O'Briain grabs third Slieve Russell Masters title
Neil O'Briain

Neil O'Briain

Neil O’Briain joined David Higgins and Ryder Cup star Eamonn Darcy as a three-time winner of the Slieve Russell Masters Pro-Am on Tuesday.

The Old Conna professional (31) fired rounds of 69 and 68 to win the event for the third time in four years, finishing a shot ahead of Higgins and Michael McGeady on seven-under-par.

He opened his campaign with a three-under-par 69 that left him four shots behind first round leader Higgins, who fired a brilliant, seven-under 65 on day one.

Neil O'Briain with Slieve Russell captain, Ciaran Cathal 

Neil O'Briain with Slieve Russell captain, Ciaran Cathal 

But O’Briain shot out of the blocks on day two and birdied his opening hole, the par-four 10th before adding two more birdies to reach the turn in three under 33.

The Dubliner picked off three more birdies on his back nine but also dropped shots at the fifth and seventh to come home in one under 35 and finish the tournament on seven-under.

Overnight leader Higgins couldn’t match his superb play of day one and a second round 73 saw him drop out of the lead and ultimately finish in a tie for second alongside McGeady, who shot rounds of 70 and 68.

The team prize was won by Tulfarris Golf Resort’s Simon Thornton and amateur partners Bill Hanley, Barra O’Dwyer and Pat Barrett, who finished the 36 holes with 186 points.

Slieve Russell Masters Pro-Am, Slieve Russell Golf & Country Club (Par 72)

Detailed scores

137 Neil O'Briain (Old Conna GC) 69 68

138 Michael McGeady (Evolve Golf Coaching) 70 68, David Higgins (Waterville Golf Links) 65 73;

139 Colm Moriarty (Glasson Hotel & GC) 73 66

140 Simon Thornton (Tulfarris Golf Resort) 67 73, Damian Mooney (Damian Mooney Golf) 69 71;

142 Richard Kilpatrick (Banbridge GC) 75 67;

145 Mark Staunton (Delgany GC) 75 70.