A first senior title came the way of Castle’s Peter McKeever as he picked up a hard-fought win at Portumna golf club in the Connacht Stroke Play Championship, sponsored by the Murray Timber Group.
With a closing one-under par round, the 24 year-old financial trader from Dublin played rock-steady golf to close out the championship by a single stroke from Eanna Griffin from Waterford.
On the 17th tee McKeever stood two strokes behind the on-course leader Simon Walker who had been ahead since the end of the third round, but two balls in the water on the right of the penultimate hole ended the Roscommon teenager’s chances after he racked up a triple bogey which left McKeever one ahead of Griffin who was safely in the clubhouse.
A missed approach left to the final hole, a 200 yard par three was followed by a calm and collected up and down to give McKeever the title.
“I was pretty calm, I was playing really good stuff, putting the ball in play. There are some tricky holes coming in and I was just trying to keep it in position.
“I was two back on 17 and was tempted to hit driver with water right and all sorts of stuff on the left. I decided to try and lay up and put the pressure on and unfortunately Simon hit a couple into the water.”
McKeever’s tactical play on 17 was to hit two three irons and a wedge to find the green in regulation and he could only look on as Walker’s round fell apart after his second found the water on the right and then his next also found the hazard just short of the green.
The win sees McKeever move up the Bridgestone Order of Merit and with plans to play in each of the four events remaining this season, he has every chance of playing his way onto the Ireland team for the Home Internationals this September.
The leading Connacht players were Luke O’Neill of Connemara and Walker who finished in a tie for third.
Marc Boucher from Carton House also picked up valuable Bridgestone Order of Merit points in a finish for fifth.