Back in the day: The Irish News - Nov 24 1997: Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley crowned World golf champions
PADRAIG Harrington and Paul McGinley were the toast of Ireland last night as they lifted the World Cup of Golf in South Carolina.
With Irish sporting pride suffering a major blow last week after the failure of the country’s soccer stars to reach next summer’s World Cup finals in France, the success of the golfing partners could not have been more opportune.
The pair, who share a first prize of £250,000, timed their winning run to perfection in the Kiawah Island event, coming from two behind at the start of the final day’s play to ease home five shots ahead of nearest challengers Scotland.
After McGinlay gloriously chipped in at the short 17th, the final hole was little more than a celebratory stroll for the duo as they registered a 31 under par aggregate total of 545 for the four-day event.
Their success comes 39 years after Ireland’s last win in the event, the 1958 triumph of the legendary pairing of Christy O’Connor and Harry Bradshaw.
The half-share of the £250,000 first prize was specially welcomed by 26- year-old Dubliner Harrington, due to get married in two weeks’ time.
“This is not a normal win – this is an incredible win. In years to come we will look back on this as a super year,.” he said.
ERRIGAL Ciaran clinched their first ever Tyrone league and championship double yesterday, fighting back to 1-5 to 0-8 draw at Moortown and secure the one precious point.
Once again it was Peter Canavan who popped up for a crucial late equaliser but Moortown, with Paul Devlin performing solidly at the heart of their defence, did their utmost to spoil the party.
And it looked as if they might sneak it when a deflected goal put them ahead 15 minutes from the end.
TRILLICK won promotion to Tyrone's Division One and sent Dungannon crashing down when they won a thrilling 1-17 to 0-16 play-off after extra-time.
The surprise return of 41-year-old former Tyrone player Sean Donnelly was a major factor in Trillick’s success, his craft and experience proving invaluable.
But it was Gery Corry who was the scoring hero, kicking an injury-time equaliser to send the game into overtime and punishing Dungannon with his clinical placekicking.
Corry finished with eight points.
Damien Gormley grabbed a goal and five, and even eleven fine scores from Cahal Loughran couldn’t save Dungannon from the drop.
CONALL Carmichael of the Holy Trinity Club, Belfast is probably the tallest boxer to contest the welterweight series in the National Intermediate Championships.
He also probably had his toughest fight in the quarter-finals against Crumlin tearaway scrapper Adam Whiston at the National Stadium on Saturday night.
Carmichael was glad to see off the challenge of the smaller man on a 14-10 computer scoreline. Whiston, coached by former European bronze medalist Phil Sutcliffe, waded in bravely, but he was forced to take a standing count of eight in the third round, caught by the ever-cool Carmichael.
Bishop Kelly’s light middle Terence McDermott had a clear win over “Camlough Express” Conor Higgins of Sacred Heart, Newry.
Higgins’s club had no joy either in the light heavy division when John McCormack’s protege Sean O’Grady, a brother of Olympian Cathal, stopped a gutsy Martin Mallon.