Thornton record breaker at Grange Castle Pro-Am

Bernie McGuire

Simon Thornton (Tulfarris Golf Resort) carded a record breaking seven under par 65 to win the Special Olympics Pro-Am at Grange Castle.

The tournament marked 20 years since the South Dublin venue opened it’s doors to the public and saw celebrations of both that achievement and the club’s position in the Irish Golfer Magazine Top 100 for 2018 where they were ranked #99.

It was a great party atmosphere all day with a tuition masterclass from Thornton and John Kelly earlier in the day for the Special Olympics athletes, followed by a seven hole competition for them.


The Pro-Am took place later in the day and Thornton used John Kelly’s tuition tip of, “Just whack it” that he picked up on the range earlier in the day to good effect.

Until this result, Thornton’s season had been marked out by consistency without a victory but this time around, the 41-year-old made no mistakes, opening with a hat-trick of birdies as he reached the turn in three under 33.

He was even better on the back nine, adding four further birdies and no dropped shots as came home in four under 32.

“I was delighted to be able to contribute to supporting the Special Olympics and while we travel around Ireland for 4 or 5 months each year on the circuit we don’t usually get the same atmosphere and support that we’ve had here today,” said Thornton. “Many of us (PGA Pros) hadn’t played here at Grange Castle and it is a wonderful course and layout in incredible condition. Having seen it now I hope that they can build on their position in the Irish Golfer Top 100 Rankings and maybe do even better next year.”

His thoughts were echoed by PGA in Ireland Captain Gillian Burrell who added, “We don’t always get this magnificent treatment with BBQ’s, Marquees and celebrations and it’s a fantastic achievement by the management and staff here at Grange Castle & Synergy Golf. The PGA are delighted to be here and we hope to be back in 2019.”

Ciaran Molloy (Ardee) finished second on five under par with Stephen Barry (Navan) a shot further back on three under.

Molloy did walk away with the team prize, guiding his amateur partners to victory with 94 points.

At the end of the event Synergy Golf & Grange Castle presented a cheque to Special Olympics Ireland for €5000, the proceeds of the fundraising efforts for the day and Pro-Am.

Inaugural Special Olympics Pro-Am at Grange Castle
Leading Scores  (Par 72)
1          Simon Thornton  (Tulfarris Golf Resort)                   -7         65
2          Ciaran Molloy  (Ardee)                                              -5         67
3          Stephen Barry  (Royal Tara)                                       -4         68
4          Shane Jenkinson (St Margarets)                                 -3         69
T5        Michael McGeady  (Evolve Golf Coaching)              -2         70
T5        Stephen McCarthy (Black Bush GC)                         -2         70

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