It was win number four for Gary O’Flaherty at Lee Valley as he won the Munster Mid-Amateur title on Sunday.
Image of Gary O’ Flaherty from Cork Golf News
His season started with a win in the Lee Valley Senior Scratch Cup in April, and he closed out on Sunday with another win on the championship course in Ovens. Back in April O’Flaherty maintained his overnight lead to win his third Lee Valley title, this time he overturned a three-shot deficit to win on the final green in a tense finish.
Although the weather was much better than the wet conditions on Saturday, there was a stiff breeze blowing through Lee Valley which tested the field. O’Flaherty played some very tidy golf, his only bogey of the day came at the 7th and his birdie on the 9th got him back to level for the round. He birdied the par five 15th to get into the red, and he narrowly missed good birdie opportunities on the 16th and 17th. Standing on the 18th, Gary was one under for the day and +2 overall. With Alan Thomas (Dungarvan) in on +2 after a fine 69 it looked like a play-off may be required. But a great birdie on the last gave O’Flaherty the lead and the title.
After a good drive, O’Flaherty was left with 160 yards and stuck his approach into five feet before and converted the birdie putt to claim a one stroke win.
Thomas took second place to finish one behind the winner, and David O’Donovan (Muskerry), another man who has tasted success in Lee Valley, shot a final round 70 to take third place.
For O’Flaherty it was a great way to book-end his season in his last championship appearance of the year. He was three shots off the lead going into the final round, but there were plenty of people backing him to win in the final round. “I didn’t think I’d be standing here this-morning but I’m delighted to have won” said O’Flaherty, “I felt with the wind today, I knew if I could shoot 69 or 70 that I might have a chance.” Added O’Flaherty.
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