Simon Thornton wins PGA Southern Championship after play-off thriller

Pictured are (L-R) Wesley Pappin, Secretary PGA Southern Branch, Rathsallagh GC captain, Paul Mullan, Simon Thornton and Rathsallagh GC Lady captain, Liz Matthews.
Pictured are (L-R) Wesley Pappin, Secretary PGA Southern Branch, Rathsallagh GC captain, Paul Mullan, Simon Thornton and Rathsallagh GC Lady captain, Liz Matthews.

Simon Thornton birdied the opening play-off hole to edge out Richard Kilpatrick (Banbridge GC) and win the PGA Southern Championship at Rathsallagh Golf Club on Wednesday.

On a day of low scoring at the Co. Wicklow venue the Tulfarris Golf Resort professional and Kilpatrick topped the leaderboard with a pair of nine under par 63s.

“To be fair I missed a few chances but obviously holed a few,” said Thornton.

“When I signed the card, well, to be honest, I kind of thought to myself I will just have to wait around here for the prize-giving. And then 10 minutes later Richard comes in behind me with the same score!”

The PGA Southern Championship was originally pencilled in for September 19 but the arrival of Storm Ali forced officials to postpone the tournament for a week.

The leading duo headed to the par four 18th for the play-off with Thornton winning the coin toss and finding the fairway with his drive.

Kilpatrick’s tee shot found the rough and he was forced to pitch back out on to the fairway with his second.

Thornton had two putts for the win but managed to slot the ball home for an emphatic birdie finish.

Headfort’s Joe Dillon finished in third with Glen Robinson (Craddockstown GC) fourth and Colm Moriarty (Glasson Hotel & GC) fifth.