Irish Open


Overnight leader Frank Dineen duly won the Irish Open at R.G.S.C. but he was made to fight all the way by fellow Irishman Stephen Murray of Old County. Stephen Murray fired a fabulous closing round of six under par 48 to post the clubhouse target of 148 for the three rounds. 2008 Irish Strokeplay champion Frank Dineen was not playing as well as he did on Saturday and was one shot behind with one hole to play. The St. Anne's ace pitched to within four feet of the final hole of the regulation 54 and calmly slotted the birdie putt to force a play-off. Stephen Murray held the early advantage in that three hole play-off. Frank bogeyed the first, having chipped too strongly. Inexplicably, Dubliner Stephen Murray missed from inside two feet for par at the second and the pair were level playing the last. Frank pitched close and made the birdie putt for a famous win.

Paul O'Brien also closed with a fine 48 to place third on 149, one out of the play-off. On a showery, if reasonably warm Sunday, Tralee's Jason O'Regan shot a final round 48 to clinch fourth slot on 150, just ahead of O'Brien's Tipperary county colleague, Brian Webster, who also returned 12 under for the three rounds. Britain's John Deeble was best non- Irish player on 154. Chrissie Byrne made it two Irish Ladies Opens out of two. The St. Bridget's star closed with a 53 for a five under par 157 aggregate. That was good enough for a four shot win over her Irish colleagues, Tracey McGrath and Geraldine Ward. Current Irish Strokeplay and Matchplay champion Tracey McGrath secured second place by virtue of her superb final round.

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