Dodd states his case for a Ryder Cup spot

The main reason why Ian Woosnam must quite fancy having Stephen Dodd in his Ryder Cup team here this September is rather more pertinent than the little fact of him sharing a nationality with the European captain. For the quiet Welshman proved yesterday that when it comes to golf in Ireland at the moment there are few bigger noises.

This European Open title was the second the 39-year-old has picked up in Co Kildare in 14 months. Last year's Irish Open was characterised by Dodd's steely temperament as he prevailed in a play-off over David Howell. This one was clad in titanium.

At the end of a day when a dozen or more players came within sniffing distance of the £400,000 first prize, Dodd simply tweaked the nose of tension and pulled effortlessly clear. Three birdies on a back nine that had proved as straightforward as the Irish sense of humour gave him a two-shot victory over England's Anthony Wall and Spain's Jose Manuel Lara.

The 40-footer across the 17th green was the moment it was his, although you would not necessarily have known it. Just like the victory tap-in 15 minutes later for a 70 and a nine-under total, Dodd's celebrations were less shirt over head and more head under cap. It is just not his way to whoop and holler.

Inevitably, this deficit in the charisma tank is the largely irrelevant factor why sponsors and media alike send their eyeballs sky-bound whenever his name hits the leader board. But very soon, if not last night, they will be having to concede the quality of the man.

After flailing around the circuit as a lowly journeyman for well over a decade, the former amateur champion, who turns 40 next Saturday, has won as many European Tour events (three) in the past two seasons as any of his fellow members and when you put this next to the World Cup he lifted with Bradley Dredge last October it is obvious golf has another winner on its hand. Or, at least it should be.

At 16th in the standings he is now a genuine contender in the race for the Ryder Cup which takes place in three months' time here on the adjoining Palmer Course.

"I suppose I am," said Dodd, sounding typically unimpressed after the most illustrious success of his career. "I've not given that much thought. It's a long way off and for now I'm just going to look back on this with pride."

When he analysed some of the names behind him, his chest should have expanded to the point of bursting. In a tie for third on six-under came a group including Lee Westwood and Paul McGinley, both happy just to be back in the mix, both praying they have at last turned the corner. McGinley, in particular, must believe the fates are back with him after an incredible turn of events.

On Friday evening the Dubliner was so sure he had missed the cut on two-over that he was at the airport about to catch the next plane to London. His golf bag was even in the hold when first the flight was delayed by 45 minutes because of a bomb scare and then his wife rang to say "stay there, the scores are tumbling, you may sneak in".

McGinley pleaded to the airline to retrieve his clubs, the officials consented and a 67 and a 69 later, he was indeed flying high. When he left the course after the second round he was 91st; when he left it last night he was 88 places better off. "If EI169 had not been delayed I would have been flying over the course, not playing on it," said the Irishman.

McGinley now appears a certainty again to face America. Dodd is a definite possibility and by no means a grim one.

* Trevor Immelman put two near misses on the PGA Tour behind him last night with a birdie on the treacherous 72nd hole at Cog Hill in Lemont, Illinois, to win the Western Open by two shots from a resurgent Tiger Woods. Woods, the world No 1, struggled down the front nine but four birdies on the homeward run applied pressure on the South African as he came down the stretch. However, Immelman picked up shots on the 15th and 16th holes and was able to rebound from a bogey at the 17th for a 13-under total. Overnight leader Vijay Singh faltered early to fall back into the pack. Justin Rose finished at five under with Brian Davis and Luke Donald a shot further back.

News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower