- Northern Ireland's Michael Hoey wins Alfred Dunhill Championship at St Andrews
- Hoey cards a final round 68 to leave U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy two shots adrift
- McIlroy shoots a 65 at the home of golf but Hoey keeps his nerve for third Tour title
- Graeme McDowell in a tie for third as Northern Ireland players dominate tournament
Michael Hoey held off a last-round charge from U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy to claim the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews Sunday.
Hoey, who like McIlroy hails from Northern Ireland, carded a final round 68 to beat his illustrious compatriot by two shots on 22-under 266.
McIlroy, looking for his first win since claiming his first major in such emphatic style at Congressional, carded a seven-under 65 at the home of golf but came up just short as overnight leader Hoey kept his nerve on the closing holes.
Graeme McDowell completed the domination of players from Northern Ireland by claiming joint third on 18-under with George Murray of Scotland after a 69.
South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen, playing his first tournament at St Andrews since his British Open victory on the famous links in 2010, was in a three-strong group a shot further back with Marc Warren and joint halfway leader Tommy Fleetwood.
World No.1 Luke Donald could not build on his nine-under third round 63 and finished in a tie for ninth as he bids to top the money list on the European and PGA Tours.
But it was Hoey who eventually upstaged the big names, leading after his third successive 66 going into the final day and then maintaining his composure as McIlroy went to the turn in just 30 to mount his expected challenge.
He came to the last with a one-shot lead over McIlroy and after a big drive needed just a deft chip and a putt to close with a birdie to seal his triumph.
The 32-year-old was claiming his second victory of the year after struggling for so long to break into the big time.
"It hasn't sunk in yet and it won't for a while," Hoey told the European Tour website.
"It's taken a long time but I supposed in a weird way you enjoy it more because you have struggled through six goes at the qualifying school," he added.
McIlroy, who was seven-under for his first 11 holes on the final day, was disappointed to miss out on victory.
"I've been very consistent, which is a good thing, but I want to get wins and that's the most important thing.
"It's good to be one, two, three and see all of us boys up there, I'm just obviously disappointed that it wasn't me lifting the trophy."
He will now head to play in Korea Open which starts Thursday.