06 Jun 14
Hazel Kavanagh (Carr Golf Services) produced a late birdie blitz to claim an historic victory at the PGA Irish Club Professional Tournament in association with The Down Syndrome Centre.
The former Ladies European Tour competitor, now in the second year of her PGA studies, carded a five-under-par 64 at Arklow Golf Club to edge out Michael McDermott (Pure Golf Leopardstown) by a shot and become the first female winner since the formation of the PGA in Ireland in 1911.
“I've been pleased with my form of late and finished tied seventh at the recent K Club Pro-am,” said Kavanagh, having lifted the Willie Nolan Memorial Trophy, which was first competed for in 1940.
“I was reasonably content to be tied 10th after the opening round which was played in tough conditions. I thought that a decent round might get me into the top five so I'm absolutely thrilled to win the tournament, I can't believe it.”
Playing alongside McDermott, the pair became involved in something of a personal duel over the back nine with Kavanagh's run of four birdies in the closing four holes securing a remarkable victory.
McDermott, with birdies at nine, 10, 15 and 16 edged ahead of his opponent with two holes to play but Kavanagh refused to buckle and levelled things up with a birdie at 17 before rolling in a 10 footer on 18 to wrap up victory.
“The conditions were much better today which obviously helped and I putted really, really well,” added Kavanagh, who is based at the Spawell Golf Centre in Dublin.
Overnight leaders, David Ryan (Cahir Park GC) and Jimmy Bolger (Kilkenny GC) slipped back finishing tied for third and tied for sixth respectively.
Solid performance at Belfast venue
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