Friday, June 21, 2024

See photos as Caolan Rafferty returns to Dundalk Golf Club with East of Ireland triumph

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© The Argus

Dundalk golfer, Caolan Rafferty won the Kingspan East of Ireland Championship at a sun-drenched Baltray on Monday afternoon, to add to his already impressive roll of honour which includes the famous West of Ireland and South of Ireland Championships.

Playing imperious golf, he shot a final round 65 for a -15 four-round total to win by a single shot.

Returning to Dundalk Golf Club on Monday night for a celebration with family, friends and club members, he was obviously delighted at getting his hands on the trophy.

“It’s the one I wanted to win all the time, I’ve come close the last couple of years obviously”, he explained having finished back-to-back runner up in 2022 and 2023.

“To shoot that score in the final round is obviously great”.

Safely Home…….Caolan Rafferty unpacks the East of Ireland Trophy after arriving back in Dundalk Golf Club.

“I didn’t look at the scores all day, but I said to Kyle who was caddying for me, after my second shot on 18 that I hadn’t a clue where I was in terms of leading”.

“I knew I was close obviously playing well, but I had no idea I was in the lead at any stage, I just kept trying to make birdies”.

However, the former member of Greenore where he played his juvenile golf, missed a par putt on 18 for a course-equalling 64 and feared he may have lost his chance at winning the event.

‘”There is no point in lying, I was pretty down coming off 18, I just sat on the bank over at the range and my wife Hayley came over to me and my playing partner Paul O’Hanlon came over to me and said, look you can’t do any more than you’ve done, it was some round of golf”.

His nearest challenger Max Kennedy of Royal Dublin had a putt for birdie on 18 to force a play-off but his effort slid by on the low side of the hole.

“This is the one I always wanted to win, it’s close to home, it’s a course I play fairly regularly so I was keen to get over the line is a lovely feeling”.

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