Baltinglass star, Joseph Byrne scored a superb bogey-free round of 68 to move alongside Thomas Higgins ahead of the final day of the Irish Boys U16 Amateur Open at Donabate.
Byrne, who was a standout performer at this month’s Boys Home Internationals when taking out 5 of 6 available points, posted three birdies in his rock solid effort to move alongside Higgins at minus three.
Roscommon’s Higgins, who was a surprise package of day one, held his ground with an even par effort that included two birdies and an eagle to share top spot with the Baltinglass talent.
The pair have pulled three clear with English raider, Frank Kennedy sitting ominously back in third at level. Kennedy is no stranger to these shores having tasted victory at the Irish Boys Under 14’s Championship at Greenacres Golf Club in Ballyclare already this year and will be one to watch tomorrow.
Co overnight leader, Paraic McGrath from Cregmore Park was unable to reproduce his day one heroics on the peninsula as a second round 75 saw him drop to plus-two.
Meanwhile, 15-year-old Joshua Hill from Galgorm Castle will need a colossal performance tomorrow after a day two 76 sees him trailing eight shots behind the leaders at plus-five.
Hill, who plays off a plus three handicap, has already won several tournaments this year and played for Ireland in the recent Boys U18 Home Internationals in Wales so he’s not one to be discounted despite the size of the task ahead.
Since the competition began in 2006, many players who have gone on to be top class amateur and professional golfers have played in it, including current European Tour professionals Paul Dunne and Gavin Moynihan and Challenge Tour player Robin Dawson.
The 54-hole event will finish tomorrow.
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