Limerick native Maeve Danaher wins Dunhill Links Pro-Am title

The Limerick native made history when she became the first woman to win the team event in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at the home of golf in St Andrews.

Danaher, partnered with Belfast’s Michael Hoey, carded rounds of 62 at Kingsbarns, 67 at St Andrews and 63 at Carnoustie before finishing with an impressive 12-under 60 on the Old Course at St Andrews.

Hoey sealed the title with a birdie on the 18th from four feet for a final score of 69, Hoey’s score improve by nine strokes thanks to his amateur partner Danaher as they made a whopping eight birdies and three eagles in their final round 60.

Danaher is a 22 handicapper who’s home club is no other than JP McManus’s Adare Manor in county Limerick. Although Danaher plays primarily left handed, her unorthodox use of a right handed putter when on the green resulted in some impressive scores throughout the four day tournament.

As the professional, Hoey won a €50,000 share of the €200,000 Pro-Am purse. But for Danaher the prize comes in the form of bragging rights, by beating her husband Gerry McManus who finished T5 with his partner Shane Lowry.

It was a great weekend for Irish golf all-round, as 23 year old John Murphy made moves for the top spot in just his third European Tour event since turning professional in June of this year.

Murphy began his final round just three shots off the eventual winner Danny Willett, despite making three consecutive birdies to come within a shot of the lead, his momentum faded when he carded a double-bogey six at the ninth.

The former Walker Cup player fell down the leader board again when he carded a bogey at 16 but wrestled back a birdie at 17 to seal a top-10 finish.

Murphy now heads to the Spanish Open in Madrid this weekend in a bid to secure his European Tour Card for the following year. However if Murphy’s performance at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship tells us anything, it’s that his role within Irish and European golf is only getting started.

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Benjamin Geary