Irish eyes are smiling


Gavin Moynihan carded a final-round 68 to finish nine under-par and win the Lookers Championship at Close House by one shot to Dermot McElroy.

The closing stages of PGA EuroPro Tour season opener turned into a head-to-head between the two friends – who have known each other for much of their careers in the amateur and professional ranks.

Both held the lead at one stage but Moynihan (68, 68, 68) edged in front with a birdie at the par five 17th and saw home the £10,000 victory with a par at the last.

“I am delighted to win,” said Moynihan, who also took home a Motocaddy S3 PRO electric trolley with lithium battery, a Bushnell Pro X2 Range Finder and Bolle sunglasses along with the trophy.

“It was a good battle with Dermot. I had a great start to be three under-par after eight. I had a bogey at 11 and Dermot had gone birdie, birdie so suddenly from one ahead I was one behind and a little bit shell-shocked. I knew I was playing well and the last six holes I played really well – the approach into 18 was probably my best shot of the day.

“We played GB&I boys teams together and were foursomes partners. We have known each other since we were 14 and are best friends. It made it easier for me because I like to have a chat through the round, so it was probably to both of our advantages.

“My game has been there for a long time but I haven’t really got much out of it – hopefully this is the start of a good year for me.”

McElroy finished eight under-par after rounds of 67, 68 and 70 over the Colt Course at Close House.

Nick McCarthy (Moortown Golf Club – 69, 69, 68) led the local challenge with a third place finish. Six players shared fourth place on five under-par as Garrick Porteous (Bamburgh Golf Club) and Alex Wrigley (Hartlepool Golf Club) finished in a tie for 16th place. Matthew Webb (Bedlington Golf Club) and Andrew Scrimshaw (Close House) also finished inside the top 30.

The EuroPro Tour returns to the North East this summer for The Dawson & Sanderson Classic at Longhirst Hall Golf Club July 5-7.

The regular season events for 2017 end at Moor Allerton Golf Club in Leeds September 13-15 with The Clipper Logistics Championship.