O'Briain holds off Higgins and Moriarty in Slieve Russell Masters Pro-Am

Neil O'Briain

Neil O'Briain ground out a second round 72 to win the Slieve Russell Masters Pro-Am on Tuesday.

The Old Conna professional, edged out Drive Golf Performance's Colm Moriarty and overnight leader David Higgins of Waterville by a single shot at the Co Cavan venue.

“It was hard graft out there today,” said O'Briain who feels his game is starting to come together after making a slow start to the season.

“It's a demanding golf course and you have to keep plugging away. If you do miss it, you just have to make sure you don't miss it in point Z otherwise you are dead.”

Neil began Tuesday's second round a shot behind Higgins following an opening round of two under par 70. Starting at the 10th he rattled off six pars before grabbing a birdie at the par three 16th, firing an eight iron into six feet and rolling in the putt.

He went to the turn in one under 35 and continued to plot his way round his back nine, getting up and down from short of the green at both the second and third.

His only blip came at the par four fifth, when he misjudged the breeze with his approach shot and finished with a bogey as he came home in one over 37.

Colm Moriatry forced his way into second place with a best of the day round of 69 that included an eagle at the par five ninth, while Higgins slipped back with a second round 74.

Scott Kirkpatrick (Ardee GC) won the team event with 178 points ahead of O'Briain. 

Slieve Russell Masters Pro-Am, Slieve Russell Golf & CC (Par 72)

Detailed scores

142 Neil O'Briain (Old Conna GC) 70 72

143 Colm Moriarty (Drive Golf Performance) 74 69; David Higgins (Waterville Links) 69 74

145 Damian Mooney (Ballyliffin) 74 71

146 David Ryan (Cahir Park) 75 71; Daniel Sugrue (Killarney Golf & Fishing Club) 74 72

147 M Whelan (Castlewarden Golf &CC) 75 72

T148 Philip Walton  72 76; Donal Gleeson (Old Conna GC) 78 70; Glen Robinson 77 71 

Pro-Am Scores

  1. S Kirkpatrick (Ardee) 88 90 (178)
  2. N O'Briain (Old Conna) 89 89 (178)
  3. M Staunton (Delgany) 91 86 (177)