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Moriarty and Thornton share Wicklow spoils at Tulfarris


By Paul Kelly

Colm Moriarty (Drive Golf Performance Ltd) and Simon Thornton (Simon Thornton Golf) shared the winner's cheque at The Tulfarris Pro-Am. The leading duo carded rounds of three-under-par 69 at the Co Wicklow venue to beat Irish PGA Champion Tim Rice (Limerick GC) and Mark Staunton (Delgany GC) by a shot.

This was Thornton's third win in five starts on the region and he appears to be heading back to his best after foot surgery.

"I always tend to play nicely at the back end of the season and this last month I have really started to play well," said the 40-year-old. "I am looking forward to building on the late season form and getting 100 per cent fit leading into 2018."

With a shotgun start in operation, Thornton started at the fourth and played his opening six holes in level par, with a bogey at the eighth cancelled out by a birdie at the par-five ninth.

He stepped things up on the back nine and reached four-under courtesy of two birdies and an eagle at the par-five 15th. A dropped shot at the first halted his progress somewhat and he parred his way in to post 69.

Moriarty started from the first and reached the turn in two-under-par 34. Two further birdies got him to four-under, but a closing bogey at the last cost him outright victory.

"I played quite nicely," said the 38-year-old. "I had never been to Tulfarris before and it's a lovely course. Given the rain, the greens were super and I look forward to coming back."

Michael McDermott (Grange GC) and playing partners Colin Dunne, Warren Byrne and Ruairi O'Hanlon won the team prize with 89 points.

Meanwhile, an inspirational speech from All-Ireland hurling winning hero Joe Canning could prove prophetic when Galway try to make it third time lucky in the AIG Barton Shield Final at Carton House this afternoon.

The Connacht champions have lost the last two finals of the blue riband foursomes event, going down to Royal Dublin in 2015 and Warrenpoint last year.

They again face Warrenpoint, and Canning reminded them in a pep talk last weekend that the club's strength in depth means the quartet who tee it up will be firing on all cylinders.

Veteran Joe Lyons said: "Joe made a very good point about the Galway hurlers this year, saying that the big thing for them was that the guys in training were pushing them hard.

"Every evening they trained, there was depth there. So there's no-one there too comfortable in their position, and we've guys on the sidelines who would be willing and more than capable of coming in for any of us."

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