27 Jul 17
Mark Whelan (left) with Dan Beattie.
Mark Whelan admits he and Dan Beattie had to bring their ‘A game’ to win the Golfbreaks.com PGA Fourball Championship Irish qualifying event.
Whelan, of Leinster’s Castlewarden Golf & Country Club, partnered Beattie, from Deer Park Hotel Golf & Spa in Dublin, topped the leaderboard at Headfort Golf Club after carding a four under par round of 68 at the Co Meath course.
They won by one shot ahead of Cian McNamara and Shane Irwin of Monkstown Golf Club in Co Cork.
Whelan and Beattie started well with three birdies during their front nine, but they needed an eagle at the 16th hole to claim top spot after bogeying the 12th.
It was the first time the pair had got together for this event as they prepare to make their debut in the final.
They were among the four teams from the event who now go forward to the £33,000, BMW supported, PGA Fourball Championship Final which takes place at Whittlebury Park in Northamptonshire between August 16-18.
But Whelan said they needed to be on top form to make sure they made it through despite a small field.
“It’s the way the Irish region has been this year, I think it’s the most competitive at the moment, there’s a lot of ex-European Tour players and some great amateurs who’ve turned pro and are playing regional golf,” he said.
“You can’t just turn up, you have to have your ‘A’ game at these events.”
Whelan has known Beattie well ever since they played at a pro-am event in Abu Dhabi. But it was a gap in their playing schedule that allowed them to try and qualify for the PGA Fourball Championship Final.
‘This the first time in the event, we looked at the Irish region and it was quiet that week, we had a few days to spare and said ‘Do you fancy trying to qualify’ and getting over to England for the final?
“It’s a great event with a lot of prize money involved. I know there’ve been a lot of good players involved in the event, so I said ‘Let’s do it’.”