McNamara sixth as O'Hara wins PGA Professional Championship
Paul O’Hara

Paul O’Hara

Monkstown's Cian McNamara tied for sixth as Paul O’Hara made five birdies in a six-hole blitz to win the Titleist and FootJoy PGA Professional Championship at a windy Luttrellstown Castle.

McNamara closed with a three-under par 69 to finish on two-over par at the Castleknock track, five shots behind the Scot, to pick up £2,225.

Headfort's Brendan McGovern led the field by a stroke on seven-under at halfway but finished tied for eighth on five over after closing rounds of 81 and 75 as Kilkenny's Jimmy Bolger and Waterville's David Higgins finished a shot further back in joint 10th.

Sharing pole position with fellow Scot Christoper Currie and England’s Christopher McDonnell on one-under-par, O’Hara made a stuttering start.

Bogeys at the first two of the par threes appeared to have handed the initiative to a posse of high-class rivals including his co-leaders and former European Tour players Phillip Archer, Andrew Raitt and Garry Houston.

That is until the 30-year-old from North Lanarkshire Leisure moved into overdrive as the turn approached.

The last three holes of the front nine were birdied, respite followed at the tenth, and then the assault was resumed with two more an the 11th and 12th.

Conversely, Currie, who arrived at the seventh hole three shots clear of his compatriot, bogeyed the ninth and tenth, and with the rest of the challengers seemingly becalmed, all O’Hara needed to do was hold his nerve.

Which he did admirably. Not that he is without practice, having made his first appearance in the PGA’s flagship tournament buoyed by victory in the Northern Open.

“I won last week in Scotland as well,” said O’Hara, who posted a two-under-par round of 70 to be three-under for the tournament.  “So that’s back to back wins. I’m very pleased with that

“As for today, I played well today after a bad start and the birdies won it for me.

“Chris was a couple under and I took a while to get going. But once I holed a couple of putts for birdies that it was it. After that it was a case of going for two-putt pars.”

That is until the last when, cushioned by a two-stroke lead over Currie, O’Hara could afford the luxury of a three-putt to claim the trophy and £10,000 winner’s cheque.

In what was a Scottish one-two it left Currie one shot adrift but £6,000 or so richer. Not that he had any complaints about the outcome.

“It wasn’t my best ball striking week, it was more a grind to be honest,” he admitted.

“I had a good putting week and drove the ball well, keeping it in play.

“It was a very difficult golf course that doesn’t really give you much. You’ve got to just hang in there and grind away. But it was a pleasing week and Paul O’Hara is a worthy winner.”

Simon Thornton (T30), Mullingar's James Quinlivan, St Andrews' Scott Wilson and Spawell's Hazel Kavanagh also made the cut.

Titleist and FootJoy PGA Professional Championship Luttrellstown Castle G & C C (Par 72)

Detailed scores

1 Paul O’Hara (Sco) 69 71 75 70 285 (£10,000);
2 Christopher Currie (Sco) 70 71 74 71 286 (£6,420); 
3 Phillip Archer (Eng) 73 73 71 70 287 (£4,500.00); 
4 Christopher McDonnell (Golf At Goodwood) 73 65 77 73 288 (£3,450); 
5 Garry Houston (Carden Park Golf) 71 71 74 73 289 (£2,600); 
T6 Cian McNamara (Monkstown 74 73 74 69 290 (£2,225);
T8 Brendan McGovern (Headfort) 71 66 81 75 293 (£1,800); 
T10 Jimmy Bolger (Kilkenny) 74 72 77 71 294 (£1,258.33); 
T10 David Higgins (Waterville) 76 68 75 75 294 (£1,258.330); 
T30 Simon Thornton (Simon Thornton Golf) 73 77 71 79 300 (£577); 
T38 James Quinlivan (Mullingar) 73 73 76 81 303 (£475); 
T44 Scott Wilson (St Andrews Links Golf Academy) 75 74 77 79 305 (£415);
50 Hazel Kavanagh (Carr Golf Centre at Spawell) 72 75 82 80 309 (£365).

Cut (€150 each)

Michael McDermott (Grange 78 74; David Mortimer (Galway) 77 75; Liam Bowler (Wexford) 81 74; Donal Gleeson (Old Conna) 79 76; Peter O’Hagan (Luttrellstown Castle ) 75 81; Kenny Fahey (GUI National Academy) 77 80; Joe Dillon (Headfort) 83 77; David Foley (Dromoland Castle) 77 84; Patrick Devine (Sutton) 84 78; David Walker (Foxrock) 87 77; Padraig McGrath (P & M Golf Superstore Ltd) 84 80; Eddie Doyle (The Eddie Doyle Golf Academy ) 80 87. 
NR Ryan Madigan (Waterford Castle).