PETER O’Keeffe has won the Munster Stroke Play Championship at Cork Golf Club, finishing on 12-under and jumping atop the Bridgestone Men’s Order of Merit in the process.
Beginning the day with a 1-shot lead, O’Keeffe equalled the low round of the morning, posting a six-under 66, matched also by Marc Boucher (Carton House). Robert Moran (Castle) fired a third-round 68 leaving him in second place, three shots adrift of the top spot with 18 holes to play.
In the final round, O’Keeffe carded two more birdies and an eagle by the fifth hole and had extended his lead to five. Despite having just five pars, the Douglas Golf Club member signed for a fourth-round 73 which was enough for a three-shot victory over Moran.
"Every win is different and I found this one difficult for some reason," said O’Keeffe after his round.
The win is O’Keeffe’s third of the 2021 season having claimed the AIG Irish Men’s Amateur Close during the summer, the Douglas Scratch Cup as well as winning the Men’s Home Internationals with Ireland. He puts his success down to a change in attitude.
"I’ve a much more relaxed approach to golf now I suppose. My life is much busier now and I don’t get time to practice. My expectations are fairly high when I show up and my confidence is going up with it so yeah a more relaxed approach seems to be working for me."
O’Keeffe has taken pride in playing the role of inspiring the next generation at Douglas Golf Club and played in the final group alongside his 15-year-old clubmate Jack Murphy.
"I love it. I get just as much of a kick from Jack doing well as winning and if he had won I would have loved that as well. And he will go on and win, he’s an absolutely fantastic player, for a 15-year-old his attitude is unbelievably mature.
O’Keeffe will lead the Bridgestone Order of Merit heading into the final event at the Flogas Irish Men’s Amateur Open at the European Club in two weeks where he hopes the conditions will play into his favour.
"I’ve done well there in the past but I’m hoping it’s windy! The windier the better and we’ll see how we go."