Ballymena’s Dermot McElroy was the pick of the Irish challenge as the PREM Group Irish Masters came to a close at Tulfarris.
It could have been even better for the Northern Irishman but for a costly finish on a blustery day in County Wicklow.
McElroy made the turn in fine style with three birdies and not a dropped shot in sight, however bogeys at 11 and 12 were compounded by two more at 17 and 18 as he came home in 40 and signed for a one-over par 73 to grab a share of 10th at four-under par.
Ballymoney’s Michael Hoey and Head Professional at Tulfarris, Simon Thornton both carded even par 72’s to finish a shot further back at minus-three.
Ireland’s leading EuroPro contender, Jonathan Caldwell could only manage a two-over par 74 for a tie for 18th at minus-two. Caldwell, who currently lies 10th on the money-list and outside the top-5 who will earn their Challenge Tour cards for next season, will need more than the £496 earned for this result to make an impression on that bracket.
Caldwell’s scoring meanwhile was once again mirrored by Royal Dublin’s Niall Kearney who also posted a two-over par 74 to finish out the tournament.
North West’s Brian McElhinney moved back to parity for the week after enjoying his best round of the 54-hole event, a one-under par 71.
His tally proved one less than Woodcote Park’s Peter Williamson who was another player to struggle in conditions as he returned a 74 for a plus-one total, while Balbriggan’s Niall Turner carded a 73 to finish a shot further back in a tie for 38th.
At the head of affairs, Marco Penge’s long-awaited search for a victory on the PGA EuroPro Tour has ended after clinching The PREM Group Irish Masters title.
Penge (Golf at Goodwood) finished one clear on the final day with rounds of 66, 67 and 71 to move to second in the Race To Desert Spring rankings. A maiden victory on the Tour has been close many times already this season for Penge but he finally prevailed in Ireland.
He said: “I’m over the moon. A bit emotional and speechless. But yeah, I am buzzing.”
“I played this course last year and I was in a great position to win and I didn’t get it across the line. I hit it pretty good this week. It’s still not quite where I want it. My putting saved me today thank god after missing a two-footer earlier on.”
Alasdair Plumb (Host My House) didn’t make life easy for Penge though, with a final round of 67 (-5) to go with his earlier 70 and 68 to give him his first top three finish on the tour in only his fifth event of the season.
Clubhouse leader from round one, Adam Chapman (Windermere Golf Club) recovered from a bad day on Thursday to post a final day round of 65 (-7) for the best round of the day to finish third.
Highlights of The PREM Group Irish Masters will air on Sky Sports Golf on 10, September 2019 at 20:00
The EuroPro now moves on to the PDC Championship at Studley Wood Golf Club.
Full scoring HERE