Damien McGrane took time out from European Tour duties to grab another win on the PGA in Ireland circuit at the Royal Curragh Pro-Am.
The former Headfort professional fired a brilliant nine under par 63 to pip current Headfort professional, Brendan McGovern, by a single shot at the County Kildare venue.
“I knew Brendan had set the target so it was nice to go out there and start chalking off the birdies,” said McGrane who is also playing in tomorrow's (Friday) New Ross Pro-Am.
“It is a reasonably short course and I was hitting a lot of wedges into the greens and getting them to within 10-15 feet so I was giving myself plenty of chances.”
On a day of low scoring – the leading four players were a combined 30 under par – McGrane's bogey free nine birdie round stood out. The 44-year-old, playing in the afternoon wave, bagged birdies at the first, fifth, seventh and ninth to be out in four under 33. He birdied the 10th and then rattled off a quartet of birdies at the 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th as he came home in a blistering five under 30.
McGovern, out in the morning, must have thought he was in with a great chance of victory after carding a bogey-free, eight birdie round of 64. He at least had the consolation of guiding his amateur partners to victory with a superb 100 points, five clear of nearest rival Noel Murray (Massereene GC) and partners.
Royal Curragh Pro-Am, The Curragh GC (Par 72)
1 Damien McGrane 63
2 Brendan McGovern (Headfort GC) 64
3 Peter Lawrie 65
4 Neil O'Briain (Old Conna GC) 66
T5 Damian Mooney (Ballyliffin GC); David Ryan (Cahir Park GC) 68
T7 Ciaran Molloy (Blackwood GC); Glen Robinson 69
T9 Gavin Lunny (Naas GC); Noel Murray (Massereene GC) 70
Leading team scores
1 B McGovern 100pts
2 B King 94pts
3 P Jones 92pts