Coatbridge-based Paul O’Hara made an ideal start to his career as a PGA Professional by booking a ticket to the Republic of Ireland.
O’Hara, representing North Lanarkshire Leisure Ltd, won the Titleist & FootJoy PGA Professional Championship Scottish qualifying event at Ladybank Golf Club in Fife. The victory came just a week after qualifying from the PGA assistant ranks.
O’Hara dominated the event and carded a three under par round of 68 to beat Michael Patterson (Kilmacolm Golf Club) into second spot by three shots.
They will join eight other qualifiers for the £78,000 final which is being held at at Luttrellstown Castle Golf Club near Dublin between June 13-16.
But O’Hara admitted he got off to a shaky start at Ladybank, collecting a bogey at the third hole with his first birdie coming at the fifth. In the end, he was the only player to go under par.
“This is the first time I’ve been able to play in the event, I graduated last week!” he said. “It was the first time I’d played the course. It was tough and the wind was swirling, it was hard to trust your club.
“The course was fiery and the greens were like lighting, I managed to get three birdies on the back nine and that kept me well clear of having to play off. But I felt I’d be able to qualify this time, I’ve been playing well for a while now. I’ve just carried on from last year.”
O’Hara has only been with North Lanarkshire Leisure since last July. “We do a lot of junior coaching and adult lessons, we have an 18 hole course and indoors there’s a golf simulator, it’s a good family set up,” he added.