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Colm Moriarty masterminds Ulster seven-shot victory

By Peter Hutcheon

Colm Moriarty cruised to a seven-shot victory in the HBE Risk Management PGA Ulster Championship at the Hilton Templepatrick.

The Glasson professional carded a final round two under 70 to finish on nine under par at the Co Antrim venue, seven shots clear of nearest rivals Ciaran Molloy from Blackwood, Dara Lernihan from Elm Park and Neil O'Briain of Old Conna.

Moriarty had started the day with a three-shot lead over Mark O'Sullivan from Piltown Driving Range and Royal Dublin's Niall Kearney, who was bidding for a hat-trick of Ulster Championship titles.

O'Sullivan dropped three shots in his opening three holes while Kearney started with a birdie at the first but Moriarty hit back immediately with a birdie of his own at the second and never looked back.

The 35-year-old had a four shot lead heading into the back nine and when Kearney dropped four shots at the 11th, 12th and 13th, Moriarty knew that the tournament was in his hands, finishing off his round in style by chipping in for an eagle on the 18th.

"It was trickier today with the gusting wind," said Colm. "I still played quite nicely but didn't do much wrong and gave myself a few chances here and there. It was nice to chip in for an eagle at the last. Mark didn't start well and Niall was hanging in there but he never really got that close and had a bad run on the back nine and I was able to pull clear."

Leading Scores: -9 Colm Moriarty (Glasson Hotel & GC) 65/70 – 135; -2 Ciaran Molloy (Blackwood Golf Centre) 72/70 –142; Dara Lernihan (Elm Park GC) 72/70 – 142; Neil O'Briain (Old Conna GC) 71/71 – 142.

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