Thornton storms through for victory at Ballyliffin

Paul Kelly
Paul Kelly

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Simon Thornton fired a final round four under par 67 to win the 36-hole Ballyliffin Pro-Am sponsored by Desmond Motors Ford Store, Silkie Whiskey and Monte Rei GC on Sunday.

The 40-year-old opened his account on Saturday with a level par round of 72 over the Glashedy Links which earned him a share of third place alongside Richard Kilpatrick (Banbridge).

The leader after the close of play on day one was Delgany’s Mark Staunton who signed for a four-under par 68, giving him a two shot lead over David Higgins (Waterville Links).

Staunton’s opening round included a blistering run over his front nine which included three birdies and an eagle as he went to the turn in five under par with 30 strokes.

Thornton turned the tables on day two. Hw carded five birdies and one bogey around the Old Links which was the best score of the day and saw him leap-frog Higgins (70) and Staunton (72) into first place.

“I putted quite well on the opening day and managed to hole nothing but on the second day I made a few, that was the main difference,” said the Newcastle, Co.Down based professional. “My play off the tee wasn’t great but I found a few greens, rolled in a few putts and just about got over the line,” he added.

Mark Staunton did at least return home with the team prize as he guided his amateur partners – John Grant, John McDermott and Charlie Duffy – to victory with 181 points.

Ballyliffin Pro-Am
Sponsored by Desmond Motors, Silke Whiskey & Monte Rei GC
Glashedy/Old Links
1 S Thornton (Simon Thornton Golf) 72/67                         139                               (-4)
T2 M Staunton (Delgany GC) 68/72                                   140                               (-3)
T2 D Higgins (Waterville Golf Links) 70/70                       140                               (-3)

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