McLarnon joins legends with Mullingar win
Tiarnan McLarnon (Massereene) winner of the 2018 Sherry Fitzgerald Davitt & Davitt sponsored Mullingar Scratch Cup at Mullingar Golf Club. Picture by  Pat Cashman

Tiarnan McLarnon (Massereene) winner of the 2018 Sherry Fitzgerald Davitt & Davitt sponsored Mullingar Scratch Cup at Mullingar Golf Club. Picture by Pat Cashman

Massereene’s Tiarnan McLarnon produced a blistering finish to win the Sherry Fitzgerald Davitt & Davitt Mullingar Scratch Trophy by a stroke and join the legends of the Irish game.

The former Ireland international (26) went into the final round two strokes behind Dun Laoghaire's Alan Fahy, Tandragee’s Stefan Greenberg and Cork’s John Hickey on one-under par.

But after carding a two-under 70 in the third round, he bogeyed the seventh in the final round before picking up seven shots in his last 11 holes to card a six-under 66 and win by a stroke from West of Ireland champion Robert Brazill from Naas on nine-under 279.

Winner of the AIG Irish Close title in 2015, he joins an illustrious list of players to complete the Close-Mullingar double that includes the likes of tour players Shane Lowry, Rory McIlroy, Paul McGinley,  Gary Murphy, Peter Lawrie, Darren Clarke and Philip Walton as well as amateur stars Garth McGimpsey, John McHenry, Paul O’Hanlon, Mark Gannon, Martin D. O’Brien, Tom Craddock and JB Carr.

"It's the premier Scratch Cup so it's mean a lot because a lot of the top players have won it," said McLarnon, who birdied the eighth and ninth,  then picked up shots at the 12th and 14th before making an eagle three at the 16th and a birdie at the last to win.

"I made a great eagle at the 16th — a drive down the left and a nine iron 12 feet beyond the hole. 

"I missed from three and a half feet for birdie on 17, and I hit my tee shot on the last and asked what the scenario was.

"I heard that someone was level with me on eight-under in the clubhouse and someone behind me was seven under. So I decided to go for it. You have to play to win."

Brazill had closed with rounds of 69 and 67 to post the eight-under target but with 207 yards to the pin, McLarnon hit a five-iron to the heart of the green and two-putted for a famous victory. 

Sherry Fitzgerald Davitt & Davitt Mullingar Scratch Trophy, Mullingar GC (Par 72)

Detailed scores

279 T McLarnon (Massereene) 74 69 70 66

280 R Brazill (Naas) 72 72 69 67

281 A Fahy (Dun Laoghaire) 68 73 67 73

282 C Rafferty (Dundalk) 74 72 69 67; J Hickey (Cork) 69 72 70 71

283 R Moran (Castle) 73 73 68 69

284 G Dunne (Co Louth) 72 77 70 65

285 J Sugrue (Mallow) 72 76 71 66

287 S Greenberg (Tandragee) 68 73 73 73

288 S McDermott (Cavan) 74 74 68 72; J Rackard (Enniscorthy) 74 69 70 75; A Grant (Dundalk) 73 73 72 70; D Morgan (Carton House) 71 72 73 72

290 R Lester (Hermitage) 70 80 73 67

291 G Collins (Rosslare) 77 75 71 68; I Lynch (Rosslare) 75 74 74 68; S McGlynn (Portmarnock) 75 71 75 70; D Reddan Jnr (Nenagh) 73 73 74 71

292 R McCrudden (Royal Portrush) 79 76 69 68; P Coughlan (Castleknock) 75 73 73 71

293 R Black (Hilton Templepatrick) 76 77 72 68; A Smith (Mullingar) 75 73 70 75; E Griffin (Waterford) 72 72 74 75

294 H O'Hare (Fortwilliam) 76 73 71 74; M Looby (Greystones) 75 75 73 71; K McCormack (Portarlington) 73 75 74 72; M McClean (Malone) 72 74 74 74

295 K Egan (Carton House) 78 75 73 69; C Woodroofe (Dun Laoghaire) 76 70 78 71; C Kenny (Portmarnock) 75 77 72 71; R Williamson (Holywood) 74 76 71  74; R Dutton (Tandragee)  74  69  74  78; P Murphy (Rosslare)  73  76  75  71        

296 G Lenehan (Portmarnock) 81 70 75 70; E O'Brien (Clontarf) 78 73 75 70; M Boucher (Carton House) 78 70 75 73; H Foley (Royal Dublin) 71 73 76 76

298 B McGarry (Birr) 77 77 74 70; P O'Hanlon (Carton House) 77 76 73 72

299 H Gillivan (Westport) 78 71 73 77; K Murphy (Dun Laoghaire) 73 76 75 75

300 J Fletcher (Warrenpoint) 78 76 76 70

301 P McKeever (Castle) 79 73 75 74; T Plunkett (Mullingar) 78 75 76 72

302 P Conroy (Enniscorthy) 78 73 74 77; J McDonnell (Forrest Little) 77 77 75 73; S O Neill (Co Cavan) 71 82 72 77

304 J Hearn (Tramore) 76 77 73 78

307 S Murtagh (Mullingar) 79 75 75 78

RTD D Brophy (Castleknock) 81 73 77

NR R Clarke (Wexford) 77 74

CUT

155 M Kennedy (The Royal Dublin) 78 77; D Brazil (Castle Barna) 78 77; J Fox (Portmarnock) 78 77; D Joyce (Powerscourt) 76 79; G Carr (Mullingar) 75 80; J Conroy (Portmarnock) 75 80; 

156 J Swarbrigg (Mullingar) 78 78; K Lynch (Skibbereen) 74 82; G Mann (Tullamore) 72 84; 

157 J Blake (The Island) 80 77; P O'Hara (Kilkenny) 77 80; 

157 W Eickholt (Portmarnock) 77 80; 

158 J Hood (Galgorm Castle) 82 76; 

159 M Kelly (Mullingar) 80 79; M Grehan (Tullamore) 80 79; J Whelan (Newlands) 78 81;

160 R O'Doherty (Enniscrone) 82 78; C Rabbette(Esker Hills) 81 79; F Kennedy (The Island) 81 79; A Hickey (Ballyhaunis) 79 81; J Hapgood (Southerndown) 79 81; 

161 E Farrell (Ardee) 82 79; P Burke (Mullingar) 82 79; L Keyes (Dun Laoghaire) 81 80; 

162 P Cunnane (Malone) 81 81; C Butler (Kinsale) 81 81; D Brady (Co. Sligo) 80 82; 

163 O Crooks (Bushfoot) 83 80; 

164 M McKinstry (Cairndhu) 80 84; 

167 M McCormack (Mullingar) 87 80; D Flynn (Carton House) 84 83; 

170 R McKinley (Mullingar) 86 84

WD M Mullen (Rosslare) 76 WD; C Cunningham (Carton House) 77 WD; D Holland (Castle) 72 WD; J Walsh (Castle) 79 WD

NS J Gourley (Shandon Park)

RTD J Cleary (Elm Park); A McCormack (Castletroy)