Despite a bad start Kevin and Lenny motor ahead

08 September 2016
Despite a bad start Kevin and Lenny motor ahead

Pro-Captain Challenge Final despite almost seeing their victory hopes disappear in the early stages.

Captain Lenny McKitterick and PGA professional Kevin McGivern won the Irish qualifying event at Luttrellstown Castle Golf & Country Club by two shots.

They recorded an eight under par round of 64 to finish ahead of Daniel Beattie and Peter Emmett  of Co Dublin’s Deer Park Hotel Golf & Spa and John Dignam and Niall Dunne from Slade Valley Golf Club in Dublin.

But the Monaghan duo were grateful for a nett eagle on the 18th hole which sealed victory.

McGivern and 19-handicapper McKitterick will now play in the £25,000 final which takes place at Spanish destination Lumine Mediterránea Beach & Golf Community.

The resort, which features two Greg Norman designs, will stage the event over 36 holes from Wednesday, November 30 – Thursday, December 1.

But it could have been very different for the winning team.

McKitterick, 52 an electrical contractor from Carrickmacross, explained:  “I had a bad start and after four holes I was joking that I was ready to pack it in for the day and that I was driving home.

“Luckily, I didn’t do that and Kevin kept it together. He’s the pro and that’s what they do.

“That re-ignited the flame for me and I helped us to two nett birdies at the 13th and 18th hole. So I felt I’d contributed to the day.

“And getting to the final in Spain was simply the icing on the cake.”

It was a proud moment for McKitterick who was a founder member at Mannan Castle.

“We were formed 24 years ago and I was there at the start,” he added.

McGivern, head pro at Mannan Castle for six years, will be making his debut in the final.

“Lenny made a nightmare start but he recovered superbly,” he said.

“Once we’d got a nett eagle at the 13th hole that was a big jump for us. The 18th hole was crucial for us but we were surprised to see we were leading. Then came the wait before it was confirmed.”

GOLFPLAN INSURANCE PGA PRO-CAPTAIN CHALLENGE supported by Sompo Canopius Irish Qualifier at Luttrellstown Golf Club, Thursday 08 September 2016

Final results:

1-8 (64)Kevin McGivernLenny McKitterickMannan Castle Golf Club
2-6 (66)Daniel BeattiePeter EmmettDeer Park Hotel Golf & Spa
John DignamNiall DunneSlade Valley Golf Club
4-5 (67)Darren ByrneSteven CurleMoyvalley Golf Club

Image of captain Lenny McKitterick and PGA professional Kevin McGiven are attached for free use courtesy of Charles McQuillan at Getty Images.