Mooney bests Moriarty in BMW Eastern Open playoff
 (L-R) Winner Damian Mooney with Tony Casey from BMW Ireland

(L-R) Winner Damian Mooney with Tony Casey from BMW Ireland

Damian Mooney edged out Colm Moriarty with a birdie at the second playoff hole to win the BMW Eastern Open at St Anne's Golf Club on Thursday.

Strong winds battered the competitors in what was the opening event of the PGA in Ireland competitive schedule.

“Conditions were really tough," said Mooney. "It was a four-club wind and if anything it was more difficult downwind trying to get the ball to stop.

“I said going out that level par would be a good score. We were hitting five irons into most of the par threes.”

In the end, Mooney and Moriarty carded a pair of two-under-par 69s with Michael McGeady a shot back on one-under par.

The leading duo went back down the par four 18th in a sudden-death playoff.

Moriarty fired an excellent iron shot into 15 feet while Mooney's approach finished short of the green. He pitched to tap in range handing Colm a putt for the win but the ball stayed above ground.

The pair went down to the 18th again and this time both players found the putting surface with a short iron.

“Colm hit another lovely iron shot in to around the same distance as his first effort while I left mine eight feet from the hole,” continued Damian,

“He hit a good putt but it just shaved the hole and I rolled mine in for the birdie. It was a lovely putt.”

The Belfast golfer turns 50 at the end of May and is looking towards earning a place on the European Seniors Tour but more immediately, he will continue to play PGA in Ireland events.

“I will try to qualify for the Irish Open at Ballyliffin and I'm looking into qualifying for the Senior British Open which returns to St Andrews this year. I'm very tempted to try that,” added Damian.

The next event on the PGA in Ireland circuit is The K Club Pro-Am from May 5-6.

BMW Eastern Open at St Anne's GC (Par 71)

Detailed scores

69 Colm Moriarty (Glasson Hotel & Golf Club), Damian Mooney (Damian Mooney Golf)

Mooney won with a birdie at the second play-off hole

70 Michael McGeady  

72 David Higgins (Waterville Golf Links), Simon Thornton (Tulfarris Golf Resort), Jimmy Bolger (Kilkenny Golf Club)

73 Iarlath Keane (Kinsealy Grange Golf Academy), G Robinson (Craddockstown Golf Club), Brian McElhinney (North West Golf Club)