A superb eight under par 65 earned Niall Kearney victory at the St Margaret's Pro-Am on Friday — the perfect send-off for the Royal Dublin man, who flies out to America on Saturday to compete in the PGA Cup.
“It was one of those days when everything inside 15 feet went in,” said Kearney who recorded a hole-in-one at the par three fifth to help him reach five under after five holes.
“It's a great boost and I'm looking forward to getting over to America to play against the US team.”
Birdies at the first, second and third set the tone for the 27-year-old who parred the fourth before using a seven iron to ace the fifth. Three more pars followed before he dropped a shot at the ninth to reach the turn in four under 32.
The heavy rain that started to fall from the 10th onwards failed to halt his momentum as he birdied the 10th and 11th and then eagled the par five 12th, firing a five iron into 12 feet and rolling in the putt. He dropped another shot at the par three 15th but immediately hit back with a birdie at the par five 16th, closing out his round with pars at 17 and 18 to come home in four under 33.
Wayne O'Callaghan (Fernhill) finished alone in second place after carding a two under par round of 71 with Noel Murray (Massereene), Colm Moriarty (Drive Golf Performance LTD) and Eamonn Brady (Clontarf) a shot further back.
Brian Kerley (Green Life Golf Centre) and his amateur partners edged out Kearney in the team event with 93 points.
St Margarets Pro-Am, St Margarets Golf & County Club (Par 73)
1 N Kearney (Royal Dublin) 65
2 W O'Callaghan (Fernhill G&CC) 71
3 N Murray (Massereene GC); C Moriarty (Drive Golf Performance LTD); E Brady (Clontarf GC) 72
T6 J Dwyer (Ashbourne GC); K Fahey (GUI National Academy) 74
T8 J Kelly (St Margarets G&CC); D Beattie (Deer Park Hotel) 75
T10 R Codd; D Mooney (Ballyliffin GC); Cormac Hennessy: H O'Neill (Connemara GC); J Bolger (Kilkenny GC), M O'Sullivan (Piltown Driving Range) 76
Team pro-am scores
1 B Kerley (Green Life Golf Centre) 93
2 B Kearney (Royal Dublin) 92
3 N O'Briain (Old Conna GC) 91