Mobile phone kills McGovern and Ireland at Europeans
 Headfort professional Brendan McGovern was disturbed by a mobile phone at a crucial moment in the final round of the PGAs of Europe International Team Championship in Portugal. Pictured at the 2013 Irish Open by Thos Caffrey /  www.golffile.ie

Headfort professional Brendan McGovern was disturbed by a mobile phone at a crucial moment in the final round of the PGAs of Europe International Team Championship in Portugal. Pictured at the 2013 Irish Open by Thos Caffrey / www.golffile.ie

Ireland crashed to a disappointing joint third in the PGAs of Europe International Team Championship after a controversial finish marred by a mobile phone.

Tied for the lead with eventual champions The Netherlands, anchor man Brendan McGovern came to the 18th with the title on the line but ran up a disastrous triple bogey seven after being disturbed by a ringing phone.

As a result, Ireland’s three-man team ended up a tantalising three shots behind the winners.

McGovern, John Kelly and Cian McNamara began the fourth and final round with high hopes, just two shots behind the Dutch.

Things looked good when St Margaret’s professional and Irish No 1 Kelly raced to the turn in five under 31, carding an eagle, four birdies and just one bogey along the way as the men in green grabbed an early share of the lead.

With Monkstown professional McNamara weighing in with a one under 71, Ireland were suddenly two shots clear of the field with nine holes to play.

Then disaster struck. Kelly ran up a quintuple bogey 10 at the fourth, his 13th hole, hitting his second into bushes before taking several shots to escape.

He eventually signed for a discarded, one over 73 but worse was to follow as McGovern was poised to battle for what could have been a winning birdie at the 400 yard 18th at the Onyria Palmares - Alvor Course.

Disturbed by a mobile phone as he went through his routine on the tee, the Headfort professional was forced to take a penalty drop for an unplayable lie after his drive and another drop for another unplayable lie after his third.

Details are still sketchy but according to one professional on site: “There is quite a bit of talk about what happened.”

Writing on his Facebook page, Kelly simply said: “Mobile phones should be banned from golf courses.”

In the end McGovern signed for a triple bogey seven and a 72 that left him tied for seventh in the individual standings on four over, six shots behind Scotland’s Graham Fox and Holland’s Ralph Miller. McNamara was joint 12th on seven over with Kelly tied 16th on nine over.

In the team competition, the Dutch team of Miller, Robin Swane and Nicolas Nube won by two strokes from defending champion Scotland on thre over par with Ireland tied for third with Denmark and Wales on six over.

Ireland shared £3,900 for their week’s work as the Dutch took home £6,000 for the win.

PGAs OF EUROPE INTERNATIONAL TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Palmares Golf Resort, The Algarve, Portugal (Par 72)

FINAL TEAM TOTALS - Par 576 (4x144)

579 Netherlands (R Miller, R Swane, N Nube) 149 152 135 143

581 Scotland (G Fox, G McBain, D Orr) 150 150 138 143

582 Wales (L Rooke, J Bevan, S Runcie) 156 146 141 139, Ireland (J Kelly, C McNamara, B McGovern) 153 147 139 143, Denmark 149 149 142 142.

Others

585 Italy

587 Sweden

588 Spain, France

590 England (D Greenwood, D Callaway, N Drennan)

598 Portugal

602 Slovenia

603 Germany

607 South Africa

610 Austria

612 Switzerland

614 Belgium

616 Finland

617 Greece

619 Poland

625 Czech Republic

630 Iceland

631 Croatia, Norway

643 Slovakia

660 Russian Federation

LEADING INDIVIDUAL TOTALS

Par 288 (4x72)

286 G Fox (Sco) 72 76 67 71, R Miller (Ned) 73 80 64 69

287 M Atlevi (Swe) 74 71 73 69

288 B Nicolay (Fra) 75 73 67 73

289 J Lorea (Spa) 74 75 70 70

291 H Santos (Port) 77 72 72 70

292 J Bevan (Wal) 79 74 69 70, B McGovern (Ire) 76 74 70 72, M Hansen (Den) 80 72 67 73

SELECTED OTHERS

294 N Drennan (Eng) 78 75 69 72 (11th)

295 C McNamara (Ire) 77 73 74 71 (T12)

296 D Greenwood (Eng) 80 74 69 73 (15th)

297 J Kelly (Ire) 81 74 69 73, L Rooke (Wal) 77 72 73 75 (T16).

299 G McBain (Sco) 79 74 72 74 (T20)

300 D Orr (Sco) 78 79 71 72 (T22)

303 S Runcie (Wal) 79 83 72 69 (25th)

NR D Callaway (Eng) 85 77 72 NR