Brian Casey claimed his fourth successive top prize at the latest of Killeen Castle hosted Nicklaus Series on Friday with a controlled 2-under par 70 to collect the cheque for his efforts with his score matched only by fellow Headfort golfer Joe Dillon who claimed the leading nett prize.
Casey started with an opening bogey on the first, a tough par 4 having short sided himself for a front pin in the green side bunker but hit back with a sold birdie four on the second before adding another birdie on the 443yrd par 4 fifth after stitching his approach and he was at it again on the par 5 7th after reaching the putting surface in 2 and two putting for birdie.
It was all very controlled on paper for the next hour with pars on holes 8 through 14 but the Meath-man scrambled well for a couple of these with a good recovery from the water hazard on 12 and some good mid range putting before adding his fourth birdie of the round on the par 5 fifteenth hole to get his score to -3 for the day. Casey put his round in danger over the finishing stretch however missing both the 16th and 17th greens long and failing to get up and down on both occasions. He maintained his composure however and finished with a driver-wedge combo to 15ft on the signature closing hole to set up a birdie 3 to close with a two under par 70.
After his round Casey said: ‘ I had some close calls for birdies but also some good saves for pars today so all in all the score reflected fairly on my performance. With some of the names on the sheet today and with more tee boxes moved back on some of the holes, I felt I needed to break 70 to have any chance of winning outright. As always the course was in superb condition. I enjoyed some of the tricky pin placements along with some back tees which made the challenge greater’
Joe Dillon put in a similarly controlled display with some very impressive ball striking on his way to the same score of 2-under and said: “The course set up was well thought out – the par fives were a mix of generous to demanding off the tees and the par threes were right up there with the best four par 3s i’d play all year – and I’m not just saying that because I missed all four greens! I always love playing at Killeen Castle – it is always a great set up and requires every shot in your bag!”
1st. JOE DILLON (pro) 38pts (Headfort)
2nd. Conor Jameson (3) 36pts (Wicklow)
3rd. Conor O’Rourke (pro) 35pts (Nass)
1st. BRIAN CASEY (pro) 38pts (Unattached)
2nd. Desmond Morgan (+2) 37pts (Carton House)
3rd. Pat McGilloway Jnr (3) 35pts (Hermitage)
The schedule for upcoming Nicklaus Series events will be published early in the new year. The Nicklaus series is a pro and amateur singles event that is open to professional golfers and amateurs with a single figure handicap. See www.killeencastle.com for more.