Cork's Peter O'Keeffe wins AIG Irish Close title in style

It’s the first time in 35 years that the winner of the Irish Close has come from Cork. 
Cork's Peter O'Keeffe wins AIG Irish Close title in style

Peter O'Keeffe (Douglas) in action in the Mallow Scratch Cup, sponsored by Hegarty Building & Civil Engineering. Picture: Niall O'Shea

CORK'S Peter O’Keeffe won the AIG Irish Amateur Close title on Sunday evening. 

The Douglas golfer won a dramatic play-off against Dublin’s Robert Moran. 

The four round event started in Tullamore on Friday and O’Keeffe was always close to the top of the leaderboard. 

Heading in the final nine holes this afternoon, he was in the mix and tied for the lead at one stage. 

Two bogies on the back nine hurt him but a great 20 feet birdie on the last earned him a place in the play-off after the leader Robert Moran bogied the last. 

O’Keeffe’s rounds of 68 and 65 today were among the best out there and a three hole aggregate play-off followed. 

Despite going one behind on the opening hole, O’Keeffe stuck with his patient routine and was two ahead after the second hole. 

Although he found trees on the last hole, a confident chip out onto the fairway got him back on track and just a few minutes later he was crowned the champion. 

It’s the first time in 35 years that the winner of the Irish Close has come from Cork. 

Peter O'Keeffe in action in the Munster Stroke Play Championship in Cork Golf Club. Picture: Niall O'Shea
Peter O'Keeffe in action in the Munster Stroke Play Championship in Cork Golf Club. Picture: Niall O'Shea

As it happens the last Cork winner was also a Douglas golfer, the great John McHenry.

There were three other Cork golfers in action today, Cathal Butler, Jack Egan and Jason Law all made the 36 hole cut but finished down the field on the final day.

It’s a third Irish title for O’Keeffe. In 2017 he won the Irish Amateur Close and in 2019 he won the Irish Mid-Amateur title. 

He’s just the second Cork golfer to win the Open and Close titles, the top two events in Irish Amateur golf. 

Jimmy Bruen is the only other golfer to have won both. Bruen won his Close in 1938, he also won the Open that year to retain his 1937 title.

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