Come here you beauty. Foreireland’s David Mortimer celebrates his second PGA Irish Championship victory. Picture courtesy of INPHO

Connemara’s David Mortimer etched his place in the history books when he holed a monster 40-foot eagle putt on the last to win the Ladbrokes.com PGA Irish Championship by a stroke from European Tour star Damien McGrane.

The six foot four inch Galway man leapt high into the hair when his putt from just off the edge of the green dropped sweetly into the cup to deny McGrane a play-off at Seapoint and handing him the title for the second time after a four under 68 gave him an 11-under par total of 277.

It was a thrilling finish to a memorable week at the impressive, young links course designed by local heroes Des Smyth and Declan Branigan as the man from Renvyle became the first player to hold the Irish Championship and the Glenmuir PGA Professional titles at the same time.

McGrane was disappointed that he will have to wait at least another year to lift the title that is the blue riband for Irish professionals, but he paid tribute to Mortimer’s doggedness - a quality which should stand to the Connacht when he continues his bid for a tour card at the second stage of the European Tour Qualifying School next month.

“I just didn’t achieve the scores I should have shot each day, but I can’t take it from David,” McGrane said after a closing 68 left him one shot shy of sudden death.

“He grafted and grinded the whole day and he won it on the last green. What more can you ask for. I didn’t lose it, he went and grabbed it.”

Having won the title for the first time at Druids Heath in 2006 thanks to a 72nd hole birdie, Mortimer’s last gasp eagle was the stuff of dreams.

And insisted that his latest win was bigger than both his 2006 win or last month’s victory at The Oxfordshire in the Glenmuir PGA Championship for club professionals from Great Britain and Ireland.

“This is the best one for how it finished and who I was playing against,” Mortimer said.  “The last time I won the Irish Championship in 2006, with no disrespect to anyone, but we didn’t have the tour players taking part.”

Then he added with a grin: “Once could be a fluke but I don’t know lads, you actually have to have a small bit of golf to win it twice.”

Leading by a stroke overnight from McGrane and Belfast’s Damian Mooney, Mortimer was determined not to stand back and admire his more accomplished opponent in the final round.

“Damien said that on the third fairway (our 12th hole) in the first round,” Mortimer said. “We spoke of how a lot of guys from the Region go into the Irish Open trying not to make mistakes. And Damien said, ‘If you don’t go out there and play, you are not going to be competitive.’”

McGrane’s advice came back to haunt him in the end as Mortimer turned a one shot deficit at the turn into a one-stroke lead on 10 under par when he birdied the 10th and 11th.

The European Tour star missed a couple of good birdie chances on the home stretch to remain one behind before Mortimer opened the door by three-putting from 10 yards through the back of the par-three 17th for a bogey.

Tied on nine under par playing the 550-yard par five finishing hole, McGrane came up 15 yards short of the green in two before Mortimer found the fringe, hole high, with an equally brilliant three-wood that bored through the chill, right to left wind.

In a dramatic finish, McGrane almost chipped in from 100 feet for eagle but lipped out and settled for a tap in birdie.

But he saw a play-off chance evaporate when Mortimer holed his amazing eagle putt and leapt high into the air before lifting his caddie off his feet.

St Margaret’s John Kelly finished third on seven under after a closing 68 but tour star Shane Lowry posted a 75 to finish tied 16th on three over and confessed that his putting needs work before the European Tour resumes at next week’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

PGA Irish Professional Championship, Seapoint (Par 72)

Final


277 D Mortimer (Foreireland.com) 70 70 69 68 (€3500).

278 D McGrane (Unattached) 71 70 69 68 (€2400).

281 J Kelly (St Margarets) 73 73 67 68 (€1900).

282  N Manchip (Gui National Academy) 67 72 73 70, D Mooney (Unattached) 66 73 71 72 (€1575 each).

283 B Trainor (Team Ireland) 70 71 72 70 (€1350).

284 E Brady (Clontarf ) 71 75 67 71 (€1225).

285 G Robinson (St Helens Bay) 72 72 72 69 (€1000).

286 M O’Sullivan (Ashbourne) 70 76 69 71 (€900)

287 D McWilliams (Unattached) 71 75 68 73 (€850).

288 D Higgins (Waterville) 71 71 76 70, B McElhinney (Team Ireland) 69 76 69 74..

289 M Allen (Pure Golf at Leopardstown) 74 75 70 70,

290 D Smyth (Unattached) 69 75 71 75, S Clinton (Portsalon) 72 73 68 77.

291 S McMonagle (Edmondstown) 71 80 71 69, G Dunlea (Adare Manor) 71 74 72 74, R Giles (Greenore) 71 74 72 74, S Lowry (Esker Hills) 70 72 74 75, M Staunton (Foreireland.com) 72 73 71 75, .

293 J Quinlivan (Unatt) 75 70 73 75, M McDermott (Pure Golf Leopardstown) 71 77 69 76.

294 D Ryan (Cahir Park) 73 74 76 71, J Dwyer (Ashbourne) 75 72 70 77,

295 J Dignam (Slade Valley) 73 75 73 74

296 C McNamara (Limerick) 71 78 75 72, J Bolger (Kilkenny) 72 70 75 79.

297 M Collins (Foreireland.com) 78 73 68 78

298 L Walker (Dundalk) 74 77 76 71, P Jones (Coolattin) 76 75 73 74, L Bowler (Wexford) 74 75 74 75, E McLoughlin (Wicklow) 70 79 74 75.

299 E Logue (Hilton Templepatrick) 76 75 75 73,

300 P Devine (R Dublin) 70 76 79 75, C Mallon (Nairn and Portnoo) 72 75 76 77, J Murray (Hollystown) 78 69 72 81.

301 B McGovern (Headfort) 71 78 78 74, T Higgins (Foreireland.com) 78 73 76 74, M Mulryan (Athenry) 72 77 75 77.

302 M O’Shea (Callan) 76 73 78 75,

303 P Hanna (Lurgan) 74 76 75 78, P Martin (Riverside GA), 76 75 73 79.

304 C Moriarty (Donaghadee) 75 73 78 78, R Creamer (Tuam) 71 74 79 80, 
P Walton (Foreireland.com) 73 77 74 80, M Twitchett (Hilton Templepatrick) 76 75 73 80.

305 K Fahey (GUI National Academy) 71 78 78 78, K Dorrian (Scrabo) 75 76 76 78,

306 P Stevenson (Portadown) 76 72 77 81.

307 N Howley (Balbriggan) 74 74 77 82.

308 M Flanagan (Mt Temple) 76 74 78 80,

312 D Walker (Foxrock) 74 77 81 80.