Sport Golf

Wednesday 21 February 2018

It's Southern comfort for O'Briain in McGeady battle

Neil O’Briain pictured with Gavin Hunt, Golf Manager at Powerscourt.
Neil O’Briain pictured with Gavin Hunt, Golf Manager at Powerscourt.

Neil O'Briain closed in on David Higgins at the top of the Order of Merit when he beat Michael McGeady with a birdie at the third extra hole to snatch the PGA Southern Championship at Powerscourt.

The Old Conna professional, leading by one shot after an opening round 68, fired a second round 66 to reach 10-under, but found himself in a playoff when former Irish PGA champion McGeady blasted a bogey free, eight-under 64 over the East Course.

"I was playing alongside David Higgins and Richard Kilpatrick and I was nine under going up the last and saying to myself 'this is probably good enough'," O'Briain said.

"I hit a nice drive down the last after an edgy two putt on 17 and from around 99 yards knocked it in to about eight feet and holed the putt, only to find out that it was only good enough for a playoff. I was saying to myself that's it done, but Mick must have played some superb golf."

After sharing the 10th and 18th in pars they returned to the 10th and while McGeady fired his approach to five feet, O'Briain's checked up two feet from the cup. McGeady then lipped out and O'Briain tapped in for the win.

"I kind of stole that one to be honest," said O'Briain, who is now second behind Higgins in the Order of Merit.

"I played very solid overall today, but it was playing very easy today. The conditions were good and really I should have realised the scoring was going to be better than I originally thought."

PGA Southern Championship, Powerscourt GC - East (Par 72)

134 N O'Briain (Old Conna GC) 68 66, M McGeady 70 64 (O'Briain won with birdie on 3rd extra hole);

137 R Kilpatrick (Banbridge GC) 69 68;

138 D Higgins (Waterville Golf Links) 69 69;

140 M McDermott (Pure Golf Leopardstown) 71 69, D Mooney (Nevada Bobs Belfast) 72 68;

141 T Rice (Limerick GC) 70 71, B McElhinney (North West GC) 71 70, E Brady (Clontarf GC) 74 67;

142 D McGrane 69 73, D Gleeson (Old Conna GC) 71 71, C McNamara (Monkstown GC)73 69.

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