PETER O'KEEFE is the toast of Irish golf today after lifting the Amateur Open in Royal County Down.
O’Keeffe became the first Cork golfer in almost 80 years to win the Flogas Irish Amateur Open, and the Douglas native won in style.
He now joins the legendary Jimmy Bruen as the only other Cork winner of the famous trophy.
Holding a one-stroke lead overnight, O’Keeffe cruised through much of the final round yesterday, winning by three shots thanks to a steady 73.
The 35-year-old big hitter from Douglas ended the week on two over par, three clear of Scotland’s Christopher MacLean and England’s Tom Sloman.
Needless to say the Douglas man was delighted with the win.
“It feels fantastic. It was tough to keep my emotions in check there going up the last,” said O’Keeffe, who claimed his maiden championship title. “It was nice to have a few shots to lean on. It hasn't sunk in yet but I am absolutely delighted.”
From Friday night you could sense a level of confidence in O'Keeffe, he had just shot two rounds of 70 and he suggested that there was much more in the tank.
As it happened he never had to go low. Steady golf in difficult conditions on Saturday saw him jump up a few spots on the leaderboard, and a two over par 73 was enough to put him into the lead.
It was a case of steady golf again for yesterday’s final round, Peter was level par after the front nine and saw his lead increase to five shots at one stage.
He did cause a few gasps on the 16th, after exiting a sand trap he went on to four putt for double bogey. But that was the only cause for concern, he parred the 17th and took six on the closing par five, knowing that he had a cushion of four shots to work with.
The former professional, who now works in Dennehy's Gym, knew from Tuesday that the course suited his eye.
“In general, all week I loved the place,” said O’Keeffe. “When I got here first, I knew I was comfortable here. I had the pace of the greens so everything kind of slotted into place at the right time.”