Peter O’Keeffe is the 2021 AIG Irish Men’s Amateur Close Champion; the Douglas star defeating Castle’s Robert Moran in a three-hole playoff after the duo finished four shots clear of the field on nine-under par at Tullamore GC.
Sunday’s final round quickly became a battle between the duo as they both moved clear of the field around the turn. Playing one group ahead of Moran, O’Keeffe birdied the final hole to put the pressure on the Dubliner. Moran missed a putt for par to win the title in regulation to send the event to extra holes.
O’Keeffe won the three-hole aggregate playoff, going par-par-double to Moran’s birdie-triple and ultimate concede on the 18th green unable to match the Cork golfer’s total.
Speaking after his win, the former Irish Amateur Open champion was delighted to add another title to his collection:
“I knew I had a chance. I’ve been playing well. The course suits me. I play the ball high, and with a fade. This course is made for that. I hung in and had a good final round,” O’Keeffe said.
“My goal every year is to win a title. If I play well, I feel I can compete. I had a good attitude all week which helps. Robert and myself both went for it in the play-off. He’s a good player and will feature again.”
Moran’s bogey on 18 on the 72nd hole meant he played the final hole in +4 for the week.
“It’s a tough hole. It’s one of the toughest on the course and was harder today in the wind. You just need to play it well, and I didn’t this week,” he reflected.
“My short game saved me yesterday, and my long game did today. It’s good to know both parts are there. I just need to put them together.”
Athenry’s Alan Hill and Forrest Little’s Jack McDonnell finished in a tie for third on -5. 2020 champion Hugh Foley was in a group of five on T5 one shot further back. The Royal Dublin golfer was happy with his title defence.
“It was a nearly week, but an improvement on previous weeks. I had a couple of steady rounds. It was a good defence, and not a bad week overall. Once I gave the trophy back at the start of the week, it felt like any other week. It would have been nice to get it back, but I did well overall.”
- Full scoring HERE