Back to back wins boost McGrane ahead of Irish Open

Paul Kelly
Paul Kelly

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Damien McGrane increased his lead at the top of the PGA in Ireland Order of Merit with back-to-back victories at the weekend.

The Kells man goes into this week’s Irish Open at Portstewart with some extra confidence and an almost 5000 point lead in the standings.
On Saturday, Damien fired a three under par 69 to win the Waterford Castle 25th Anniversary Pro-Am. The vastly experienced 46-year-old recorded three birdies, an eagle, and two bogeys as he edged out Ted Higgins (Ted Higgins Golf) and Michael McGeady (Seamus Duffy Golf Academy).

He followed that up by topping the leaderboard alongside Gerry Burke (Royal Curragh GC) and Mark Staunton (Delgany GC) at the Milltown Pro-Am.The trio finished one shot ahead Joe Dillon (Headfort GC) and recently crowned Irish PGA Champion, Tim Rice (Limerick GC).

Another former Order of Merit champion, John Kelly (2006/2013), made a winning return to action at the Foxrock Pro-Am on Friday.
As Director of Golf at St Margaret’s Golf & CC, John has pared back his playing commitments in recent years but he has lost none of his competitive fire and he proved it once again at the Co. Dublin venue. A run of four birdies on his back nine saw him round in four under 66 at the Harry-Colt designed nine-hole venue.
“I’d love to play a bit more and I do hope to get doing so in the future because I do miss that side of things,” said John.
“I had no expectations going out at Foxrock, but I’d like to think that I know my swing and know what I can do. I drove the ball straight and played nicely.”

PGA in Ireland Order of Merit
Current Standings
1          Damien McGrane                                                       18,230.83
2          David Higgins (Waterville Links)                             13,606.67
3          Colm Moriarty (Drive Golf Performance Ltd)          11,390.92
4          Simon Thornton (Simon Thornton Golf)                   10,866.84
5          Tim Rice (Limerick Golf Club)                                 10,561.34
6          Michael McGeady (Seamus Duffy Golf Academy)  10,430.44
7          Richard Kilpatrick (Banbridge GC)                           9,324.27
8          Damian Mooney (Damian Mooney Golf)                 8,466.29
9          Mark Staunton (Delgany GC)                                    8,259.00

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