McElhinney conquers Castlewarden
 Brian McElhinney (right) at his home club, North West

Brian McElhinney (right) at his home club, North West

North West's Brian Elhinney claimed the Castlewarden Pro-Am in emphatic style on Sunday evening.

In difficult windy conditions the 33-year-old former British Amateur Champion carded a six under par round of 66 to win by four shots at the Co Kildare venue.

Simon Thornton, who has decided not to try to return to the European Tour as he battles injury, finished alone in second on two under par with six players — Damien McGrane, David Higgins, Patrick Small, Tim Rice, Joe Dillon and defending champion Colm Moriarty — tied for third on level par.

"It was tricky today with the cross winds but I kept the ball in the play off the tee and got up and down when I needed to," said McElhinney.

He started his round with a birdie at the 10th and added two more at the 13th and 14th before dropping his only shot of the day at par four 15th.

Out in two under 33 he played mistake free golf over his closing nine holes, recording birdies at the first, fifth, sixth and eighth as he came home in four under 33.

McElhinney also won the team prize on Sunday, guiding his amateur partners to 90 points, just one point ahead of Mark Whelan.

"I've been playing reasonably well up to now without managing to put it all together," added Brian.

"If my long game was on my short game would be off and then on occasions my long game was off but my short game saved me.

"Today everything kind of clicked together and that's really what you need to win an event out here."

The next event on the PGA in Ireland schedule is the New Ross Pro-Am on July 15th.

Castlewarden Pro-Am, Castlewarden GC (Par 72)

Detailed scores

66 B McElhinney(North West GC)

70 S Thornton

72 D McGrane, D Higgins(Waterville Golf Links, P Small(Galway GC), T Rice(Limerick GC)    , J Dillon(Headfort GC), C Moriarty(Drive Golf Perf Ltd)

73 G Robinson, M McDermott(Pure Golf Leopardstown)