O’Neill beat Guernsey’s former pro and six-time winner Bobby Eggo at the Grouville links course yesterday when he went seven up on the 13th hole in the afternoon session when the Guernseyman conceeded.
The morning’s session had also gone O’Neill’s way, as he went one up at the second hole, sinking a decent putt for a par three while Eggo went one over.
Although the Guernseyman was to win by three shots to four at the fourth, a 180-yard par three, that was the only success he had leading up to the 17th hole by which time O’Neill was four up, having won the fifth, tenth, 12th and 13th holes.
O’Neill’s line and length on a fast-playing course were immaculate, while on more than one occasion Eggo strayed into the rough and, as he said afterwards: ‘The course is tough if you hit the ball off the fairway which I did too many times this morning.’ Even so, he gave O’Neill reason to have doubts over the lunchtime break by winning the last two holes of the morning, birdying the par-4 17th and 18th and clawing his way back into the match to just two down.
Sadly, for the Guernseyman, from the 13 holes they were to play after lunch he won just one of them, the awkward 369-yard fifth.
By now O’Neill had re-asserted his dominance, going three up again on the first hole of the afternoon before both players parred the second, third and fourth of the second round in a scheduled 36-hole decider.
From the seventh hole after lunch, O’Neill then took complete control of a game which saw the lithe Jerseyman hit straight and true on every hole he played.
He was also guiding the ball more accurately towards the flag, and on the eighth hole went four up again when Eggo’s 14 ft putt went inches wide of the hole while his, from eight feet, went in for a birdie two.
Both players settled for a par five on the 522 yard ninth before, on the tenth, O’Neill pulled even further away.
Another long putt after two shots to the green gave him a birdie three compared to Eggo’s two-putted par four, and although the next hole, the 378 yd 11 was halved, O’Neill’s brisk walk up the fairway contrasted markedly with Eggo’s more laconic approach.
‘Once I went four up I knew I had control of the game,’ O’Neill was to say afterwards.
‘A good par on the seventh this afternoon, and a birdie on the eighth gave me that; it gave me the lead I wanted.
After that I couldn’t have asked for more, and birdying three of the last four holes was a bonus.’