O'Keeffe wins Irish Amateur Open
Golf Ireland photo
Golf Ireland photo

Peter O’Keeffe won the 2021 Irish Men’s Amateur Open. His victory made him the first golfer since Padraig Harrington in 1995 to win both the Irish Open and Close championships in the same year.

At the challenging European Club, O’Keeffe and Switzerland’s Nicola Gerhardsen both finished at +4 and needed a three-hole aggregate playoff to decide a winner.

O’Keeffe managed the three extra holes in even par, beating the 19-year-old Gerhardsen by a shot.

Speaking with Golf Ireland after the win, O’Keeffe said his second Irish Men’s Amateur Open is a career highlight. “I’m delighted. It played really hard, but I thought I played really well. When I won the AIG Close, I said I wanted to win this. Saying it is one thing, but doing it is another.”

It didn’t come easily for O’Keeffe who trailed Gerhardsen by two shots with five holes remaining. O’Keeffe rode a hot putter to close the gap, saving par on 14 and making a birdie on 15 before sinking a 15-foot par putt on 18. With his lead wiped away, Gerhardsen needed to make his 12 foot birdie putt for the victory. He couldn’t convert.

O’Keeffe knew the course wouldn’t be easy, as the European Club has a reputation as a hardy test. He told the Irish Times, “Yes, it’s severe, but you have to come to a golf course like this with acceptance, and I’ve seen a lot of players have come this week and haven’t accepted at all.”

It was a team effort in O’Keeffe’s mind, “I have to credit my coach Noel Fox. We had a great session earlier this week. I took what we were doing straight onto the course,” he told Golf Ireland.

The 40-year old O’Keeffe might be playing the best golf of his life. He has now won two Munster Strokeplay titles, two Irish Amateur Opens and an Irish Close. Now that he has secured the Bridgestone Order of Merit title, a Walker Cup invite could be a possibility in 2023.

-- Golf Ireland contributed to this story.

Results: Irish Amateur Open
1IrelandPeter O'KeeffeIreland50073-72-72=217
2SwitzerlandNicola GerhardsenSwitzerland40072-72-73=217
3IrelandHugh FoleyIreland30076-75-69=220
4EnglandHarley SmithEngland30074-74-74=222
5IrelandAllan HillIreland30069-75-79=223

View full results for Irish Amateur Open

ABOUT THE Irish Amateur Open

First played in 1892 and held every year with the exception of the War Years up to 1959, and revived in 1995, the Irish Amateur Open can boast a strong history of producing great Champions including Joe Carr (three times), Jimmy Bruen, Tom Craddock, Padraig Harrington, Michael Hoey, Noel Fox, Louis Oosthuizen and Pedro Figueiredo.

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