Damian is over the Mooney



It was third time lucky for Damian Mooney, at Killymoon after he won the Fred Daly PGA Ulster Grand Prix final with a 2&1 victory over Gary Wardlow.

Persistence paid off for the winner who suffered defeats to Peter Martin and Barrie Trainor in the final over the last two years.

Indeed, Mooney believes in hat-tricks as over two day event he made a habit of storming from behind to win three holes in a row and leap into the lead.

That was the case in the decider as the Ballyliffin attaché offset early pressure from Dunmurry’s Wardlow.

Birdies flew all day in all the matches with the finalists sharing one each over the opening five holes before the winner moved into the driving seat by winning the sixth, seventh and eighth holes to turn three up. He also won the long 10th with birdie but Wardlow bravely hit back with winning pars at 11 and 13.

However, Mooney reduced the long 15th to four blows before Wardlow birdied the short 16th but, when the next hole was halved in regulation, the title was Mooney’s.

In the semi-finals, Mooney was forced to fight a rare battle with Phil Farrell before edging through to the decider. Their struggle went to the third tie-hole where Mooney chipped and putted for birdie four.

On the front nine, Farrell performed some neat chipping and putting, as well. He won the first hole with birdie which Mooney matched at the second but Farrell carded back-to-back birdies three and two, at five and six, to turn two up.

The battle was square after Mooney won the 10th and 12th in par-birdie and pars at 13 and 14 left him two holes ahead. Farrell hauled the match level, once more, with a win on the 15th before Mooney lost a ball at 17. Despite having to take a penalty drop from a hedge at the last hole, Mooney scrambled a half to send the argument into extra time.

Farrell got down from 30 feet for birdie at the 19th but Mooney levelled again at the next before slipping through with birdie at the long second.

There wasn’t the same drama in the second semi as Gary Wardlow defeated local pro Gary Chambers 3&2.

Helped by birdies at the third, sixth and seventh hole, Wardlow turned three up but Chambers won the 10th before three-putting 12. The 14th and 15th were swapped in birdies with the 16th hole halved to end the battle.


There was some consolation for Chambers as he won the play-off for third and fourth places with a home green victory over Farrell, who had shot three-up after five holes with a birdie-par-birdie hat-trick.

Chambers then won eight and nine and when he birdied the 16th it was all flat. At the last, the home pro rolled in a 20-footer for birdie three to finish third in the Grand Prix series. 

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