Sports Digest: All Blacks narrowly edge Ireland, Graeme McDowell close, and Shay Given move
A round up of Irish sports news
He said, “We were pretty disappointed with the result last weekend. It is a tough one to take but we’ve got one more test against them so we need to bounce back one more time.”
Graeme McDowell and Padraig Harrington came so close to lifting the US Open title on Sunday – 48 hours after the 2011 champion Rory McIlroy had missed the cut.
McDowell finished tied second and Harrington tied fourth after a final day of drama at San Francisco’s Olympic Club saw the unheralded Webb Simpson emerge victorious.
The 2010 winner McDowell missed a 20 foot birdie putt on the 18th to force a playoff with Simpson, while Harrington’s hopes disappeared when he found a bunker as he chased a birdie at the last.
“There’s a mixture of emotions inside me right now. Obviously disappointment, deflation, pride but mostly just frustration, because I hit three fairways today,” McDowell said afterwards.
“But I’m proud of the way I hung in. The way I birdied 11 and 12 and the putt I made on 17 and just to give myself half a chance on 18.
“And that putt, it was weird, because I hit that putt in practice and it bumped left and it moved right of the hole and I just didn’t do that today.
“It was grind and a slog, but I’ll be back. I did a lot right, but this course does not allow you to get into a rhythm and it was a struggle.”
Harrington said, “I’m disappointed but the good thing is I was really in contention out there and that has to be a positive to take from the week.”
A disappointed McIlroy said after missing the cut, “You really have to be so precise out there. We’re just not used to playing this sort of course week in, week out. You have to adapt and adjust and I wasn’t able to do that very well.”
Leinster duo Jamie Heaslip and Gordon D’Arcy are on the way home from Ireland’s tour to New Zealand after picking up finger and calf injuries respectively. D’Arcy has been replaced in the squad by Ulster’s Paddy Wallace for Saturday’s final test against the All-Blacks.
Shay Given Move
Ireland's goalkeeper Shay Given will sit down with those closest to him before he makes any decision on his international future.
The Donegal born stopper endured a horrid European Championships when he conceded nine goals.
Questions were asked about Given’s fitness after recent injury problems, and speculation is rife that he could bring the curtain down on his time with Ireland after a record 125 caps.
But Given, speaking after Monday night’s 2-0 defeat to Italy, insisted, “It’s too soon straight after the game to make any rash decisions.
“I’ll sit down with my kids and my wife and my family when I get home and just see what the best plan of action is.
“Obviously, we’ve got a new manager in at Aston Villa - I’d like to speak to him as well and see what the best plan is for everyone.”
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