As the Pro-Am 2017 season draws to a close next week Simon Thornton and Colm Moriarty both carded three under par 69’s to share the IrishGolfer.ie Tulfarris Pro-Am.
A late addition to this year’s PGA calendar the championship course at Tulfarris was in superb condition and tough to tame as only seven of the forty one professionals broke par proved.
Irish PGA Champion Tim Rice and Mark Staunton had set early the pace carding a two under 70’s which was the best of the morning starters. Both Moriarty and Thornton were afternoon starters and made the most of the calm conditions to continue their rich vein of form of late.
Moriarty had got to -4 standing on the last tee where he missed his only fairway all day finding a bad lie under the lip of a fairway bunker and carded a finishing bogey.
“I played quite nicely today and had six birdies and a couple of sloppy bogeys but all in all I am quite happy with that” he said. “I had never been to Tulfarris before and it’s a lovely course. Given the rain over the past few weeks the greens were super and I look forward to coming back.”
Moriarty who recently completed his full PGA qualifications is looking to finishing the season strongly as he plays the Galway Bay Pro-Am later this week and The Connemara Pro-Am finishing off the season next week.
“It’s been a long three years getting the PGA qualification and I haven’t played as much as I would have liked this year mixing in the studies but I am looking forward to finishing off the season on a positive note. I have mixed a lot of tours over the last ten years but with the studies behind me I am going to play a lot on the region in 2018. There are a lot of very good players competing here now so am really looking forward to it.”
Unlike Moriarty, Simon Thornton had played the course before and was happy to secure another late season win.With a shot gun start in operation, Thornton started his round at the fourth and played his opening six holes in level par with a bogey at the eighth cancelled out by a birdie at the par five ninth.He stepped things up on back nine and reached four under for his round courtesy of two birdies and an eagle at the par five 15th. A dropped shot at the first halted his progress somewhat and he parred his way in to post 69.
“I really enjoyed that today,” said Thornton. “I have not been to Tulfarris since 2003 and its matured into a very good course that really tests every aspect of your game. Today I drove the ball nicely and putted well too but had to rely on my short game a bit early on. I got up and down on six of my first seven holes to keep me in it.”
Thornton is now six months on from the foot surgery he had in March and although still not quite fully recovered he is happy with his progress.
“I always tend to play nicely at the back end of the season for some reason and this last month I have really started to play well. The injury is probably about 80% there now, six months on from the operation and I am quite positive as to how it feels. This time last year I was taking my shoes off in between shots and walking down the fairways bare foot as the pain was so bad. I am looking forward to building on the late season form and getting 100% fit leading into 2018 as the last five or six months have been rebuilding my game post operation.”
Michael McDermott (Grange GC) and playing partners Colin Dunne, Warren Byrne and Ruairi O’Hanlon won the team prize with 89 points edging out David Foley’s (Dromoland Castle GC) team courtesy of a better back nine.
From the team at Irish Golfer we would like to thank all of the Irish PGA professionals that made the day such a success and also to Pat Barrett and his team at Tulfarris for hosting such a great day.
Leading Scores at The IrishGolfer.ie Tulfarris Pro-Am at Tulfarris Hotel and Golf Resort
T1 – C Moriarty (Drive Golf Performance Ltd), S Thornton (Simon Thornton Golf (69, -3)
T3 – T Rice (Limerick GC), M Staunton (Delgany GC) (70, -2)
T5 – R Kilpatrick (Banbridge GC), D Mooney (Damian Mooney Golf) (71, -1)
Full image gallery from the day can be viewed here – https://thephotoproject.smugmug.com/Tulfarris-Pro-Am-sponsored-by-Irish-Golfer/