Kinsale golfer John Murphy secures top-10 finish at St Andrew's

Murphy, on just his third European Tour start, birdied the last to seal a tie for ninth, a career-best paycheque of €84,000, and a place at next week's Spanish Open
Kinsale golfer John Murphy secures top-10 finish at St Andrew's

John Murphy of Ireland tees off on the 18th hole. Picture: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

IRELAND'S Shane Lowry and Kinsale golfer John Murphy secured top-10 finishes as Danny Willett gave himself the perfect 34th birthday present with victory at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

Lowry netted €191,000 for his share of fourth place at St Andrew's, while Murphy, on just his third European Tour start, birdied the last to seal a tie for ninth, a career-best pay cheque of €84,000, and a place at next week's Spanish Open.

Murphy played in the final pairing alongside Willett and had a dream start, carding a hat-trick of birdies between the third and fifth, but his title challenge faded thereafter, finishing six back on 12-under. He double-bogeyed the ninth and a bogey at 16 looked set to cost him his Spanish Open entry until his final-hole birdie.

Danny Willett and John Murphy watch a tee shot. 
Danny Willett and John Murphy watch a tee shot. 

Lowry also looked set to mount a stronger challenge after three birdies in his opening six holes but despite avoiding a bogey all day, his birdie at the last was his only other stroke gained to finish three back.

It left the way clear for former Masters champion Willett, who went into the final round with a three-shot lead and carded a 68 for 18-under to win by two from fellow Englishman Tyrrell Hatton and Joakim Lagergren of Sweden.

Willett was briefly caught by Richard Bland but four birdies and only one bogey on the front nine put him in a strong position, and he kept his nose comfortably in front after another bogey at the 10th to finish on 18 under and secure his eighth European Tour win.

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