Irishman Eddie Barr wins Ballina golf pro-am

Expatriate Irishman Eddie Barr has won the Ballina Golf Club’s 2008 Pro-Am.

Barr shot a scintillating 6-under par 66 in Friday’s first round and backed it up with a three-under 69 today to finish on nine-under 135.

He won by a shot from Queenslander Stuart Bouvier.

Next came Jason Ashcroft (137) and Bradley Andrews (139).

Barr, aged 36, picked up $3150 out of a total prizemoney purse of $17,500.

Barr first picked up a golf club in County Down in Northern Ireland as a 14-year-old after previously playing Gaelic football and soccer.

“I came to Australia to travel with some mates who had relatives here,” he said.

“In my first year here (2000) I lived in Sydney and played only four games in that year.”

But he then moved to Brisbane and has worked on his game to such an extent that he now has passed the first qualifying stage

for the European Tour.

Only last week he was in France in his bid to qualify.

He also has played recently in Asia and Korea.

Friday’s six-under was a flawless round, with six birdies and no bogeys.

Today he had his only bogey of the weekend. “It was a dumb-arse bogey on a par five,” he said.

He was full of praise for the Ballina course.

“The course is phenomenal,” he said.

“It’s a good test of golf. You have to be able to shape the ball left and right, and the greens are a tough test.

“And the guys I played with were so encouraging. The hospitality has been wonderful.”

If he does qualify for the European Tour, Barr has no inclination to return to the northern hemisphere to live.

“I will remain based in Australia. Australia is my home now,” he said.

PICTURE: Eddie Barr (left) is congratulated by Ballina golf professional Brad Saunders.

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