Paul wins Captain’s Prize

WinnerBrendan Keane’s Captain Prize produced plenty of drama on Sunday as 13 handicapper Paul O’Callaghan turned a four shot deficit into a four shot winning margin to ease to a comfortable victory in the biggest major of the year.
 First Round leader Ciaran Sheridan (5), who was part of last weekend’s Leinster Junior Cup winning team, was unable to reproduce his excellent form of recent weeks and he returned a five over par 77 for a final four under par total of 140 which left the door open for the chasing pack.
 Veteran George Rogers (19) initially held the clubhouse lead on 139 after adding a 70 to his opening round of 69. His round included six gross pars, including three consecutive pars from the fourth to the sixth holes that put him firmly in contention for the top prize. But dropped shots at the third, seventh, 14th, 15th and 18th left him on two under for his round and five under for the competition.
 Although playing in the final group, O’Callaghan started the day four shots behind first round leader Ciaran Sheridan (5) but he was in prime position to take advantage of Sheridan’s slips and did so with an impressive round of golf. An opening nine of 41 gross included pars at the second, fourth, fifth and sixth and a double bogey seven at the par-five seventh and got him to within two shots of the lead. He then surged past Sheridan on the back nine as he rattled in pars at 11th, 13th, 14th, 15th and 17th without any  double bogeys and finished with a gross score of 81 and a nett total of 68 for a two round total of 135, nine under par and four better than Rogers.
 Sheridan hung on to take third place on 140 with Ultan Herr (15) a shot further back after a second round 69 and Paul Morrison in fifth.
 Peter Rogers (1) took the gross prize on 148 after two successive rounds of 74 while Pat Curran (13) took the Veterans Prize on 142 after rounds of 73 and 69.
 First home in each three categories were Eddie Rogers (2), Barry Cunningham (12) and Harry O’Hanrahan (25).