McGinley wins personal battle

By Brian Keogh

Paul McGinley won his own tournament in Korea as Graeme McDowell and Jeev Milkha Singh turned the Ballantine's Championship into a head-to-head battlte.

The Dubliner, 41, closed with a 69 to finish alone in third on 17-under par and claim his second top-ten of the season and just his fifth in the last two years.

Four shots behind McDowell and Singh starting the day, McGinley ended up seven adrift at Pinx GC on Jeju Island after taking 34 putts in a poor day on the greens.

Two birdies in the first four holes gave him a glimmer of hope but he tried to force the issue after that and dropped three shots on the spin from the sixth with two-three putts.

But the three-time Ryder Cup winner knuckled down with a birdie at the ninth and an eagle at the par-five 10th, playing his last 10 holes in four-under to grab third place and a cheque for €125,200 that boosted him from xxth to xxth in the Order of Merit.

McGinley said: "I struggled with the putter today. I hit 17 greens in regulation and had three three-putts. But the way they boys are playing, to be honest, I was trying to win my own tournament and I did.

"The boys already had a big start on me and got off to a good start and I started three-putting, trying to force it.

"When I made those two three-putts in a row I said, okay, let's try and make sure I get third place and I played a good back nine."

McGinley has failed to turn his tee-to-green play into a big finish so far this year but is now looking forward to his reappearance in the Estoril Open de Portugal in two weeks' time.

Setting his sights on more world ranking and Ryder Cup points, he said: "I hit 17 greens in regulation again, a good week's golf and I have two weeks off now before Portugal.

"Last year I didn't have any top tens. This year I have two - ninth in Abu Dhabi and third here. It gets me up the world rankings and the Order of Merit. It is all about the big finishes."