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By Brian Keogh
Hugh Foley. Photo by Golffile
Cahir Park's Paul Tuohy produced a brilliant late burst to win the TaylorMade Winters Series outing with a superb nett 70 at a cold and breezy Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links.
The four-handicapper came up trumps in the final group of the day by following birdies at the 15th and 16th with two gutsy pars to finish.
He won the nett by three strokes from Dun Laoghaire assistant professional Richard O'Donovan and by four from Athlone's Charlie Kelly.
Royal Dublin's Hugh Foley took the gross by one stroke from Newlands' Jake Whelan and Rathfarnham professional Eric Byrne with two-over 73 on a day when the 68-strong field was forced to battle a stiff breeze and a significant windchill factor with the thermometer marking 4C.
Former East of Ireland champion O’Donovan birdied the sixth, 10th and 15th and made amends for a double-bogey seventh at the 13th by playing his last five holes in one-under for his 73,
Three-handicapper Kelly also had a great day, the highlight an excellent birdie putt on the 14th in a one-over-par homeward nine to secure the third nett from Tralee's Maurice O'Connor, who parred the last three holes for his 74.
Leinster interprovincial Foley got off to a dream start with birdies at the second and third only to bogey the fourth and fifth en route to victory in the gross.
The plus-three handicapper eventually turned in two-over but mixed birdies at the 11th and 15th with bogeys at the 13th and 17th for his two-over-par return.
He won the gross by one shot from former Leinster interprovincial Whelan, who turned in level par only to drop shots at the 10th, 12th and 15th.
Byrne, who is an assistant professional at Rathfarnham, turned in 40 before cruising home in 34 as he mixed eight pars with a lone birdie at the 11th.
There was also a notable debut performance from Beaverstown professional Karl Goodwin, who was level par for the day standing on the 17th tee but left to rue a costly bogey there as he narrowly failed to win a prize in his first TaylorMade Winter Series outing.
Paul Tuohy (4) Cahir Park 70
Richard O’Donovan (Pro) Dun Laoghaire 73
Charlie Kelly (3) Athlone 74.
Hugh Foley (+3) Royal Dublin 73
Jake Whelan (+2) Newlands 74
Eric Byrne (Pro) Rathfarnham 74.