Birthday boy Byrne beats the breeze to win at Portmarnock Links
 Baltinglass' Joseph Byrne, pictured en route to his 62 at Corballis last year, won the first TaylorMade Winter Series outing of the season at Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links. Picture:  Pat Cashman

Baltinglass' Joseph Byrne, pictured en route to his 62 at Corballis last year, won the first TaylorMade Winter Series outing of the season at Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links. Picture: Pat Cashman

Baltinglass' Joseph Byrne celebrated his 15th birthday in style when he defied high winds to fire a one-under 70 and claim the top prize in the first TaylorMade Winter Series event of the year at Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links.

Winner of the Leinster Under 13 Boys in 2016 and the Leinster Under 14 crown with a 62 at Corballis last June, he showed his liking for links golf again on Tuesday when he birdied the 18th to top the 62-strong field.

Playing off scratch, Byrne won the nett by two shots from three-handicapper Sean Dowling from The Island (72) and by three from Castle's Eoghan McKeever (73) who is playing off two.

Laytown and Bettystown's plus two international Thomas Mulligan, a freshman at the University of Oregon, shot a level par 71 to win the gross by a shot from Halpenny Golf professional Steven Quinlan with the GUI National Academy's Niall McGlynn third with a 76.

Byrne bogeyed the fourth but birdied the eighth to go out in level par, then parred every hole on the back nine before completing a memorable day with a closing birdie three in difficult conditions.

Dowling mixed bogeys at the first, fifth and seventh with birdies at the second and ninth to be out in one-over par, then came home in 38 for a 75, nett 72, with bogeys at the 10th, 13th and 16th.

McKeever bogeyed the first and was out in one-over par, then bogeyed the 10th, 13th and 18th for a 75 and third place in the nett with a 73.

Mulligan had four birdies, including one at the last, in his level par 71 alongside younger brother Daniel while wind specialist Quinlan compiled a solid 72 featuring four birdies, three bogeys and a lone double bogey at the tough, par-five 13th.

Graham McDonnell holed his second shot for an eagle two at the 18th but his 76 meant he was one of four players edged out on a countback by McGlynn.

Membership at Portmarnock Links is now open for a limited period with vacancies in the 7-day, 5-day and intermediate categories for keen golfers looking to play off pristine turf all year round. 

For further details please contact PGA Professional, Conor Russell (01-8666592 | crussell@portmarnock.com).

TaylorMade Winter Series, Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links (Par 71, SSS 74, CSS 76)

Tuesday 2nd January

Nett

  1. Joseph Byrne (Scr) Baltinglass 70
  2. Sean Dowling (3) The Island 72
  3. Eoghan McKeever (2) The Castle 73

Gross

  1. Thomas Mulligan (Laytown & Bettystown) 71
  2. Steven Quinlan (Halpenny Golf) 72
  3. Niall McGlynn (GUI National Academy) 76