Kieran McManus today partnered former Ryder Cup star Jamie Donaldson to the Team Championship to take personal hold of a tournament record he had previously shared with his father.
Before McManus junior and Donaldson romped to victory with a stunning 16-under-par final round team score of 56 on the Old Course at St Andrews, the Irish stud farm owner had two wins to his name, in 2009 and 2014, putting him level with JP McManus, who won the team competition with Padraig Harrington in both 2002 and 2006.
“My Dad is delighted for me,” said Kieran afterwards. “It’s absolutely brilliant to win the Team Championship for a third time. I never thought I’d win it again, but Jamie played out of his skin today and it’s great to know he will get a nice cheque for it, as he just missed the cut in the individual event.”
Donaldson pocketed a cheque for $50,000 US dollars and revealed that he had nine birdies and an 18th hole eagle on his card. As he was out of the individual event, he did not have to hand in a completed scorecard but reckoned he had gone round in an approximate 10-under-par.
McManus, who received eight strokes on handicap, contributed net birdies on three holes and also two net eagles, at the 5th and 14th. “We could not have dovetailed any better all week,” added McManus. “It’s been a great tournament to play in again and my thanks to Jamie for helping me to put my name on the trophy once more.”
After bogeying the Road Hole 17th, which was towards the end of their front nine as they had started on the 10th, McManus and Donaldson covered their last 10 holes in a combined team score of 12-under-par in a scintillating display of attacking golf.
When McManus first won the team competition, in 2009, his professional partner was Denmark’s Soren Hansen and then, in 2014, he was partnered by fellow Irishman Peter Lawrie.
McManus and Donaldson finished with a four-round score of 40-under-par, winning by three shots from three other teams – Robert Rock and Westlife singer Brian McFadden, Victor Dubuisson and Shantanu Narayen, who had a hole in one in round three, and Yikeun Chang and Erwee Botha. Australian cricket legend Shane Warne and his New Zealand professional partner Ryan Fox were among three more teams a further stroke back on 36-under-par.
McFadden said: “We couldn’t have done anymore. We shot 58 today, 14-under-par. It’s amazing. We shot five under the first day and five under the second, and we were way back. We were just delighted to make the cut at first. Then for the weekend we’re 27-under-par. Hopefully next year we’ll be back here playing in the tournament again.”
Warne was delighted to qualify for the final round of the team competition for the first time, and at the 11th attempt, while actor Jamie Dornan again experienced the thrill of playing the Old Course’s iconic 18th hole in the final group alongside his professional partner Tyrrell Hatton, who created another tournament record by becoming the first player to win successive titles.
Dornan was also Hatton’s amateur partner in 2016 and said: “At least this time I was a little bit more prepared for playing the 18th in the last group and in front of that sort of crowd. Tyrrell’s golf this week has been simply amazing.”