Low expectations help Brian McCormack top PGA Championship qualifier

Ronan MacNamara

Brian McCormack (Photo by Mark Runnacles/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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Brian McCormack eased through to the PGA Professional Championship in Conwy Golf Club this June after topping the Irish qualifier in Co. Louth Golf Club.

The Tullamore man skipped around Baltray in 68 shots to lead the way on four-under.

A quick start saw him birdie the 2nd, 4th and 5th holes and he bounced back from a bogey on 10 with closing birdies on 13 and 18 to book his place alongside fellow qualifiers Keith Shannon (Cloverhill), Donal Gleeson (Old Gonna), Padraig McGrath, Michael McGeady, Robert Giles (Greenore), Richard Kilpatrick (Banbridge) and Joe Dillon.

“Very happy with today. The course was in immaculate condition given all the weather we have endured over the last few months. Happy with the performance,” said McCormack who has been hugely busy over the spring with his personal life leading to some low expectations heading into the qualifier.

“We are in a bit of transition at McCormack Golf. I was recently appointed as Head Professional in Tullamore Golf Club and there’s a transition in terms of persona life and all that so going there I wasn’t sure what to expect of my game. Limited practice put in and then throwing in a new baby on top of that as well.

“I was really out there to enjoy it and the weather was so good that we did enjoy it! I played with Robert Giles and David Mortimer, two top guys so we really enjoyed ourselves. I had my caddie on the bag and hadn’t seen him since the matchplay so it was the most relaxed I had been in a long time and it was good too shoot a 68.”

Golf is a funny game, when you are comfortable and playing well you will get good breaks and he did so on 5 and 13 for birdies.

“I hit a bad shot into 5 pushed it right and it kicked off a bunker and went into three feet. The same happened on 13 I pulled it left and I was giving out and it followed the swails into six feet and I holed that for birdie. Golf isn’t that difficult when mother luck is helping you out!

“I had entered most of the tournaments prior to the appointment in Tullamore Golf Club but I withdrew from some to get my feet in at Tullamore. I will play in Royal County Down and Mount Juliet where I will defend.

“It’s funny I didn’t have a huge amount of practice but it’s comforting to know I can still win.”

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