by Ronan MacNamara
Portmarnock specialist Tim Rice came up trumps again in the latest Taylormade Winter Series while Rathfarnham professional Liam Power also claimed top honours at Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links.
After last week’s frosty start there was no such trouble on Tuesday as the 90-man field were treated to perfect conditions for golf, with a light breeze ensuring scoring didn’t go too low.
Once again DP World Tour pro Niall Kearney was the standout name in the field. The Royal Dublin golfer shot a level-par 71 as he ramped up his preparations for the 2022 season.
It was an erratic round for the Dubliner who mixed five birdies with a bogey and two double bogeys as he was beaten on a countback for the gross prize.
The race for the gross was extremely tight with Kearney finishing a shot adrift of regular winner Tim Rice.
The Limerick pro shot a one-under 70. He turned in two-under after birdies on 2 and 6 in a clean front nine effort. Rice who plied his trade on the Europro Tour last season came home in one-over after a closing bogey denied him a 69.
Instead the round of the day went to Power who took the nett prize with a two-under 69.
He also turned in two-under after birdies on 1 and 7 in another flawless front nine.
Power wasn’t as consistent on the back nine but did well to hang in and finish two under after trading birdies on 13 and 14 with dropped shots on 12 and 15.
Luttrellstown’s Daniel Sweeney was runner-up with a 71 nett. The 3.0 index playing off 5 turned in two-over before dropping three shots in two holes to start his back nine.
Sweeney recovered well with a birdie on the 13th before a bogey on 14 was followed with four closing pars.
Cork Golf Club pro John Hickey scooped the third nett prize with a 71 nett.
K Club professional Liam Grehan was in the prizes again with a 71 gross while local member AJ McCabe made sure there was some home representation on the podium with a 71 gross of his own.
1st: Liam Power (Pro) Rathfarnham Golf Club 69
2nd: Daniel Sweeney (3.0) Luttrellstown GC 71
3rd: John Hickey (Pro) Cork GC 71
1st: Tim Rice (Pro) Limerick GC 70
2nd: Liam Grehan (Pro) K Club 71
3rd: AJ McCabe (+2.8) Portmarnock Links 71