Steven Hackett was a birdie machine at Galgorn Castle.Cork Golf Club’s Steven Hackett moved up to 13th in the Europro Tour’s Order of Merit when he closed with a five under par 67 to finish solo third on his tour debut in the Galgorm Castle Northern Ireland Open.

Five shots behind Scotland’s Ross Cameron starting the final round, Hackett fired six birdies and just one bogey in a superb effort to finish just four shots outside a play-off for the £10,000 top prize. Scores

England’s Chris Hanson (65) edged out compatriot Graeme Clark (66) at the second extra hole to triumph for the second time in three weeks and move to the top of the money list.

Hackett, who grabbed 19 birdies over the three rounds, earned a cheque for £2,500 in his first official start on the Europro Tour since coming through two stages of the Qualifying School in April.

The top-5 at the end of the season earn Challenge Tour cards for 2012 and Hackett now has a fighting chance of grabbing one of them and will be looking forward to his next outing in next week’s £39,185 Audi Cork Irish Masters at Fota Island.

McCambridge and Duffy sponsored Michael McGeady, recently recovered from knee problems, and Mallow’s Michael Collins also closed with 67’s to share fourth place, six shots behind the winner on eight under and earn £1,433 each.

Rosapenna’s Ruaidhri McGee had nine birdies in a sensational 66 and St Margaret’s John Kelly a solid 68 as they claimed a share of seventh on seven under.

Christopher Hanson hailed the fans at Galgorm Castle. “This is the best EuroPro Tour I have played in. The atmosphere was amazing.”Limerick’s Tim Rice is now 15th in the money list with nine events of the tour schedule remaining following his share of 31st place in Ballymena.

Last year’s US Open champion Graeme McDowell was among the 1,000 strong crow at Galgorm Castle and insisted he was impressed with the standard of golf and the organisation of events on the EuroPro Tour.

“This event is a great training event for the stars of the future,” said McDowell. “It’s very difficult to jump straight on to the European Tour. Guys have to toughen themselves up and learn their trade.

“It’s a great event for Galgorm Castle which is a course I played when I was a young boy. It’s a great location and they have great sponsors on board.”