Brian O’Reilly battled strong winds and heavy rain to win the 72-hole Irish PGA Assistants’ Championship at the Nuremore Hotel and Country Club.
The 25-year-old started the final round with a two-shot lead and as conditions deteriorated, he ground out a 76 to collect the trophy.
O’Reilly’s four-round total of 289 (+5) gave him a three-shot margin of victory over Stephen Barry (Royal Tara GC), who led after 36 holes, Brian Jnr McCormack (Royal Dublin) and Paul O’Neill (Shannon GC) who fired a brilliant final round 69.
“Delighted to get the win, hopefully, I will try and play a bit more now, that’s the plan anyway,” said O’Reilly.
The Galway born golfer opened his campaign with rounds of 71/72 to end day one tied for second, one shot behind Barry.
He then followed up with a third round 72 (+1) to engineer a two-shot lead over Callum Slater (Headfort) and Stephen Barry with 18 holes remaining,
“The round three 72 (+1) wasn’t too bad, it was still breezy and at the time, I thought it might be good enough to put me in the lead,” added Brian.
“I missed a short putt on nine but I responded well with birdies at 10,11,12 and 13 to get into a nice position. I had a couple of other chances coming in but also threw in a couple of bogeys.”
Brian produced some steady golf over the opening nine holes of his final round and reached the turn in one over par 36 but he stumbled on the way in, dropping shots at the 10th and 16th before losing a ball on the 17th which cost him a double-bogey.
“I hit a really nice shot down 18 and then a lob wedge to about 12 feet,” he added,
“I burnt the edge with the birdie putt but, luckily enough, I holed a three-footer on the way back for par. I was disappointed coming off the golf course but I still thought there was hope, that I might get a play-off.
“I knew that Callum and Stephen, who were playing in the final group, would have to shoot a 73 to win it and that would have been a decent score in those conditions. It was a bit of a nervous wait but in the end, I had done enough.”
Nuremore Irish PGA Assistants’ Championship
at Nuremore Hotel & Country Club (Par 71)
1 Brian O’Reilly (Glenlo Abbey GC) 289 +5
T2 Paul O’Neill (Shannon GC) 292 +8
T2 Brian Jnr McCormack (Royal Dublin GC) 292
T2 Stephen Barry (Royal Tara GC) 292
5 Callum Slater (Headfort GC) 293 +9
T6 Tara Delaney (Carlow GC) 294 +10
T6 Jack Howard (Fota Island GC) 294
T8 Ciaran Lavery (Concra Wood GC) 295 +11
Full scores HERE