Brazill claims Connacht Strokeplay title after final day 71 and 69

Ronan MacNamara

Robert Brazill (Photo: Cashman Photography)

Ronan MacNamara

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Robert Brazill is the Connacht Strokeplay champion after a rollercoaster final day in Portumna Golf Club saw him emerge as a four-shot winner.

The Naas golfer backed up a morning effort of 71 with a three-under 69 to finish on one-over as he posted the only round in the 60s this weekend.

Brazill overcame a five-shot deficit to burst from the pack and win while Fionn Dobbin ended up claiming second place after Eddie McCormack’s challenge faded late on.

The former Bridgestone Order of Merit winner roared to the summit after he played his first twelve holes in six-under-par courtesy of four birdies and an eagle three on the par-5 6th.

Galway’s McCormack had taken a five-shot lead into the final-round after a morning 71 but six dropped shots in four holes on the back nine of his final round put paid to his chances which allowed Brazill to coast home.

After Brazill double-bogeyed the thirteenth and McCormack birdied 11 the pair were tied at the top on level-par and we looked set for a thrilling final few holes.

However, a run of bogey, double, bogey, double ended the hopes of the Galwegian who was beaten by Rory McIlroy in the final of the 2005 Irish Close.

In the end, it was a chastening final round 81 after a bogey on the last as he shared fourth on seven-over.

Brazill did endure a rocky finish with a double-bogey on 13 and a bogey on the last but he had plenty of shots to spare over the field.

Once McCormack hit the brakes there was only going to be one winner.

It’s Brazill’s first win since the 2018 West of Ireland Championship but he has been playing regularly this season and a runner-up finish at the Ulster Strokeplay was an indication that perhaps he was getting back to the form of yesteryear.

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