Stuart Grehan had to settle for second place as Scotland’s Paul O’Hara (NL Leisure) captured his first HotelPlanner.com PGA EuroPro Tour title by winning the Motocaddy Masters at Frilford Heath Golf Club with a superb closing round of 67.
Heading into the final day with a three shot lead, Grehan had a number in mind at the start of his round that he hoped would prove good enough to claim the title, but you’d have to think that his one-under-par 71 fell a couple short of that.
Nevertheless, the Tullamore rookie enjoyed a fantastic week and birdied the last to capture outright second place on a nine under total, collecting a nice consolation cheque worth £6,000.00 for his efforts.
It wasn’t the result he would have dreamt about going to bed last night but it’s another taste of contention in the paid ranks and no doubt when the opportunity presents itself next time out, Grehan will have learned something from this near miss to take into that occasion.
Motherwell’s 31-year-old O’Hara finished two shots clear in the end having recorded a brace of 69s on the first two days, and takes the £10,000 top prize and an early lead in the Order of Merit, with the top five at the end of the season to graduate to the Challenge Tour.
Starting the day two shots off Grehan’s lead, O’Hara bogeyed the opening hole, but recovered quickly with a birdie at the second, then holed a 30-foot putt for eagle at the par-five fourth.
A string of pars until the 12th kept him one stroke ahead of Grehan, then a brilliant trio of birdies from the 13th left the chasing pack in his wake. He hit an eight iron to four feet on the 13th, a nine iron to six feet on the 14th, and two-putted the par-five 15th from 20 feet to stretch his lead. O’Hara was able to coast home with pars on the last three holes to finish -5 for the day and win comfortably.
“I’m delighted to win, it’s up there with the best moments of my career,” said O’Hara, a former Scottish amateur number one. “Especially to play well down the last six holes when it was a tight leaderboard – that gives me a lot of confidence. I have been working on trying to keep a level head under pressure, and I did that today. After the three birdies from the 13th I knew I just had to keep it out of trouble on the last three holes.”
O’Hara won the PGA Professional Championship in Ireland last year and also came through a play-off event to qualify for next week’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, the flagship event on the European Tour.
He added: “It will be a massive tournament and having won this week I will go there feeling great and I’ll enjoy it. I’m playing well enough to make the cut. Longer term my goal is just to keep improving as a player and see where it takes me.”
O’Hara also received a Motocaddy S5 CONNECT ‘Smart Cart’ electric trolley with a lithium battery while Grehan received an S1 electric trolley with a lithium battery.
It turned out to be a really disappointing final 36-holes for Niall Kearney having won the Pro-Am on Wednesday with a stunning 68. The Royal Dublin man finished with rounds of 74 and 75 to drop into a share of 28thspot on a three over total.
Highlights of the Motocaddy Masters will air on Sky Sports on Tuesday May 29th.
The next HotelPlanner.com PGA EuroPro Tour event is the Matchroom Sport Championship at Harleyford Golf Club in Marlow from May 30 to June 1.
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