Thornton wins Cairndhu Golf Club’s Pro-Am

Cairndhu Pro-Am winner Simon Thornton with club captain Danny McMullan. INLT 37-927-CON
Cairndhu Pro-Am winner Simon Thornton with club captain Danny McMullan. INLT 37-927-CON

Simon Thornton fired a second-round two under par 68 to complete a wire-to-wire victory at the Cairndhu Pro-Am on Saturday.

The Team Ireland professional finished the 36-hole event on five under par, four strokes ahead of nearest rival David Higgins (Waterville).

The 38-year-old from Newcastle began Saturday’s second and final round with a one-shot lead over Noel Murray (Massereene GC). He dropped a shot at the second but birdies at the sixth and eighth saw him to the turn in one under 33.

A further dropped shot followed at the 11th but once again he responded well and birdies at the par five 14th and par five 17th eased him to the clubhouse in one under par 35.

Murray’s challenge faltered over his opening nine holes leaving the way clear for Order of Merit leader, David Higgins (Waterville) to come through and secure second place with a second round 69.

Higgins also won the team prize, edging out pre-event favourite Damian Mooney (Ballyliffin), courtesy of scoring 89 points on Saturday.

Cairndhu Pro-Am (Par 70)

1. S. Thornton (Team Ireland) 67/68 (135)

2. D. Higgins (Waterville) 70/69 (139)

T3 N. Murray (Massereene GC) 68/74; J. Quinlivan (Mullingar GC) 69/73 (142)

T5 E. Brady (Clontarf GC) 73/70; C. Moriarty (Drive Golf Performance Ltd) 72/71; C. Molloy (Blackwood GC) 73/70 (143)

T8 B. McGovern (Headfort GC) 74/70; D. Mooney (Ballyliffin GC) 73/71 (144)

T10 N. O’Briain (Old Conna GC) 78/68; G. Wardlow (Spa GC) 72/74 (146)

Team Pro-Am

1 D. Higgins (Waterville) 172

2 D. Mooney (Ballyliffin) 172

3 G. Dunlea (Monkstown GC) 171

Day One

Thornton (Team Ireland) fired a three under par 67 to lead after the opening day of the Cairndhu Pro-Am.

He led Noel Murray (Massereene GC) by a shot with James Quinlivan (Mullingar GC) a shot further back heading into Saturday’s final round.

Mooney (Ballyliffin), who was chasing a hat-trick of titles at the Co Antrim venue, six shots back after carding an opening 73.

Thornton has two wins to his name already this season on the Irish region circuit and made a flying start to proceedings at Cairndhu. Starting on the back nine he birdied the 12th, 14th, 16th and 18th to reach the turn in four under 32.

Dropped shots at the first and second halted his momentum but he responded with a birdie at the third. Another dropped shot followed at the fifth but he closed his round out with a birdie at the ninth to take a narrow lead into Day Two.