Coughlan and Casey take top prizes at Portmarnock Links
 Paul Coughlan (Castleknock) lining up his putt on the 13th green during day four of the AIG 2017 Irish Amateur Close Championship at Galway Golf Club. Picture by  Pat Cashman

Paul Coughlan (Castleknock) lining up his putt on the 13th green during day four of the AIG 2017 Irish Amateur Close Championship at Galway Golf Club. Picture by Pat Cashman

Castleknock's Paul Coughlan made six birdies in a five-under 66 to win the gross by three shots from Damien McGrane in the TaylorMade sponsored Tuesday Winter Series at Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links.

After making three birdies in his first four holes, Coughlan was six-under par playing the 18th and still won comfortably despite finishing with a bogey.

McGrane started with three birdies and turned in four under par before finishing with bogeys at the 16th and 17th.

He was still second in the gross with a 69 as former East of Ireland winner Richie O'Donovan, now playing out of Dun Laoghaire, was third with a 70.

There were many other excellent performances on a fine day at the Bernhard Langer-designed links with only a warm southerly breeze to trouble the 80-strong field.

Europro Tour regular Brian Casey made his fifth birdie of the day at the 18th to shoot 68 and win the nett on a countback from Gary Cullen with County Louth four-handicapper Billy Gavin taking third with a 69 (gross 73) that featured two birdies on the back nine. 

Cullen, who was also in the prizes last week, had two birdies and an eagle at the sixth in his round.

Irish Professional champion Tim Rice finished with three threes — birdie, par, birdie — but missed out on the prizes on countback.

TaylorMade Winter Series, Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links (Par 71, SSS 75, CSS 75)

Tuesday 21st November

Nett

  1. Brian Casey (pro) Unattached 68 (B9:34)
  2. Gary Cullen (Pro) Beaverstown 68 (B9:35)
  3. Billy Gavin (4) Co. Louth 69

Gross

  1. Paul Coughlan (Castleknock) 66
  2. Damien McGrane (Kells) 69
  3. Richard O'Donovan (Dun Laoghaire) 70.