McGrane wins Irish PGA by one
 Damien McGrane with the 2016 Irish Professional Championship

Damien McGrane with the 2016 Irish Professional Championship

Damien McGrane finally got his hands on the Irish PGA Championship trophy on Sunday after a tense back nine battle with Simon Thornton at Moyvalley Hotel and Golf Resort.

Playing ahead of McGrane, Newcastle based Thornton birdied the 14th, 15th and 16th to reach 10 under par but an unfortunate three-putt bogey at the last dropped him back to nine under for the tournament.

 Damien McGrane with Niall Kearney and Colm Moriarty at Moyvalley

Damien McGrane with Niall Kearney and Colm Moriarty at Moyvalley

McGrane, playing in the final group of the day, also birdied the 14th, 15th and 16th to reach 10 under par with one hole remaining. A par at the last would be good enough to claim the title and the experienced campaigner duely delivered, two putting from long-range to secure victory.

“It was on my to-do list to someday lift the Irish Championship and I'm overwhelmed is the best way to describe it,” said the 45-year-old who has enjoyed a stellar year on the PGA in Ireland circuit – winning on 14 occasions.

“I played nicely this week but my putter was a bit flat yesterday. Then, in the middle of my back nine today, I holed a putt on 14 and followed up with three more on 15, 16 and 17,” said Damien.

“All of a sudden, I went from third into first and I finished the job off nicely.

“I'm proud of myself. I feel like it has been a long time coming but I feel like I deserve to win it. It's great to be rewarded and to win the trophy.”

Strong winds battered the Twin Oaks Championship course all day and play was suspended for an hour midway through the final round because of a dangerous weather situation but none of it seemed to disrupt the eventual winner.

“My problem was that I was hitting it in pretty close but missing everything in the wind,” added Damien.

“Once I was missing all the putts I wasn't really in the contest but I said to my caddy, 'if I get one, I will get then all' and then on the par three 14th I holed a tricky one for birdie and then I holed four putts in a row and now I've won the trophy,

“I had to be patient, sit and wait for the ball to eventually go my way. I'm proud of how I won the Championship this year.”

Overnight leader Colm Moriarty (Drive Golf Performance) simply couldn't get anything going and after reaching the turn in level par 36, he came home in one over par 37, racking up eight pars and a single bogey.

It was a tough day at the office for Niall Kearney who finished the tournament in fourth place after carding a four over par 74. The Dubliner had been chasing a third consecutive Irish PGA Championship title but an opening nine holes of two over par 38 gave him too much ground to make up.

The 106th Irish PGA Championship was staged in association with title sponsors Moyvalley Hotel & Golf Resort, Official Media Partners Golf Digest Ireland and Classic Hits 4FM and with support from House of Waterford Crystal and Skycaddie. The tournament is set to return to the venue in 2017 following an announcement by the Moyvalley Hotel & Golf Resort directors at the trophy presentation.

106th PGA Irish Championship, Sponsored by Moyvalley Hotel & Golf Resort, Twin Oaks Championship Course (Par 72)

Detailed scores

278 Damien McGrane 73 66 70 69 

279 Simon Thornton 65 74 71 69 

281 Colm Moriarty (Drive Golf Performance Limited) 70 68 70 73

283 Niall Kearney (Royal Dublin) 70 70 69 74 

284 Neil O'Briain (Old Conna) 72 69 71 72

286 David Higgins (Waterville Golf Links 71 73 71 71

289 Cian McNamara (Monkstown) 69 73 77 70, Daniel Beattie (Deer Park Hotel Golf & Spa) 72 70 77 70, David Barry Douglas) 71 74 71 73

290 Brian McElhinney (North West) 72 74 74 70, Glen Robinson 71 72 74 73, Eamonn Brady (Clontarf) 68 71 74 77 

291 Brendan McGovern (Headfort) 73 71 76 71, James Quinlivan (Mullingar) 70 72 71 78

293 Michael McGeady 77 71 72 73, Mark O'Mahony (Titleist National Fitting Centre) 70 75 72 76

294 Richard Kilpatrick (Banbridge) 70 82 71 71

295 Mark Staunton Delgany) 75 72 75 73, Andy Hogan (Edmondstown) 69 77 75 74

296 Gary Chambers (Killymoon) 77 73 74 72 

297 Ciaran Molloy (Blackwood Golf Centre) 75 74 75 73, Damian Mooney (Nevada Bobs Belfast) 73 71 79 74, Tara Delaney (The Eddie Doyle Golf Academy) 74 75 71 77

298 Kenny Fahey (GUI National Academy) 73 76 75 74

299 Steven Quinlan 72 77 75 75

300 Mark Whelan (Castlewarden Golf & Country Club) 74 79 72 75, David Ryan (Cahir Park) 77 78 73 72 

302 Hazel Kavanagh (Carr Golf Centre at Spawell) 77 76 73 76

303 Dara Lernihan (Elm Park) 5 76 76 72 79

304 Jerry Scullion (Kilkeel) 73 78 75 78, Keith Shannon 68 78 81 77, David Leathem (Nevada Bobs Belfast) 81 71 75 77, Patrick Sheehy (McGuirks Golf) 77 77 76 74,

305 Christopher Carvill (Belvoir Park) 69 79 77 80, Mark Murphy (McGuirks Golf) 77 77 74 77

306 Jimmy Bolger (Kilkenny) 77 74 77 78, Shane Jenkinson (St Margaret's Golf & Country Club) 75 79 77 75

307 David Foley (Dromoland Castle GC) 75 77 78 77

308 Matthew Dunmore (Bundoran) 72 79 78 79, Josh Adams (Unattached) 81 74 77 76, Brian Jnr McCormack (Edenderry Golf Academy) 77 77 80 74

309 Eddie Doyle (The Eddie Doyle Golf Academy) 71 78 81 79, Peter O'Hagan (Luttrellstown Castle) 77 75 78 79, Shaun Donnelly (Castle Hume) 73 80 80 76

311 Adam Dunmore (Bundoran) 76 74 78 83

314 Paul Stevenson (Portadown) 75 79 81 79, Brian Doheny (Mount Juliet) 75 76 87 76

316 John Dignam (Slade Valley) 74 81 78 83

330 Ciaran Mckenna (Mallow) 74 78 90 88 330