A double bogey at the last cost Niall Kearney his maiden win on the PGA Europro Tour but the Dubliner still has a lot to look forward to after hooking up with a new Irish management group.
Tied for the lead with eventual winner William Harrold with three holes to play in the Matchroom Championship on the Brabazon Course at The Belfry, Kearney fell a stroke behind playing the last but took six at the famous Ryder Cup finishing hole to end up tied for fifth.
His level par 72 on the final day was still worth £1,125 and a good start to the season on the UK and Ireland based satellite circuit where the top five on the money list at the end of the season will secure Challenge Tour cards.
Kearney had his Asian Tour card in the palm of his hand in Thailand in February only to see it slip away in heartbreaking fashion with five dropped shots in his last four holes.
But he's taken steps to get the best out of his game and joined forces with Big Meadow Sports, which is run by Irish businessman Jamie Farrell with golfing expertise from former tour player Colm Moriarty.
The new company has already signed up European Tour player David Higgins and Ladies European Tour regular Rebecca Codd with plans to add more golfers to its stable over the coming weeks.
As for the Matchroom Championship, Norfolk native Harrold shot a final round 71 to finish a shot clear of Jack Senior on four under par with former Ryder Cup player Paul Broadhurst tied for third with Gary King on three under.
Banbridge's Richard Kilpatrick's closing 76 left him tied 25th on six over (£330) with Waterville's Mark Murphy (£248) also firing a 76 in tough conditions to end up tied 37th on eight over.
Castlerock's Aaron Kearney, now playing out of West Middlesex, shot 79 to earn £208 for his share of 48th.
Harrold collected a winner’s cheque for £10,000 plus a Motocaddy S1 Pro trolley for his first win on the HotelPlanner.com PGA EuroPro Tour having missed out in a play-off at The Oxfordshire last season.
“It feels great,” said Harrold. “I was ready for another play-off but I am happy to not have had to have that again. My dad was on the bag this week. He’s a good caddy and we have a good record together. He was on the bag at The Oxfordshire last year too."
Second-place Senior double-bogeyed the first, cutting his overnight lead to one stroke. Bogeys at three, six and 13 saw him away from contention but a late flurry of three consecutive birdies at 15, 16 and 17 saw him draw level with leader Harrold, who was playing in the group ahead.
However, the Lancastrian found a bunker on 18 and double bogeyed the hole to miss out on a play-off.
Highlights of the event will be broadcast eight times on Sky Sports, premiering at 8pm on Tuesday, April 29.
The next HotelPlanner.com PGA EuroPro Tour event is the Eagle Orchid Scottish Masters at Montrose, beginning on April 29.