John Dwyer produced a superb up and down on the 18th to grab a share of first place alongside Mark O'Sullivan at the Balmoral Centennial Pro-Am in association with the Ramada Plaza, Belfast.
The 40-year-old Asbourne professional carded a level par round of 69 to collect his fourth win of the season at the Belfast venue, home to the late, great Fred Daly.
Dwyer went to the turn in two under 33 with birdies at the third and seventh. He dropped shots at the 11th and 13th to undo the good work of the front nine but bounced back with birdies at the par three 14th and par five 16th.
A double at the par four 17th when he got into trouble off the tee and took two attempts to get out of a greenside bunker threatened to derail his challenge but that brilliant up and down at the18th for par kept him in the hunt.
“Not bad for a part-timer,” laughed Dwyer.
“I was in trouble off the tee on the 18th again and did well to get it as close to the green as I did with my second shot.”
O'Sullivan started his round at the 10th but struggled to the turn with dropped shots at the 13th and 17th. A brace of birdies at the second and third got the Piltown Driving Range professional back on track and although he dropped a shot at the fourth, he birdied the par three eighth, courtesy of a 30 foot putt, to come home in two under par and sign for a 69.
“I'd never played Balmoral before and the swirling wind made it difficult enough today,” said O'Sullivan who won the Tralee Pro-Am last month.
“The form has been up and down this year but it's good to know there's still some good golf in there now and again.”
Massereene's Noel Murray, fresh from booking his place in the NI Open Challenge at Galgorm Castle, finished a shot behind the winners following a one over par 70.
Galgorm Castle's Ross Oliver guided his amateur partners of Ed Hughes, Phil Casey and Terry Gilmore to the team prize with 87 points. Jerry Scullion (Kilkeel) and John Murray (Malahide) finished joint second with 85 points.
Balmoral Centennial Pro-Am
Sponsored by Ramada Plaza, Belfast
1 Mark O'Sullivan (Piltown Driving Range) 69
- John Dwyer (Ashbourne GC) 69
3 Noel Murray (Massereene GC) 70
4 Mark Whelan (Castlewarden Golf & CC) 71
- Damian Mooney (Ballyliffin GC) 71
- Peter Martin (Colin Park Golf Academy) 71
- Peter O'Hagan (Luttrellstown Castle GC) 71
- Liam Bowler (Wexford GC) 71
9 Ross Oliver (Galgorm Castle GC) 72
- Christopher Crangle (Fortwilliam GC) 72
- Raymond Burns (Lisheen Springs GC) 72
- John Kelly (St Margaret's Golf & CC) 72
- Ciaran Molloy (Blackwood GC) 72
1 Ross Oliver 87
T2 Jerry Scullion 85
T2 John Murray 85
4 Gary Wardlow 82