Michael McGeady (Evolve Golf Coaching) was the joint winner but pipped Mullingar’s James Quinlivan on countback to collect the Irish Golfer Magazine sponsored Galway Bay Pro-Am on Thursday.
Starting from the 10th tee on a wild day out west, the Derry professional fired a two-under par 70, one of just four players to break par on the day, to better Quinlivan’s 70 with a better back nine in a satisfying joint win for the experienced campaigners.
“It was tough conditions,” said McGeady who’s been battling his body more so than his golf game for much of the season.
“I started off on number 10 and it was driver, 3-wood today whereas I was hitting 7-iron on the practice day. I suppose it’s an unusual wind for the golf course; I’d never played it in that wind.
“So yeah, I played really solid all things considered. I hit a few balls warming up and my body felt good which was nice because I’ve been struggling with injuries throughout the season. They’ve been niggling and not going away.
“But today felt better, I went out and hit a few nice shots and it came together. I got a wee bit of luck out there too. I pulled one tee shot on 17 and I ended up on the 16th fairway, was able to hit a rescue up and ended up birdieing it so things like that there helped a lot.”
It was a fifth win and another prize for McGeady’s brimming trophy cabinet as he edges ever closer to Damien McGrane in top spot on the Order of Merit.
“I think I’ve played well in the bigger events which is good,” added McGeady of his year. “I don’t know how many Pro-Ams I’ve actually won this year – but I won Carne which is one of the bigger ones, I finished second in the Irish Championship which is massive – Roganstown earlier in the year too.
“It’s been a so, so season. I think I played better last year but this year I just sort of played close to that level. My putting and short game is solid and that’s helped me put scores together.
“But I’m feeling good now heading to Connemara. I seem to enjoy the West coast so hopefully I can go there and play some decent golf.”
By contrast this was Quinlivan’s first win of the season and he produced some high-quality golf in the process getting round without a dropped shot.
The Mullingar man, starting at the first, picked up birdies at the par-four second and par-three third while adding 16 pars.
“I drove it superbly. I’ve been working with Eddie Doyle at The Heritage and he has been at me to hit a draw and I was solid as a rock today,” he commented.
“It’s so hard to win on the Region so I was delighted to tie with Michael. I have been putting a lot of work in so it was really nice to put a good round together.”
Royal Dublin’s Brian McCormack and Banbridge’s Richard Kilpatrick were the only other players who managed to break par as the pair shared third on minus-one. Brian McElhinney finished outright fifth at even.
The team prize went to professional Steven Quinlan (SQ Golf) and amateur partners Dara Noone, Kieran Conroy and Ed Corin with 89 points.
Galway Bay Pro-Am
Supported by Irish Golfer Magazine
at Galway Bay Golf Resort (Par 72)
T1 J Quinlivan (Mullingar GC) -2 70
T1 M McGeady (Evolve Golf Coaching) -2 70
T3 B Jnr McCormack (Royal Dublin GC) -1 71
T3 R Kilpatrick (Banbridge GC) -1 71
5 B McElhinney (Evolve Golf Coaching) E 72
T6 S Thornton (Tulfarris Golf Resort) +1 73
T6 T Rice (Limerick GC) +1 73
T6 C Moriarty (Glasson Hotel & GC) +1 73
9 S Quinlan (SQ Golf) +2 74
Full scoring HERE