Gary Cullen is rapidly becoming the man to beat the TaylorMade Winter Series after he defied southerly winds gusting to 40 kmph to win the gross in the weekly outing at Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links.
Now playing out of The Links at Portmarnock, the 1999 Irish Amateur Open and reigning Leinster Mid-Amateur champion used his driver from the fairway several times as he finished in among the prize winners for the fourth time since the new season began on October 2.
A former tour player, he posted a level par 71 to win the gross by two strokes from Meath man Brian Casey, who birdied the 18th for his 73.
The wind was so strong on the opening holes that Cullen hit his driver just 216 yards on the fifth, the hit a downwind nine-iron through the green from 214 yards at the next.
The Links' Declan O'Neill won the third gross with a 74 on a day when 62 players braved the elements.
As for Cullen, he turned in level par before mixing bogeys at the 12th and 16th with birdies at the 13th and 14th coming home.
Grange professional Michael McDermott shot a one-over 72 to win the nett by one stroke from Limerick's Tim Rice with Naas' Paddy Higgins firing a 74 off six to finish third.
TaylorMade Winter Series, Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links (Par 71, SSS 75, CSS 77)
1, Michael McDermott (Pro) Grange GC 72
2, Tim Rice (Pro) Limerick GC 73
3, Paddy Higgins (6) Naas GC 74
1, Gary Cullen (+3) The Links Portmarnock 71
2, Brian Casey (Pro) Unattached 73
3, Declan O’Neill (+1) The Links Portmarnock 74.