It’s been a busy off season for Peter O’Keeffe, while many golfers have put the sticks away until January, O’Keeffe is still working hard. The Doulas elite amateur was in Spain last week, and he finished sixth in a Gecko Tour event. The Gecko Tour is a mini-tour based in Spain, generally featuring emerging professional golfers. O’Keeffe shot a final round 67 to jump up the leaderboard and finish on -4 for his 54 holes. It was a good finish for Peter, he was +3 halfway though his second round so his strong finish was a real positive. Peter has had another good year at the top level. In March he retained his Kerry Scratch Cup title, and while he didn’t repeat his 2017 feat of winning a national championship, he was competitive in almost every event. He reached the quarter final of the Irish Close and finished in the top eight on the Bridgestone Order of Merit. He retained his place on the Irish team for the Home Internationals, a team that narrowly lost out to England. O’Keeffe has risen up the international rankings also, he started the year at 752 on WAGR, but he finished the playing season inside the top 50. His current placing is 54th, and that a very strong calling card considering he has not played a qualifying competition for three months.
There was more good news for Peter last week as he was selected to represent Ireland in the South American Amateur Championship in three weeks time. O’Keeffe along with Galway’s Ronan Mullarney will travel to Club de Golf Los Leones in the Chilean capital of Santiago for this WAGR-ranked event, which is part-funded by The R&A. The course previously hosted the World Amateur Team Championship in 1998. It takes place in Santiago, Chile from 10-13 January 2019. The South American Amateur (Campeonato Sudamericano Amateur) is a 72-hole stroke play event that attracts a strong international field with players travelling from Europe, Australia and North America. Mullarney and O’Keeffe are members of the GUI National Panel, which is supported by both Sport Ireland and Sport Northern Ireland.