Irish PGA Championships
THE IPGA CHAMPIONS AT ROYAL DUBLIN 1910-1932
An initiative by Royal Dublin Committee in adding a 36-hole professional event to the 1894 Irish Amateur Open being staged at the club was a precursor to the eventual launch of the Irish Professional Championship. A field of 32 competitors, including cross-channel entrants, took part with Andrew Kirkaldy of St Andrews earning the first prize of stg£15.However it was not until 1907 that the Golfing Union of Ireland, which administered all aspects of men’s golf at the time, established the inaugural Irish Professional Championship. Royal Portrush was the host venue and local professional, James Edmundson, made his mark on history by becoming the first winner.
1910: Michael “Dyke” Moran
Michael “Dyke” Moran, whose story is related elsewhere on this website, came to prominence by defeating Harry Kidd 9&7 to win the first of what was to be five consecutive Irish Championship victories. Moran’s 1910 success was sweet indeed, as he triumphed on his home turf at Royal Dublin. This was the first year in which the Championship switched to stroke play over 72 holes. Moran dominated the national scene in the following years up to and including 1913 when he completed his personal five-in-a-row.
1927: Pat O’Hare (Unattached)
The Irish Professional Championship did not return to the North Bull island until July, 1927 – 17 years after Moran’s ‘home’ success and nine years after his sad demise on active service in France. Greenore native Pat O’Hare (Unattached), the 1919 champion, had won two tournaments in the USA during his stay there from 1921-1922. A fine golfer, O’Hare proved himself the master of Royal Dublin links in 1927 to earn his to earn his second IPGA title. He did so with a final round 71 for 301 overall to finish nine shots ahead of runner-up Dan Murray (Skerries).
1932: Hugh McNeill (Royal Portrush)
Hugh McNeill (Royal Portrush), then aged 51, completed the 72 holes in 304 strokes with four rounds of 76. This proved enough to fend off the challenge of PJ Mahon (Birr) by two shots, and added the 1932 title to McNeill’s maiden IPGA success in 1929.