Hickey and Keogh beat the breeze at Portmarnock Links
 John Hickey (Cork) had the best score of the day in the TaylorMade Winter Series at Portmarnock Links. Picture: Niall O’Shea/ Cork Golf News

John Hickey (Cork) had the best score of the day in the TaylorMade Winter Series at Portmarnock Links. Picture: Niall O’Shea/Cork Golf News

Cork's John Hickey produced the best back nine of the day to win the gross prize in the TaylorMade Winter Series outing at a wet and windy Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links.

The plus-three handicapper went out in 40 as the 52-strong field set off into the teeth of a stiff southerly breeze but he birdied the 13th and 15th and followed a double-bogey at the 17th with a crucial birdie at the 18th to card a three-over par 74.

That was good enough to edge of Gary Cullen, now playing out of The Links Portmarnock by a shot after the former Beaverstown international posted a four-over 75.

Out in three-over par, Cullen came home in one over with eight pars and a lone bogey at the 15th on his card.

Galway Golf Club's Gavan Keogh won the nett with a fine 75 off four, going to the turn in four-over 40 before coming him in 39 with bogeys at the 10th and 11th and a double-bogey at the par-three 17th which required a three-wood or driver from most players to reach the green.

Edmondstown's Liam Abom was second in the nett with a 76 off his handicap of three, going to the turn in 39 before coming home in five-over 40 as he started back with four bogeys in a row before dropping another shot at the 18th.

TaylorMade Winter Series, The Links Portmarnock (Par 71, SSS 75 CSS 78)

Nett

1, Gavan Keogh (4) Galway GC 75

2, Liam Abom (3) Edmondstown GC 76

Gross

1, John Hickey (+3) Cork GC 74

2, Gary Cullen (+3) The Links Portmarnock 75

Each player will receive a sleeve of TaylorMade TP5 golf balls at next week's outing.