David Higgins won the Feidhlim McKibben Memorial Pro-Am at Dundalk Golf Club after a four-under 68 gave him a two-shot victory over Richard Kilpatrick.
The Waterville Golf Links professional was an early starter on the day and carded five birdies with his only blemish coming on the 18th while Kilpatrick of Banbridge also registered five birdies but dropped three shots in a round of 70 as he claimed second place.
Higgins who finished fourth in the Roganstown Pro-Am last week was one of the earlier starters on Monday and he skipped to the turn in 34 after an opening birdie was followed by another on the par-5 7th.
The Irish PGA champion took the tournament by the scruff of the neck with birdies on ten, sixteen and seventeen to move to five-under and despite a closing bogey his four-under total was never matched as the day progressed.
“I’m delighted,” said Higgins. “Anytime you get a win you’re always delighted. I’ve been coming here a long time, I know this place well so it’s good to have a score like that because it’s not easy out there.
“I drove it well, you have to drive it well around here. I played well overall, I made a mistake on the last hole, pulling my tee shot a little but other than that everything was good, so we are on the right track.”
The three-time Challenge Tour winner has been in fine form in the early part of the season and with some potentially lucrative events coming up this summer, Higgins is brimming with confidence.
“It’s been a steady start to the season, I was a shot or two from winning the PGA Playoffs but when you are that close you aren’t far away, today helps with the confidence going into the next few events.
“We have a few massive events coming up, the K Club Pro-Am, the Irish Open and the PGA club pros in England so there’s tons of stuff on. It’s great to be confident and playing well.”
It was a double celebration for the Cork native who also scooped the team prize with a terrific score of 89 points and he feels the performance of the team helped bring the best out of himself.
“That’s a bonus! If the team plays well it kind of feeds into your own game as you saw we won so I’m sure that helped me pick up a couple of shots so I was delighted with that too.”
Meanwhile there was a four-way tie for third place with Galway’s David Mortimer, Colm Moriarty of Glasson, Clontarf’s Eamonn Brady and Mark Staunton all carding one-under 71s.
Dundalk pro Leslie Walker shared seventh with Shane Jenkinson (The Island) and Brian O’Reilly (Glenlo Abbey) on level-par.