Limerick's Pat Murray clinched his first amateur major when he romped to an impressive 5 and 4 win over Newlands' Cian Curley to take the Irish Close title Enniscrone.
The Tipperary native, 37, has come close to grabbing a top amateur title several times over the past 15 years. In the South of Ireland championship alone, he has lost in the semi-finals on four occasions.
The Close has not been his friend in recent years and after failing to qualifying in 2005 and then losing in the first round for the last three years, he finally got over the line at the Sligo links with a superb performance against Irish international Curley, who was a beaten semi-finalist in 2007 and 2008.
Three up through the turn after winning birdies at the second, fifth and ninth, golf club manager Murray got the rub of the green at the 13th when Curley mistakenly played his opponent's ball to go four down.
The match ended at the 14th when Curley conceded Murray’s putt for a winning birdie four.
Curley had a one hole victory over Moyola Park's Paul O’Kane in the semi-finals. But there was to be no all Newlands final as Murray crushed his club mate Andrew Hogan 6 and 5 to reach the decider.