Niall Kearney revealed he had to arrange for a suitcase full of additional clothing to be shipped to him for a three week European Tour competition stay on the Canary Islands. Kearney made the most of his late entry into the Gran Canaria Lopesan Open posting a closing round 68 for a 14-under par tally on the Meloneras course.
South-African lefty Garrick Higgo made it look easier winning a second European Tour title in 24 events thanks to a closing day 63 for his three shot success at 25-under par. Kearney and Clandeboye’s Jonathan Caldwell (66) were the best of the Irish in sharing 21st place and each earned €15,242.
“I am very happy with the week as I practiced a huge amount throughout lockdown with my coach Eddie Doyle in my studio in Baldoyle and also at The Heritage,” said Kearney.
“So, it was great to see the long hours come to fruition on the course over the last few days- had great ball control in the wind which was very satisfying. The natural rust is still there a little from a game sharpness point of view.”
Kearney had expected to be travelling to South Africa for the inaugural Challenge Tour event but ended-up being called-up for the Gran Canaria event where he was eventually the fifth last into the Spanish tournament.
Nor did he expect to be now playing in all three with confirmation he will tee-up in this week’s Tenerife Open and the following week’s Canary Islands Championship, also on the island of Tenerife.
“This time last week, I didn’t realise I was going to get into these events as I was booked to go to South African for the Challenge Tour event,” he said. “Now that the entry lists have been published, I am down here in Spain for the three weeks.
“It’s meant I had to get a suitcase shipped over from Ireland as we weren’t prepared for what will be these four weeks on the road.”
And when Kearney says four weeks, he revealed he travelled to Spain the week prior to the Gran Canaria with his father and all thanks to a good friend at Royal Dublin.
“We were out in Spain last week to play a few games with my Dad and a great friend from Royal Dublin, Brendan O’Malley who winters out there turned out to be very beneficial. So, it’s been a good start this week to my three weeks and looking forward to much more of the same in Tenerife.”
Joining Kearney in the remaining two Canary Islands events will Caldwell, Cormac Sharvin and Paul Dunne. And making his pro debut this week will be 18-year old Holywood prospect Tom McKibbin who has been afforded a sponsors invitation.
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