Saturday 24 August 2019

Rice on the mark at K Club

Model of consistency: Tim Rice. Photo: Jan Kruger/Getty Images
Model of consistency: Tim Rice. Photo: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Limerick's Tim Rice has earned the chance to claim a rare double by qualifying for next month's final of the PGA Professional Championship at Hunstanton on England's east coast.

Rice was victorious in the Irish PGA Championship two years ago and just two of his compatriots - Davids Higgins and David Mortimer - have won that event and the PGA Professional Championship.

Should Rice emulate their achievement, however, he will do so at the first attempt.

Despite being one of the most consistent performers on the Irish PGA circuit - last year he earned more than €18,000 in prize money - he has not competed in the final of the PGA's flagship competition.

He rectified that omission at the K Club by winning the PGA in Ireland qualifier for the Titleist and FootJoy sponsored tournament that carries a £78,000 (€88,249) prize purse with £10,000 (€11,300) going to the winner.

And the 42-year-old did so in fine style, negotiating the Palmer Ryder Cup Course in four-under-par to post a round of 68 and win the event by two shots.

Looking ahead, Rice commented: "I've played many courses in England but not Hunstanton. Neither have I played in the final before so that will be two new experiences.

"I've heard Hunstanton is a great course and is very challenging - I'm looking forward to it."

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