by Ronan MacNamara
John Hickey by Golffile
The latest TaylorMade Winter Series belonged to the professionals today as Cork’s John Hickey and Naas man Jonathan Yates took the spoils at a chilly Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links on Tuesday.
After the players were treated to a slice of heaven last Tuesday, everyone was well wrapped up against the intermittent breeze.
Hickey scooped the nett prize after a four-under 67 while Yates took the gross with a one-under 70.
Hickey roared out of the traps moving six-under through eight holes after birdies on 1, 3, 7 and 8 and an eagle on the 6th. The Corkman would drop a shot on the par-3 9th to turn in five-under in an electric outward half.
Hickey wasn’t as spectacular on the back nine but was very solid as he carded eight pars and just the single bogey on the 15th to coast to a four-shot victory on the nett side.
John Charters showed up the pros as he came home in second place with a 71 nett.
The Rush Golf Club player playing off an index of 8.6 received 11 shots and found comfort on the chilly links.
Charters carded eight pars and a birdie on the 15th to pip Grange pro Michael McDermott to runner-up spot who shot a 72 nett.
Yates overcame the cool conditions as he shot a 70 gross. He quickly moved to two-under with birdies at 2 and 4 before a dropped shot at five was cancelled out by a birdie at 6 as he turned in two-under 34.
An eventful back nine saw Yates come home in 36 after birdies on 12 and 14 came during a mixed run where he also bogeyed 13, 16 and 17 but he held on to take the gross by the minimum from Portmarnock specialist Tim Rice.
Rice of Limerick certainly knows his way around Portmarnock and he came home with a level-par 70 in the testing conditions.
Rice was his usual steady self with birdies on 6 and 14 being balanced out with bogies at 12 and 13.
Athenry’s Allan Hill edged his way into the places with a battling one-over 73. The Maynooth University scholar is the latest of a huge contingent of students to tee it up at the Tuesday event and he came home in 35 after birdies on 12 and 16 after turning in 37.
1st John Hickey (Pro) Cork Golf Club 67
2nd John Charters (8.6) Rush Golf Club 71
3rd Michael McDermott (Pro) Grange Golf Club 72
1st Jonathan Yates (Pro) Naas Golf Club 70
2nd Tim Rice (Pro) Limerick Golf Club 71
3rd Allan Hill (+3.4) Athenry Golf Club 72