Michael Hoey won last year's Alfred Dunhill Links Championship by two shots. Here, in an excerpt from The European Tour Yearbook 2012, we recap how the Northern Irishman outshone his Major winning fellow countrymen in Scotland.
Michael Hoey wrote another glorious chapter in the remarkable recent history of Northern Irish golf when he held off the challenge of compatriots Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell to win the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
The 32 year old, who began the week in 271st place in the Official World Golf Ranking but who ended it in 98th spot, carded a final round of 68 on the Old Course at St Andrews for a 22 under par total of 266 to claim his second European Tour title of the season.
The first place cheque - €588,149 – was some €471,483 more than the bounty he received for his first win of the season in the Madeira Islands Open in May and helped him move from 83rd to 15th in The Race to Dubai. It also allowed him to look forward to a place in the season-ending Dubai World Championship.
McIlroy finished two shots behind in second after a closing 65 with the man he succeeded as US Open champion, McDowell, sharing third alongside Scotland’s George Murray, who did enough with his closing 67 to guarantee his card for next season.
Hoey began the final round five shots clear of McIlroy but a brilliant front nine of 30 followed by another birdie at the 11th, saw the 22 year old gain the initiative. However, McIlroy could not find another birdie in the closing seven holes, giving Hoey a chance he grasped with both hands; finishing birdie, birdie, par, birdie to win with considerable style and panache.
To order your copy of The European Tour Yearbook 2012, a 240-page, full colour hardback Official Publication with iconic pictures by Getty Images and essays from some of the game's top writers that takes you every step of the way through 52 tournaments and 29 destinations on The 2011 Race to Dubai, click here.