Damien McGrane shoots course record at New Ross to set a hot pace

Damien McGrane from Ireland, hits an approach shot to hole 14  on the second day of the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, in the UAE, Friday, Jan. 19, 2007. (AP Photo / Nousha Salimi)
Damien McGrane from Ireland, hits an approach shot to hole 14 on the second day of the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, in the UAE, Friday, Jan. 19, 2007. (AP Photo / Nousha Salimi)

Damien McGrane fired a course record 61 on the way to winning the New Ross Pro-Am sponsored by Culcita Garden Furniture.

In a remarkable display of scoring, Damien bagged 10 birdies in a round that included seven threes!

“I shot a 61 on the Challenge Tour in Guatemala years and years ago,” said Damien.

“I finished with five birdies that day. Obviously I haven’t shot 61 since.

“Playing a tour course as opposed to an Irish traditional parkland is a bit different but you still have to put the ball in the hole and I putted well at New Ross.

“My putting has been tragic lately. I am only playing part-time golf these days but for that 18 holes, I had the ball on a string.”

Damien finished a full nine shots clear of Michael McDermott (Pure Golf Leopardstown), Richard Kilpatrick (Banbridge) and Joe Dillon (Headfort) in second.

He went to the turn in six under 28, and then came home in three under 33, his only blemish coming at the par four 18th when he dropped a shot.

The 45-year-old has produced a number of low scores on the Irish region in recent years including a 63 (-9) in winning the Royal Curragh Pro-Am last July but this tops the lot of them.

Damien added; “I had the belief in myself that I could birdie every hole. If I didn’t birdie the hole I was missing a putt for birdie.

“All my good shots just happened to finish close to the flag which cut the course down to size pretty quickly.

“Once I got a bit of forward momentum early with birdies at the first and third it was pretty easy to just keep pressing on looking for more.”

The team prize went to Andy Hogan (Edmondstown GC) and partners who edged out Brian McCormack (Edenderry Golf Academy) and his team on count back after both groups ended the day with 91pts.

New Ross Pro Am (Sponsored by Culcita Garden Furniture)

At New Ross Golf Club (Par 70)

1 D McGrane 61

T2 J Dillon (Headfort GC) 68 T2 M McDermott (Pure Golf Leopardstown); R Kilpatrick (Banbridge GC) 68

T5 C Power (St Helen’s Bay Golf Club); T Rice (Limerick GC) 69; N O’Briain (Old Conna GC)

T8 J Dignam (Slade Valley GC); B McGovern (Headfort GC); B McCormack (Edenderry Golf Academy); G Robinson; S Thornton 70.