Wire-to-wire win for Tim Rice in Irish Professional Championship

Wire-to-wire win for Tim Rice in Irish Professional Championship
 Tim Rice. Irish Professional champion 2017

Tim Rice. Irish Professional champion 2017

Tim Rice fired a closing two-under-par 70 to complete a wire-to-wire Irish PGA Championship victory at Moyvalley Hotel and Golf Resort on Sunday.

The Limerick man, who opened with a bogey-free round of 66, finished three shots ahead of Colm Moriarty (Drive Golf Performance), with 2016 champion, Damien McGrane, finishing in third on six under par.

“I haven't won anything in ages. The first three days here were as well as I have played for many years although I didn't putt very well,” said the 39-year-old.

“There was a lot of wind this week, particularly cross winds and I love that because I can make use of the wind, hold it up and use it to my advantage.”

Rice began the day three shots ahead of nearest rival Moriarty and got off to a flying start with birdies at the first, second, third and fourth. He stretched his lead to six but couldn't maintain his momentum and Moriarty gradually started to claw back the deficit.

Colm produced a stunning eagle at the par five 13th to reduce the gap to just two shots but he never managed to draw level and a bogey at the par three 17th, after he found a bunker off the tee, effectively ended his challenge.

“I kind of felt that after three or four holes 'right, that makes things less difficult' but I stopped, I eased up a bit and that was a bad mistake,” added Tim who had never won a PGA in Ireland event until today.

“Colm is too good a golfer to do that. He hit some great shots coming in. He got that eagle and had a couple of other chances.

“At 16 he hit another super shot and if he had holed that I would have had to hole mine just to stay one ahead. If he had holed that putt I think it would have been very difficult.”

This year's event was sponsored by Moyvalley Hotel & Twin Oaks Golf Resort with affiliated sponsors Thai Airways, Phoenix Gold Golf & Country Club, Pattaya Thailand, Pico Environment Technology Ireland and Bank of Bangkok.

Irish PGA 2017, Moyvalley Hotel & Golf Resort, Twin Oaks Championship Course, Par 72

Detailed scores

Final

271 Tim Rice (Limerick GC) 66 67 68 70 

274 Colm Moriarty (Drive Golf Performance Ltd) 66 70 68 70 

282 Damien McGrane (Unatt.) 70 69 72 71 

283 Simon Thornton (Simon Thornton Golf) 70 72 74 67 

284 Keith Shannon (Unatt.) 71 73 72 68 

285 David Ryan (Cahir Park GC) 71 69 74 71, Richard Kilpatrick (Banbridge GC) 66 72 74 73, David Higgins (Waterville Golf Links) 70 69 73 73 

286 Michael McGeady (Seamus Duffy Golf Academy) 70 73 73 70

290 Brian O’Reilly (Glenlo Abbey GC) 72 76 71 71, Shane Jenkinson (St Margaret’s Golf & Country Club) 70 74 73 73, Mark O’Mahony (Titleist National Fitting Centre) 76 68 71 75, Mark Whelan (Castlewarden Golf & Country Club) 67 76 72 75

291Damian Mooney (Damian Mooney Golf) 72 73 75 71, Adam Dunmore (Bundoran GC) 70 73 76 72, Cian McNamara (Monkstown GC) 71 73 74 73

292 Donal Gleeson (Old Conna GC) 71 75 76 70, Eddie Tracey (Ballina GC) 72 72 72 76

293 Jimmy Bolger (Kilkenny GC) 73 74 77 69, Tara Delaney (The Eddie Doyle Golf Academy) 72 74 74 73, Joe Dillon (Headfort GC) 72 74 74 73, Daniel Beattie (Deer Park Hotel Golf & Spa) 76 71 73 73

294 Mark Staunton (Delgany GC) 72 72 73 77

295 Mark O’Sullivan (Piltown Driving Range 72 76 74 73, Jerry Scullion (Kilkeel GC) 68 79 74 74

296 Eoin O’Connor (Kilkenny GC) 76 74 74 72, Liam Whelan (Craddockstown GC) 72 76 75 73, Hazel Kavanagh (Carr Golf Centre at Spawell) 72 75 74 75

297 Michael McDermott Grange GC) 74 74 77 72, Ciaran Molloy Ardee GC) 76 73 75 73

298 David Barry Douglas GC) 74 76 76 72, Glen Robinson (Craddockstown GC) 76 74 76 72, Conor Coyne (Lisheen Springs GC) 76 75 72 75, Eoin Arthurs (Kinsealy Grange Golf Academy) 72 77 73 76

299 Padraig Dooley (Drive Golf Performance Ltd) 77 73 77 72, Gerry Burke (Royal Curragh GC) 76 74 76 73, Kenny Fahey (GUI National Academy) 77 74 74 74

300 Mark Ruddy (Charlesland G&CC) 75 75 77 73, Eamonn Brady (Clontarf GC) 73 74 79 74, Harry Coyne (Carton House Golf Course) 74 72 75 79

301 Bernard Quigley (Tullamore GC) 73 75 78 75

302 Ciaran Lavery (Concra Wood GC) 76 74 79 73

303 Niall McGlynn (GUI National Academy) 74 76 81 72, David Foley (Dromoland Castle GC) 78 72 79 74, Michael O’Shea (Rathsallagh GC) 76 72 77 78, Brian Jnr McCormack (Edenderry Golf Academy) 74 74 76 79

304 Anthony Hanlon (Stackstown GC) 74 76 75 79

305 Kevin Foy (Stepaside Golf Centre) 73 77 80 75, Christopher Carvill (Belvoir Park GC) 73 78 75 79

307 Dean Redmond (Heritage Golf & CC) 76 73 80 78, Brian Doheny (Callan GC) 75 75 77 80

308 Ted Higgins (www.tedhiggins.com) 73 74 75 86.