It was a case of business as usual at Killeen Castle for Headfort’s Brian Casey as he led the field with a 2-under par 70 around the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course in Co. Meath on an extremely windy day.
Casey, who started in customary strong fashion, opened his account with eagles on the par-5 second and another on the par-5 seventh to walk onto the tough 189yard par-3 with a 4 shot cushion against par.
A misjudgement against the wind led to a double bogey 5 but he quickly bounced back with a birdie on the tough par-4 9th before adding bogeys on 11 and 14 and another birdie on 15 to finish with 70 (38pts).
Considering just how tough conditions proved, Casey was grateful for a fast start that took the pressure off a superb round under the circumstances.
“2 eagles and 2 birdies gave me some breathing room on the tough holes into the wind where I felt I had to just hang on,” Casey reflected, who played alongside the experienced Tim Rice who won on the EuroPro Tour this season.
“Playing alongside Tim today helped me keep focused in an almost matchplay scenario. I felt I didn’t get enough out of my round but I’ll be back on the 28th to see if I can do better.”
Despite not being entirely satisfied with his own performance, Casey was overwhelmingly pleased with the course presentation at Killeen Castle, paying tribute to one of the country’s premier resorts.
“It was an enjoyable day all round,” he added. “The practice facilities before the round are top class and a great way to get you ready for a tough test around a well maintained championship course”
Casey wasn’t the only winner on the day. The leading Nett prize went to Conor O’Rourke (Pro) from Naas Golf Club who closed with a very steady 1-under par 71 (37pts).
Conor matched birdies on the par-5 second and par-5 seventh with bogies on holes 6 (par 3) and the tough 9th (par-4) to go out with a level par 36 on the front 9.
Birdies on 10 and the difficult 17th hole were paired back by only a single bogey on the back 9 which came on the par 3 14th. All-in-all, this led to a closing 1-under par 71 (37pts) to claim the prize.
Runner-up spots in both categories went to the 2017 Irish PGA CHAMPION Tim Rice who carded 2 birdies and an eagle to counteract his 4 bogeys in a level par round of 72, while the NETT Runner-up spot went to Andrew Mooney (7-hcap) from Killeen Golf Club in Co. Kildare who played the back 9 in a blistering 21pts to finish on total 34pts to claim his prize on a countback.
There was also further cause for celebration today as Shane Quigley (5 hcap – Castlebar G.C) carded an ACE on the Par 3 eight hole – Congratulations to Shane!
The Nicklaus Series is a singles stableford event hosted by Killeen Castle which is open to Professional Golfers and Amateurs with a single figure handicap. See www.killeencastle.com