Historic first as Hazel Kavanagh wins Irish Club Professional title

Hazel Kavanagh birdied four of her last five holes in a sensational five under 64 to become the first woman to win a PGA Irish Region event in capturing the PGA Irish Club Professional Tournament in association with The Down Syndrome Centre at Arklow Golf Links. 

Hazel Kavanagh in action in last year's Irish PGA at Roganstown, where she became the first woman to make the cut. Picture: Thos Caffrey / www.golffile.ie

Attached to Carr Golf Services at Spawell Golf Centre in Templeogue, the former amateur star and Ladies European Tour player, edged out Michael McDermott from Pure Golf Leopardstown by a shot.

“I'm absolutely thrilled to win the tournament, I can't believe it,” said Kavanagh, who played off the same tees as the men. "I've been pleased with my form of late and finished tied for seventh at the recent K Club Pro-am. I was reasonably content to be tied for 10th after the opening round which was played in tough conditions. I thought that a decent round might get me into the top five."

Playing alongside McDermott, the pair became involved in something of a personal duel over the back nine with Kavanagh's run of four birdies in the closing four holes securing a remarkable victory.

McDermott, with birdies at nine, 10, 15 and 16 edged ahead of his opponent with two holes to play but Kavanagh refused to buckle and levelled things up with a birdie at 17 before rolling in a 10 footer on 18 to wrap up victory.

“The conditions were much better today which obviously helped and I putted really, really well,” added Kavanagh who is based at the Spawell Golf Centre in Dublin.

Overnight leaders, David Ryan of Cahir Park and Kilkenny's Jimmy Bolger slipped back to finish tied for third and sixth respectively.

PGA Irish Club Professional Tournament, in association with The Down Syndrome Centre

Leading scores

1 Hazel Kavanagh (Carr Golf Services) 73/64  -1

2 Michael McDermott (Pure Golf Leopardstown) 73/65  level

3 Cian McNamara (Monkstown GC)  71/69 +2;  David Ryan (Cahir Park GC) 70/70 +2; Brendan McGovern (Headfort GC) 71/69 +2

6 Peter Jones (Coollattin GC) 72/69 +3; Jimmy Bolger (Kilkenny GC) 70/71 +3

8 Ciaran Molloy (Blackwood Golf Centre) 72/70 +4; James Quinlivan (Mullingar GC) 71/71 +4

10 Mark Staunton (Delgany GC) 77/66 +5