A course-record six-under 67 helped Liam Grehan secure his fourth win this season at the Irish Club Pro Championship in Millicent Golf Club sponsored by Zoom & Phone Pulse.
The K Club professional carded eight birdies and two bogeys in the worst of the Kildare showers on Friday morning and his score wasn’t caught despite the best efforts of Limerick’s Tim Rice who carded a five-under 68.
The previous course record was set by James Quinlivan of Mullingar and the Island’s Shane Jenkinson in the pro-am on Thursday after the pair tied at the top with 68s.
Grehan decided he would go one better and he is set to battle it out with Richard Kilpatrick at the summit of the Order of Merit.
The 23-year-old made his birdies by the bunch reeling off three on the spin on his front nine before opening his inward journey with four successive birdies.
Grehan had started well with a birdie on the second before bogeys on the ninth and a three-putt bogey on the par-5 16th left the door slightly ajar for the rest of the field in the afternoon.
The Irish Club Pro is one of the most prestigious and oldest championships in Irish golf having been around since 1940 and Grehan etches his name on the trophy alongside the likes of Fred Daly Harry Bradshaw and Christy O’Connor.
“It’s amazing I played Fred Daly tournaments when I was growing up now to have my name on the trophy beside him and Christy O’Connor is pretty cool,” he smiled.
“I’d never shot a course record before it just shows how I have progressed since turning pro and the work I am putting in is paying off and hopefully keep the foot down and keep going.”
Grehan was also pleased to see his form turn a corner after a few lean weeks which included a T-19th finish at the Synergy Pro-Am, far below the standards he expects of himself but some hard work on his short game paid dividends.
“To be honest my short game wasn’t great for a little while I was still hitting it fine just tinkering with my putting and it clicked today. Did a nice bit of practice yesterday and just freed myself up mentally and working on focusing properly, getting away from technique and it worked today.”
Grehan is now projected to leapfrog Banbridge’s Kilpatrick at the summit of the Order of Merit having joined him on four wins for the season and it is set to be a tight race as the season winds down.
“I’ve had a nice few wins but they were all tied first so it’s nice to get my name on a trophy.
“Richard has had such a consistent season and I was struggling so I thought I was out of it. This is worth a point and a half so hopefully it will get us close coming to the end of the season and see what happens.”