradford Columbia, MD 72 65 66 203 -13 $3,500
Brandon Brown Shelbyville, KY 70 66 67 203 -13 $3,500

8th Steve LeBrun West Palm Beach, FL 67 71 66 204 -12 $1,750
Rob Johnson Orlando, FL 67 68 69 204 -12 $1,750
Ryan Gildersleeve Clearwater, FL 65 69 70 204 -12 $1,750

11th Chip Deason Jacksonville, FL 68 69 68 205 -11 $1,162.50
Nick Gilliam Gainesville, FL 68 66 71 205 -11 $1,162.50
David Kirkpatrick Lakeland, FL 67 67 71 205 -11 $1,162.50
Jesse Hutchins Kickersville, OH 65 68 72 205 -11 $1,162.50