Irish Independent - - Sport Golf -

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

The 26-year-old former Ire­land in­ter­na­tional 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.

Af­ter card­ing a two-un­der 70 in the third round, he bo­geyed the sev­enth in the fi­nal round be­fore pick­ing up seven shots in a phe­nom­e­nal last 11 holes to card a six-un­der 66 and claim the ti­tle 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 CloseMullingar 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 a won­der­ful ea­gle three at the 16th and a birdie at the last two on his way to the ti­tle.

“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 to se­cure a fa­mous vic­tory.

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