17.2 C
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
- Advertisement -

Mullarney marches on at windswept Ballybunion

Must read

You Give Love a Bad Name*

When passion boils over into anger, there's no excuse for taking your rage out on the golf course. Sadly, that's exactly what happened on the 17th green at North West GC recently

Hazeltine memories highlight the fervour and fanaticism of US supporters

Another year to wait but much to ponder in the interim; a Ryder Cup in America is no place for the fainthearted, be they European players or fans

Fast & Fascinating facts

More tidbits from around the world of golf including the one time Masters champ who not only correctly predicted his win but also his aggregate score

Cursed in Foxford and Puerto Rico

Some curses seem harder to break than others, whether you're a Mayo footballer chasing an All-Ireland title or a Puerto Rico champion sentenced to PGA Tour doom

Amid the howling winds of Ballybunion, silver medallist Ronan Mullarney continued his relentless march at the AIG Irish Close.

On the third day, Mullarney booked his place in round three. His preparations began before dawn ahead of a 7:30am tee time, but the work was complete by early afternoon. The Galway man displayed customary poise to notch wins against Ruairi O’Connor (Co Sligo), 5&4, and Marc Boucher (Carton House), 4&3.

“I was one down this morning through three but after that was the best golf I’ve played all week,” said Mullarney. “I had four or five birdies. This afternoon was ground hurling. I was blown off a lot of shots.”

As the wind gusted close to gale force, Mullarney displayed his aptitude for combat golf. Afterwards, he professed as much: “I’m from Galway. I’m used to that ground hurling!”

Putting, too, required extra care: “When you’re over the ball, you’re hesitant. Not just about line and pace but is your ball going to move. It’s another factor to add in.”

The 23-year old Ireland international moves on to meet Niall Hearns of Mountrath in the last 16.

While the top seed remains on course to win his maiden championship, other big names bowed out.

Eoin Leonard, second in qualifying, went down 3&2 to Conor Ryan of Dun Laoghaire. The Killiney man joined John Murphy (Kinsale) and Peter O’Keeffe (Douglas) on the first round casualty list. Murphy, an international in 2018, lost 2&1 to Keith Murphy (also of Dun Laoghaire).

Evan Farrell stunned O’Keeffe, taking out the 2017 Flogas Irish Amateur Open by a margin of 5&4. Farrell produced another awesome display in round two, dismantling Liam Grehan (Mullingar) 6&5. Next up for the in-form Ardee man is a meeting with Alan Fahy.

Fahy, the third Dun Laoghaire player to reach the match play stage, was a 3&2 winner against David Brady (Co Sligo). In the first round, Fahy eliminated Monkstown’s Sean Desmond, recent winner at the South of Ireland.

For Co Sligo, the third round holds significant appeal. Sean Flanagan plays TJ Ford, his friend and former clubmate, for a place in the quarter-finals

“Myself and TJ go way back,” said Flanagan. “We know each other’s games inside out. This is our first time, I think, playing against each other in a championship.”

Now living and working in Dublin, Flanagan plays with Portmarnock. The 23-year old previously competed alongside Ford at Rosses Point. For one match, affinity will be set aside.

“One of us is guaranteed a shot at the semi-finals, which is great,” Flanagan insisted. “We’ll leave it all on the course and there’ll be no hard feelings afterwards.”

Local man Edward Stack pleased the gallery with victory on 18 against Malone’s Matthew McClean. Stack progressed to the penultimate day, where he meets Richard Knightly of Royal Dublin. Knightly defeated John McCarthy (Grange) on the 19th in round two.

Rob Brazill of Naas birdied 18 to pip Hugh O’Hare (Fortwilliam) in a frantic finish. O’Hare missed an eagle putt to go two clear on 16 before Brazill rallied over the closing stretch. By dint of that result, Brazill leads the Bridgestone Order of Merit and plays Devin Morley (Oughterard) next. Morley edged out Eanna Griffin (Waterford) by one hole to progress.

Elsewhere in the last 16, Greg O’Mahony (Fota Island) meets Charlie Denvir (Elm Park); Cathal Butler (Kinsale) squares off against Stephen Walsh (Portmarnock); and Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint) faces Eoin Murphy (Dundalk).

Campbell has been revitalised this season following a year out with injury. Given his pedigree, a win would not surprise. For the moment, the former international is content to be contending.

“It’s good just to be playing again,” Campbell admitted. “At one stage during that injury (hook of hamate), I didn’t think I was going to lift a golf club.”

With 16 players left and just four rounds remaining, ambition brightens by the day.


New Gear

Looks like a Mallet, Feels like a Blade, Forgives like a Spider

TaylorMade’s latest short-stick, the Spider FCG boasts a forward centre of gravity designed for golfers seeking the forgiveness of a mallet with the feel of a blade

TaylorMade dial it in even further with new iron additions

TaylorMade fans rejoice as the company announces additions to the Series of P700 Irons with the all-new P7MB, P7MC and P770 offerings

Special edition Tiger wedge added to Taylormade’s MG2 line-up

TaylorMade Golf Company has lifted the curtain on a limited edition Tiger Woods wedge; a club milled for precision and played by a champion

Versatility comes easy with TaylorMade’s new utility irons

The latest SIM UDI and SIM DHY deliver a new level of versatility to TaylorMade’s utility irons category sure to improve any player's game


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest News

Murphy hits the front at Irish Boys

Sam Murphy from Portumna will take a two stroke lead into the final round of the Irish Boys Championship at Thurles Golf Club on  Wednesday

Glasson primed to tackle the challenges presented by Covid-19

Director of Golf at Glasson, Lynn McCool is remaining extremely upbeat as their two-year development plan unfolds at the club

O’Briain delighted with 64 after cruising to Cork Pro-Am win

Neil O’Briain gave everyone a reminder of his undisputed talent by firing an eight-under par round of 64 to claim the latest PGA Ireland Pro-Am at Cork Golf Club

McGinley insists it’s too soon to compare Morikawa to Woods

"Let's not jump to any conclusions that this is the new Tiger Woods though, and that he is going to run off and win 15, 16 major championships. Let's give him a bit of time"

Presidents Cup to return to Royal Montreal in 2024

Royal Montreal will become only the second international venue to host the Presidents Cup more than once, joining Australia's Royal Melbourne. Have you played either track?