Michael Hoey insists that beating Rory McIlroy and Co. was no fluke
MICHAEL Hoey reckons he’s already proved that beating five out of the top six players in the world, including Rory McIlroy, was no “fluke”.
It was Hoey who came out on top in a battle between the two Northern Irishman in the final round 12 months ago to win the Dunhill Links Championship.
His 22-under-par total also proved too good for 2010 US Open champion Graeme McDowell, who tied for third, Luke Donald, the world No 1 at the time, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer.
McIlroy has since gone on to win a second major and claim that top ranking from Donald, but Hoey, albeit on a lesser scale, is also satisified with the path his career is taking.
“Five of the world’s top six were in the field last year and to beat those guys here was sort of life-changing,” said Hoey yesterday, on the eve of launching his title defence in the pro-am event.
“It was nice to put in a performance like that. I know it’s just once that I managed to beat him, but I know I can play more golf like that again and I proved it was no fluke by winning in Morocco [the Hassan Trophy] earlier this year.”
Hoey added: “I was inspired by the ‘‘Home of Golf’ last year and hopefully that will be the case again.”
Fifer George Murray, who tied for third with McDowell a year ago, is among 13 Scots in the field this week and, lying 162nd on the money list, he needs to pick up another hefty cheque to avoid a trip to the Qualifying School at the end of the year.
Marc Warren, who finished joint fifth 12 months ago, is also in the home contingent, as are Scotland’s two European Tour winners within the past month or so, Paul Lawrie and Richie Ramsay.
Among the amateurs taking part are James White, last year’s Scottish No 1, and Ewan Scott, the current Scottish Youths champion.
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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