A magnificent performance from Damien McGrane saw him ease to a one-shot victory in the 109th Irish PGA Championship at Bunclody Golf and Fishing Club.
McGrane, the 2016 Irish PGA Champion, started the day with a four-shot advantage and showed all his experience, crafting a round that featured one birdie, one bogey and 16 pars to finish the tournament on seven under.
The result left the Carlow GC professional one shot ahead of Michael McGeady (Evolve Golf Coaching), who posted a final round, best of the week, 64.
“I’ve realised that some of my colleagues might never win this trophy so when you do win, you need to be mindful and respectful of that fact,” said 48-year-old McGrane.
“I’m glad to win it for a second time. It’s a stepping stone. I’m nearly 50 and I’m hoping I will be in good shape to be able to compete on the Seniors Tour.”
McGrane’s success was built off the back of his brilliant second round 67 (-5) that included a closing run of five birdies in a row.
He added; “I know which holes you need to respect around here. I know 15, 16 and 18 are pivotal. I gave those huge respect this week and in general, they were very good to me. That’s why I won.”
“I felt that at any moment I could reel off three or four birdies just like I did yesterday. I just had to hole one or two putts and it would all happen very fast but today I didn’t hole anything. It is very pleasing to play decent and obviously win the trophy and it was nice to do it with so many of my club members around.”
Second-placed Michael McGeady was left to rue his poor opening round of 77 (+5) that left him playing catch-up and with too much to do to catch the leader.
“Day one cost me here. I just got into a run of bogeys on the back nine,” said McGeady who is chasing a hat-trick of wins at the City of Derry Pro-Am this weekend.
“If you are going to win Championships you can’t be doing that. In fairness, it’s been good apart from that and it’s nice to find a bit of form going into my home event.”
Richard Kilpatrick (Banbridge GC) closed with a 66 to claim third place on five under par while Nicky Grant (Knock) secured fourth on three-under.
1 D McGrane (Carlow GC) 70 67 72 -7
2 M McGeady (Evolve Golf Coaching) 77 69 64 -6
3 R Kilpatrick (Banbridge GC) 72 73 66 -5
4 N Grant (Knock GC) 71 72 70 -3
T5 J Bolger (Kilkenny GC) 69 73 72 -2
T5 T Rice (Limerick GC) 69 72 73 -2
T7 B McElhinney (Evolve Golf Coaching) 70 73 72 -1
T7 D Barry (Douglas GC) 74 68 73 -1
T9 S Thornton (Tulfarris Golf Resort) 71 72 73 Lvl
T9 S Quinlan (SQ Golf) 68 74 74 Lvl
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