Steven Quinlan and Damian Mooney were the last men standing at the end of a thrilling two days at Donegal Golf Club Murvagh after a fantastic inaugural pro-am sponsored by Total Splicing Solutions.
Both Quinlan and Mooney were tied at the top on three-under-par after 36 holes but it was Quinlan who took home the trophy after a final round 69 bettered Mooney’s 72.
“It’s nice to win, I’ve won a couple of one day pro-ams but I had never won a two day event so it’s always nice to put two rounds back to back to go and win and get the trophy,” said Quinlan (74, 69) who roared out of the traps with an opening eagle, holing out from the fringe.
“It was a funny one I just missed the green and I didn’t fancy the chip so said I would putt it and it was going pretty quick, hit the hole and went in which set the tone. I held a lot of putts on the front nine which was nice, lot of birdies so yeah, it’s always nice to hole a few putts.”
The Dubliner followed his eagle with a bogey on the second before four birdies in six holes saw him turn in 32 and storm into the lead. He was six-under through twelve after a birdie on the par-5 and while he gave two shots back to the course on 14 and 18 he was delighted to bring home the trophy which he hopes to defend next year with a regular spot on the schedule surely in store for Donegal after a superb weekend.
“Myself and Damian have a habit of sharing wins! Played indifferent yesterday but today was really good got it going early on six under par dropped a couple coming in, just hit bad shots but I’m happy to finish tied first.
“I’ve been playing solid, last two events weren’t great, didn’t putt well in Elm Park made a change to the driver on Thursday night and a tweak to my putting set up which paid off. I hit the driver a lot better this week and held a lot of putts which was nice.
“It’s such a great golf course it’s my first time up here as it is for almost everyone and I think we were all surprised by how good the golf course is and hopefully from what I’ve seen this event will continue and be a regular on our schedule.”
For Lough Erne’s Mooney he will perhaps rue poor finishes for not taking home the entire pot. Three bogeys to finish in round one saw him share the lead on -2 with Brian McCormack heading into the final round and he started with three birdies in a row to soar ahead.
Mooney was five-under for the day after back to back birdies on 18 and 1 before he double bogeyed the second and bogeyed the fourth and fifth to drop back into a share with Quinlan, but he was happy with his form ahead of Senior Open Championship Qualifying.
“I had a good front nine I had it going then made a few mistakes and got a bit unlucky but you take what golf gives you.
“It’s been fantastic, the members have thrown their heart and soul into this and I can’t speak highly enough of the venue, the fairness of the golf course, the presentation, the members, the staff, they have all been fabulous.
“I’m going to Seniors Open Qualifying I’m into the PGA in Trump in August, old man stuff! We have a strong region with some big events coming up as well, K Club next week and St Helens Bay so it’s nice to be busy.”
McCormack finished a shot behind on two-under-par after a level-par 73 while Ballina’s Eddie Tracey was a shot further back in fourth on one-under after a 72.
WINNERS: 186pts 87 – 99
PRO: Darragh Lynch Adare Manor
RUNNERS UP: 185pts 96 – 89
PRO: Brian McCormack McCormack Golf
THIRD: 177pts 88 – 89
PRO: David Hughes Massereene
BEST TEAM DAY 1 Glen Robinson Craddockstown 89pts
BEST TEAM DAY 2 Brian Kerley Ardee 93pts