Cian McNamara won the Premium Golf Brands Order of Merit on Monday as the Munster PGA winter series drew to a close. The Morgan O’Donovan Perpetual Trophy hosted by Monkstown marked the final event in the weather affected winter series. McNamara finished in third place on day but that was enough to pip his friend David Ryan for the title. McNamara won earlier this year in Adare, on the day that the course closed before a major redevelopment project got underway. He placed in Castlemartyr, Monkstown and Fota Island to stay on top of the leaderboard. The PGB Order of Meritwas an exciting race with the narrowest of margins separating McNamara from Ryan. As it happened neither golfer came close to the winner David Higgins who shot an amazing 62. It was the third consecutive win in the Munster PGA winter series for Higgins, who took full advantage of the good course conditions. Playing in fine weather, Higgins was four under par at the turn, and that included a bogey on the par four 8th hole. He carded birdies on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th to go three under through four holes, and he added two more on the 7th and 9th. The former European Tour professional was equally impressive on the way back, adding four more birdies including birdies on the two par threes.
Higgins is a man who appreciates good greens, twelve months ago he also praised the greens when he won the same competition: “I’m absolutely delighted with the 62, I always love playing in Monkstown. The greens were fantastic again, especially this early in the season. I’ve won the Monkstown Pro-Am on three occasions, I like it around there! It was a mental error on 8th hole, I had a twenty-foot putt below the hole. I went for it and ran it four feet past and had a poor putt back down the hill.” Higgins could have afforded a few more errors but the eight under par total was more than enough to distance himself from the field. Second place went to David Ryan who shot a 68. Monkstown Club Professional Cian McNamara was third with a level par 70 and Davey Barry and David Foley were next on 72. Liam Higgins proved he still has it, he shot a 73 and was tied for 6th place with Tim Rice.
Not for the first time the Higgins family travelled in numbers. David also won the pro-am prize along with his cousin Andy, and they played alongside Liam Higgins and his nephew Liam Jnr. And just for good measure his uncle Tom was caddying. Higgins has been busy over the past two months. As well as winning the three Munster PGA events this year, David and his wife Liz celebrated the birth of their son Dan six weeks ago. David has two big competitions next month, he plays in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in the K Club and the following week he’s headed for Wentworth for the BMW PGA Championship. The event marked the end of the Munster PGA Winter Series. The competition also marked the end of the year for Munster PGA Captain David O’Sullivan, the title now passes on to Stephen Hayes from Douglas Golf Club.