McGrane wins Etihad Down Syndrome Centre Pro-Am in Abu Dhabi
Damien McGrane

Damien McGrane

Damien McGrane edged out Headfort’s Brendan McGovern by a shot for the Down Syndrome Centre PGA Abu Dhabi Pro-Am sponsored by Etihad Airways.

The four-day trip attracted 17 professionals and 51 amateurs to the 36-hole tournament at Abu Dhabi GC and Yas Links.

With a shotgun start in operation, McGrane shot a blistering seven under par 29 on his back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, bagging five birdies and an eagle in an eight-under-par 64.

“To be truthful we were off the members' tees and I had been pretty ordinary up to that point,” said McGrane, who followed up with a 68 at Yas Links to edge out McGovern by a stroke on 12-under-par.

“It was a huge finish in the end but I do know that course fairly well and I put that experience to good use and used it to my advantage.”

After day one, the former Volvo China Open winner led by two shots from Delgany’s Mark Staunton with McGovern third after a 67.

McGovern performed better on the second day at Yas Links, carding a six under par 66 to McGrane’s 68 and Staunton’s 71.

“I struggled a little bit with my game again around Yas Links and double-bogeyed the 17th which was one of my early holes but then I holed an eight iron for an eagle two on the third hole,” McGrane said. 

“To be honest, I hit a couple of weak shots but then I got some good luck and all of a sudden I'm shooting two good scores.

“I have to give Brendan McGovern his dues. He shot 11 under which was good shooting. 

“With some good play and my bit of fortune I would have fancied winning by three or four but it didn't pan out like that so fair play to Brendan who gave me a good run.”

Down Syndrome Centre PGA Abu Dhabi Pro-Am sponsored by Eithad Airways, Abu Dhabi GC & Yas Links

  • 1, Damien McGrane (64-68) 132
  • 2, Brendan McGovern (67-66) 133
  • 3, Mark Staunton (66-71) 137
  • Team: Hazel Kavanagh, Michael Fetherston (8), MJ Fetherston (14) and John Wallace (8) (84-88) 172