23 May 19
Damien McGrane birdied the second play-off hole to win the Irish Club Professional Tournament at Dromoland Castle GC.
The Carlow GC professional put his experience to good use, taking an aggressive approach off the tee at the short par four 10th which left him 15 feet from the flag.
His chip finished inside tap-in range and when opponent, Jack Howard (Fota Island Resort) failed to convert a 12-foot birdie effort, McGrane was left with the easiest of putts for victory.
Out early in the day, McGrane and Howard posted rounds of 68 (-4) which could not be bettered.
The 22-year-old Howard, birdied the 17th and 18th to force his way to the top while McGrane reached six under par after 11 holes before a couple of mistakes on the 15th and 16th dropped him back.
“First of all I like Dromoland Castle as a golf course, it really is risk and reward. I drove the ball pretty well today so I was able to cut some of the longer holes right down to size,” said McGrane.
“The putter went a bit cold after I got to six under. I dropped a couple of shots and had a couple of good chances coming in but I converted nothing.
“I was delighted then to play well in the play-off. I hit a beautiful chip on the last to win the play-off. And I must mention Jack. He is a hell of a player. The Irish region needs new fresh blood and I know he will be a player for the future.”
The pre-tournament pro-am was shared between Richard Kilpatrick (Banbridge GC) and Eamonn Brady (Clontarf GC) who also fired a pair of 68s.
With a shot-gun start in operation, Richard began his round at the 16th and quickly found himself three over after three holes but he responded well and a run of eagle, birdie, birdie from the 11th helped him to the top of the leaderboard.
Eamonn began his round at the 11th and reached the turn in two under par. The Clontarf man continued to play some steady golf on his way home adding three more birdies at the third, eighth and ninth plus a bogey at the par three seventh.
The team event was won by Glasson's Colm Moriarty who guided his amateur partners of Stephen Nelson, Brian McNamara and Willie Griffin to victory with 87pts.
PGA Irish Club Professional Tournament sponsored by Carr Golf at Dromoland Castle GC (Par 72)
Damien McGrane (Carlow GC)* -4 68
Jack Howard (Fota Island GC) -4 68
Simon Thornton (Tulfarris Golf Resort) -2 70
Richard O'Donovan (Dun Laoghaire GC) -2 70
Gary Madden (Glenlo Abbey GC) -2 70
Richard Kilpatrick (Banbridge GC) -1 71
David Higgins (Waterville Golf Links) -1 71
Tim Rice (Limerick GC) -1 71
Jimmy Bolger (Kilkenny GC) E 72
Michael McGeady (Evolve Golf Coaching) +1 73
* McGrane birdies second extra hole to win