Banbridge's Richard Kilpatrick fired a one under par 70 to claim the Ruddy Cup for Young Professionals at The European Club.
The 35-year-old edged out playing partner Noel Murray from American Golf by a shot at the Pat Ruddy designed masterpiece in Co Wicklow.
“You couldn't have played this place in more benign conditions. It was perfect, what a class golf course,” said Kilpatrick, a winner of the recent PGA Irish Club Pro-Am at St Anne's.
A former winner of the East of Ireland Amateur Open, Kilpatrick went to the turn in one-over par 36 with birdies at the first and third cancelled out by dropped shots at the fifth, seventh and eighth.
He added three more birdies on the back nine at the 13th, 14th and 17th — the crucial birdie at this often decisive hole — with his only dropped shot of the back nine coming on the par-four 15th.
“It was a great tussle with Noel. He was leading by one as we played the 17th but I managed to get that birdie while he dropped a shot,” he added.
“It was great to get that kind of competitive battle so early in the season.”
Aside from that bogey on the 17th, Murray was also left to rue a quadruple bogey eight at the par four seventh which dented his chances.
The next event on the PGA in Ireland circuit is Roganstown Golf Hotel Pro-Am on May 15th.
The Ruddy Cup for Young Professionals, Sponsored by Pat Ruddy, The European Club (Par 71)
70 Richard Kilpatrick (Banbridge GC)
71 Noel Murray (American Golf)
75 Conor Coyne (Lisheen Springs GC), Eoin Arthurs (Kinsealy Grange Golf Academy), Dan Hinds (City of Derry GC)
76 Ciaran Lavery (Concra Wood GC), Harry Coyne (Carton House GC)
77 Barry Davis (Greystones GC), Liam Whelan (Craddockstown GC), Paul O'Connor (Island GC), Josh Adams (Stackstown GC), Shane Jenkinson (St Margarets G &CC).