Lyons holds nerve to claim Munster Strokeplay crown

Joe Lyons (Galway) receives the Munster Strokeplay Championship Trophy from Jim Long, chairman Munster Golf, at Cork Golf Club. Picture: Niall O’Shea

Galway native Joe Lyons won the Munster Strokeplay Championship Trophy after a dramatic sudden death-play off at Cork Golf Club on Sunday evening.

And Lyons admitted that the win was somewhat unexpected given his previous experiences of competition at the famous course.

“I honestly didn’t think I’d be coming down here to win this weekend so it’s an absolute thrill,” Lynch explained after his win.

I’ve had a bit of a love/hate relationship with this course. I’ve had nines and tens and all sorts of things down through the years when I had chances of winning this event.

“Even when I was leading the qualifiers in the Irish Close a few years back I had a ten on the 16th. As a result of those experience I wasn’t expecting a whole pile so I’m delighted with the win.”

After playing the first three rounds in five under with just six bogeys, Lyons was the man to catch. Those rounds of 70, 71 and 70 gave him a three-shot lead going into the final round where a miserable start saw him five over after six holes. Crucially, most others were also struggling and Lyons managed to steady the ship somewhat.

Waterford’s Eanna Griffin made the most of the final round, shooting a two-under-par 70 and forcing a play-off.

After a pair of pars on the first Griffin missed the green on the second sudden-death hole (the 17th), and Lyons snatched victory.

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