McGrane wins Down Syndrome Centre Abu-Dhabi Pro-Am

Damien McGrane edged out Brendan McGovern (Headfort GC) to top the leaderboard at the recent Down Syndrome Centre PGA Abu Dhabi Pro-Am sponsored by Eithad Airways.

The four day trip attracted a field of 17 professionals and 51 amateurs to compete in a two round tournament at Abu Dhabi GC and Yas Links.

With a shotgun start in operation, McGrane took charge on day one with a blistering run of scoring over his second nine at Abu Dhabi GC. The Kells man bagged five birdies and an eagle to come home in a remarkable seven under par 29.

“To be truthful we were off the members tees and I had been pretty ordinary up to that point,” he said.

“It was a huge finish in the end but I do know that course fairly well and I put that experience to good use and used it to my advantage.”

McGrane eventually signed for an eight under par 64 on day one, with Mark Staunton (Delgany GC) two shots back after a 66 with McGovern in third following a 67.

Brendan McGovern performed better on the second day of competition around Yas Links, carding a six under par 66 around Yas Links with McGrane signing for a 68 and Staunton slipping back with a 71.

McGrane commented; “I struggled a little bit with my game around Yas Links and double-bogeyed the 17th which was one of my early holes but then I holed an eight iron for an eagle two on the third. To be honest, I hit a couple of weak shots but then I got some good luck and all of a sudden I’m shooting two good scores.”

“I have to give Brendan McGovern his dues. He shot 11 under in total which was great going. With some good play and my bit of fortune I would have fancied winning by three or four but it didn’t pan out like that so fair play to Brendan who gave me a good run.”

The team event was won by Hazel Kavanagh and her amateur partners of Michael Fetherston (8), MJ Fetherston (14) and John Wallace (8) who posted 172 points (84 at Abu Dhabi and 88 at Yas Links).