Heading into the final round of the 2015 Titleist sponsored Mid West Alliance few betting that Woodstock's Tony Cleary Woodstock could be beaten in the zero to three handicap category.
After four holes of today's final round at Dromoland, Cleary was one under par and had increased his lead to three shots over Dave Foley.
He was playing regulation golf and was four shots clear after nine holes but as has been the case in previous years, strange things at Dromoland Castle's Amen Corner — the 10th and 11th — and so it prove.
On the par-five, 11th Cleary went for the green in two and found the water.
Foley only cleared the lake by a couple of yards with his drive and then capitalised on his good fortune by hitting a four-iron into the middle of the green only to three-putt for par as Cleary, who had struggled to make the green in five, holed his putt for a bogey six.
The deficit was back to just two shots and after regulation pars on 12th and 13th, but they were soon level when Cleary came up 60 yards short of 14th green in two after clipping a tree with his approach and three putted for a double bogey six to Foley's regulation par.
At the driveable 15th, Foley hit his drive to within a few yards of the front edge and chipped dead for birdie as Cleary drove to the apron, lipped out with a 20 foot eagle putt and uncharacteristically missed a tiddler for birdie.
Foley was one ahead but they were soon level when Cleary chipped to within five feet and made his par at the 16th as Foley pulled his second into the bunker and failed to get up and down.
After two putt pars at the 17th, Foley went for the par-five 18th in two and came out on top, hitting a three wood through the gap that finish just yards from the water's edge.
Cleary played safely to within 50 yards and pitched to 10 feet but Foley chipped to two feet to set up what proved to be the winning birdie as his opponent failed to match him.
In the 4 to 9 category, former Clare senior All-Ireland winner Alan Neville had a five-shot lead over Dale Foley heading into the final round and it proved to be enough as he held on to win his second title.
Overall 0-3 hcp category
- Dave Foley Dromoland PGA
- Tony Cleary Woodstock
- Seanie Burns Dromoland
Overall 4-9 hcp category
- Alan Neville Dromoland.
- Dale Foley Dromoland.
- Ryan Foley Dromoland
Hilary Golf Society — The Royal Dublin's David Foley was a clear winner of the Rabo Direct sponsored Hilary outing at County Louth.
The five handicapper had three bogeys and three birdies in a nett 67 to win by three from Portmarnock's Geoff Lenehan (plus 2), who had an eagle and five birdies in his nett 70.
The gross prize was won by Portmarnock scratch man John Greene with a 71 while Lenehan was joined by Gary Cullen (Beaverstown) and Barry Morris (Portmarnock Links) in returning an excellent team score of 58.
Next outing: Sunday, March 29, The Royal Dublin.