Casey and McDermott scoop top prizes at Portmarnock Links
 Brian Casey

Brian Casey

Professional Brian Casey made seven birdies in a six-under-par 65 to top the 91-strong field in the TaylorMade Winter Series at Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links.

The former Mullingar Scratch Trophy winner took advantage of relatively benign conditions to beat the southeast breeze and win the nett by five strokes from fellow professional Kevin LeBlanc, who had four birdies in a 70.

Cobh six-handicapper Alan Maher was third with a level par 71, playing to his handicap despite slipping to four-over-par after just five holes.

Casey was out in out in 32 with five birdies and a solitary bogey on the second hole before he picked up shots at the 15th and 18th for the round of the day.

Grange's Michael McDermott, a regular prize-winner at the Links, won the gross by a shot from Castle's Alex Gleeson with a superb, five-under-par 66.

 Alex Gleeson in action at Galway Bay earlier this year.  Picture by  Pat Cashman

Alex Gleeson in action at Galway Bay earlier this year.  Picture by Pat Cashman

Out in 34 with birdies on the seventh and ninth, McDermott made birdies at the 11th, 15th and 16th and followed his lone bogey of the day at the tough, par-three 17th with a closing birdie.

As for Gleeson, the Castle man was out in 34 with eight pars and an eagle at the par-five sixth hole before he started for home with two birdies.

He then followed his only dropped shot of the day on the 14th hole with a birdie on the 15th to take the second gross prize with a four-under-par 67.

Naas' Jonathan Yates was third with a two-under 69 that looked very promising early on, when he birdied the tough fifth to go three-under for his round.

But he made his first bogey at the ninth, then double-bogeyed the par-three 11th hole before smartening up his card with three threes.

TaylorMade Winter Series, Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links (Par 71)

Tuesday 5th December

Nett

  1. Brian Casey (Pro) Unattached 65
  2. Kevin Le Blanc (Pro) Unattached 70
  3. Alan Maher (6) Cobh GC 71 

Gross

  1. Michael McDermott (Grange GC, pro) 66
  2. Alex Gleeson (Castle GC) 67
  3. Jonathan Yates (Naas GC) 69

Men: Par 71 / SSS 75 / CSS 75
Ladies: Par 71 / SSS 73 / CSS 73