Mallow’s Ciaran McKenna made a very promising start to his PGA career when he finished tied for second place in the prestigious PGA Assistants Championship. He put together two solid rounds of 74 & 73 on the final day to jump up the leaderboard. This time last year McKenna was in Barton Shield action for Mallow, and a year on he proved he was a match for the country’s best trainees and assistants in a field that featured over 60 competitors.
All four Cork golfers featured in the top 20. Davey Barry (Douglas) was one of only two players to break par in the final day’s 36 holes. He carded a one under par 70 in his final round. When added to his third round 73 it moved him from 17th place overnight to a final place. The Douglas Assistant went out in 31 strokes (-4), and despite a few wayward holes coming back he added two more birdies for an under-par round.
Alan Gleeson (Castlemartyr) finished in tie for 16th and Charleville’s Frank Holly was one shot back tied for 18th place. Overnight leader Joe Dillon (Headfort) was seven over par for his final 36 holes, but in spite of that he still won, and had a comfortable five hole margin when the scores were totaled.
Despite the good showing, it will be another year before a second Cork name will be added to the record books. Wayne O’Callaghan is the only Cork golfer to have won the title. He won in 1997 in Limerick County, while completing his training under Paddy O’Boyle in Bandon.
The PGA Irish Region events continue tomorrow in Galway where David Ryan and Cian McNamara are in action. After that it’s in to Carne for the 36 Shell Pro-Am on Saturday and Sunday. Wayne O’Callaghan and Mick Collins will join Ryan and McNamara with a hope of claiming a good share of the big purse on offer.