Kearney inspired by PGA Cup heroics

Niall Kearney with Great Britain & Ireland PGA Cup captain Jon Bevan. Picture courtesy Scott Halleran and Getty Images.

Niall Kearney hopes his last-hole heroics in California to win the PGA Cup for Great Britain & Ireland at the weekend can stand him in good stead for future success on tour, writes the PGA.

The Royal Dublin pro plays in next month’s British Masters at Woburn before heading off to play seven straight tournaments on the Asian Tour.

Kearney sealed a memorable day of singles for Jon Bevan’s GB&I team at CordeValle by negotiating a tricky up and down to post the decisive point which earned a first ever win for GB&I on American soil.

“That wasn’t the plan coming down the last!” said Kearney of his approach to the 18th which overshot the green, landing near a hazard and leaving a treacherous flop shot back towards water.

“That up and down at the last – that is something I’ll look back on in years to come and hopefully, if I’m coming down the last trying to win a tournament or make the cut, I can reflect on those couple of shots.

“It was a great boost for my self-belief, to be under that amount of pressure and pull it off.”

Twenty four hours after landing back in Ireland the 27 year old was shrugging off jet lag to take part in a corporate day but was still buoyed by being part of the historic 13.5-12.5 victory – just the sixth win by GB&I in 27 matches.

“It was just a phenomenal experience,” added Kearney who played in the 2009 Walker Cup.

“After making the PGA Cup team initially I wasn’t too excited, I didn’t know what to expect but to see the standard of golf that was on show at CordeValle was just breath-taking. It’s one of my most memorable golfing experiences ever.

“The standard of golf was unbelievable – birdies were just flying in all over the place. 

“The US holed so many putts that you couldn’t take anything for granted. The course and greens were in such good condition that you could hole putts from anywhere so it kept you on your toes. I was really impressed with the standard of the Americans. It really made you raise your game.”