Michael Hoey’s final day charge at Fota Island earned him another top 10 finish but just like compatriot Gareth Maybin, he failed to tie down a place in the Open Championship.
Realistically, both players had outside chances of winning the tournament heading into Sunday’s final round but retained genuine hopes of snagging one of the three places on offer for Hoylake next month.
Unfortunately, that failed to materialise with Hoey’s final round of five under 66 helping him to a total of nine under par while Maybin’s final round level par 71 saw him finish tied for 14th under.
Hoey was pleased with his performance yesterday, soaring up the leaderboard with his best round of the week.
“I’m not going to be close enough today but I have a couple more chances to get into the Open and a top 10 at this tournament is always very welcome,” said Michael.
“I didn’t really hit the ball good enough all week but my short game was very good today.
“I hit the right shot at the right times and more importantly, I hit my bad shots on the right holes and putted well.”
The five-time tour winner appears to have found the consistency he has always craved this year and Sunday’s display at Fota Island earned him his third top ten finish of the season.
“It was nice in an Irish Open to hole a few puts really get into the mix and feel the adrenalin,” added the 35-year-old.
“I have a great run of tournaments coming up now; Germany, France and Scotland.
“At this time of the year, you can really make a good move towards securing your place in the Race to Dubai and climbing up the world rankings. Certain tournaments are more important than others and these four are important in that regard.”
Maybin began his day at eight under par and two birdies inside the opening six holes saw him briefly challenge for the lead but dropped shots at eight, 12 and 15 ended his chances.
“When I got to a couple under I was beginning to think that miracles could happen but I was scrappy coming in and the three-putt on 10 [for par] really killed my momentum,” said Gareth.
“Then I had another three putt on 12 and from then on it was a case of just trying to get in with a decent number.
“On the plus side I have never made a cut in an Irish Open and this was my sixth attempt at it.
“It was nice to play in front of those wonderful fans out there today and I will take a lot from that experience going into a big stretch of tournaments now in Germany, France and Scotland.”
Maybin has struggled for much of the season but this performance will hopefully be a launchpad for success this summer.
He added: “The game is showing signs of improvement which is good and these next few tournaments set up a bit better for me, I’m looking forward to them.”