Irish PGA Championship 2022

Damien McGrane birdied three of his last five holes to join some legends of the Irish game as a three-time Irish Professional champion.

With his daughter Gemma on his bag, the Carlow Golf Club professional closed with a three-under 69 to win the 112th Irish PGA by two strokes from North West’s Brian McElhinney on eight-under 208 at Carne Golf Links’ Wild Atlantic Way course.

“It was a great week for me I came here expecting nothing and found form,” said 51-year-old Kells native McGrane, who joins Joe McCartney, Moses O’Neill, PJ Mahon, Fred Daly and Simon Thornton as a three-time Irish Professional champion in a week when his son Ethon made his debut in the championship.

“My daughter Gemma and Odhran were here with me today so to have them was the highlight for me. To have my daughter caddy for me is a lifelong memory made for both of us.”

Tied for the overnight lead with McElhinney, two shots clear of 2013 champion Michael McGeady on five-under, McGrane turned in 36 to McElhinney’’s two-under 35 before drawing level with a birdie at the 12th.

He admitted a double bogey seven at the 13th was a body blow, but he lost just one shot there to McElhinney, who three-putted for bogey, and played his last five holes in three-under par to win for the third time since 2016.

After drawing level again with a birdie two at the 14th, he birdied the 17th and 18th to win by two strokes on eight-under from former Amateur champion McElhinney, who shot a one-under 71

“You still dig deep, rely on what you knew in the past,” McGrane said. “I think the realisation is that days like these are few and far between for me now at this stage of my career so to win is special. I might never get the opportunity again to hold the trophy so today I went out and won the trophy.

“I’m very proud of myself and to have Gemma and Odhran here means the world to me.”

Credit – Irish Golf Desk

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