5.4 C
Thursday, October 1, 2020

O’Neill fires superb 69 to lead Irish Boys Championship

Must read

Silence will be deafening at Saudi Ladies International

'If you’re a human – never mind a golfer – you’d want to check the batteries in your moral compass if a trip to Saudi is on your radar in the coming weeks and months'

Rising Pitch

It's not only membership at 9 and 18 hole courses that's bloomed this year, Pitch & Putt is on the rise too. Kevin Markham looks at the game’s shortest form*

Going the distance with the USGA

After the biggest hitter in the game won by six-strokes on a golf course that was supposed to punish missed fairways, maybe it's time the 'Distance Insight Report' moved to stage two?

The virus has simplified bunker play

The temporary rule introduced this year to help deal with the pandemic of banning rakes from bunkers has been revolutionary and positive for club golfers

Malahide’s Gavin O’Neill shot an opening round of 69 (-3) to hold the outright lead after day one of the Irish Boys Championship at Thurles.

He carded four birdies during his round, two of which came in the last three holes, and sits clear one ahead of Luke Kelly (-2) from Belvoir Park and two clear of a group of five players on -1.

Despite making bogey on the second, O’Neill rallied and got back to level par on the 4th.

“On the first few holes I hit a few bad drives and made a few scrappy pars there,” he said afterwards. “I got it together on the back nine, hit more fairways, more greens and better wedge play and holed some putts as well.”

A birdie on the par four 10th hole took the Malahide teenager into the red before a fantastic birdie-par-birdie finish, which included a 25 foot birdie putt from off the green on the last, propelled him to the top of the leaderboard.

Keen for championship golf to resume, 16-year old O’Neill has been itching to play competitive golf again.

“Yeah, it’s been a long break between last summer and this but I’ve been playing in the Portmarnock Summer Series, a few open competitions and trying to get a bit of competitive golf back in before these [championships] kick off again.”

Runner-up in two Under 16 championships last year, the Leinster U16 Close at Ashbourne and the Connacht U16 Boys Open in Galway Bay, O’Neill is looking to make his mark at this higher level.

“I’ve been close before. It’s been a good start so let’s see what we can do for the next two days.”

Play continues on Tuesday before the top 40 and ties make the cut for the final round on Wednesday.

Leading scores – Par 72

-3 Gavin O’Neill (Malahide)
-2 Luke Kelly (Belvoir Park)
-1 Rory Fives (Faithlegg), Charlie Flavin (Youghal), Darcy Hogg (Belvoir Park), Sam Murphy (Portumna), Daniel Mulligan (L’town & B’town)
Par Rory Milne (Faithlegg), Zak Collins (Muskerry), Gavin Rochford (Bray), Luke Curran (Westmanstown), Dylan Keating (Seapoint), Morgan O’Sullivan (Ballyneety)

Full scoring at https://www.golfnet.ie/GUILIve#/competition/2010120/leaderboard

New Gear

AXIS1 Tour HM putter now available across Europe

“Golfers struggling with consistency on the greens should look no further than the AXIS1 range of putters where they can take advantage of the incredible technology on offer"

Now on the Tee: Limited-Edition adidas ZX 8000 golf shoes

Adidas Golf is going back to the archives again announcing the availability of the first-ever ZX model built for golf – the limited-edition ZX 8000 golf shoe

Titleist introduces Scotty Cameron Inspired by Justin Thomas Putter

Scotty Cameron is celebrating the long-running success of Titleist Brand Ambassador Justin Thomas with the introduction of the new Inspired by Justin Thomas Phantom X5.5 putter

TaylorMade introduce #MyTaylorMade custom family into Ireland

The MyTaylorMade personalised product programme offers thousands of combinations to personalise some of the company’s latest putter and wedge offerings


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest News

McDowell trades Caribbean sauna for Scottish shivers

It’s been a rude shock weather-wise for former event champion Graeme McDowell heading into this week’s Scottish Open, but he's ready for the challenge

Silence will be deafening at Saudi Ladies International

'If you’re a human – never mind a golfer – you’d want to check the batteries in your moral compass if a trip to Saudi is on your radar in the coming weeks and months'

David Kearney announces end to long-time role with ILGU

After a near twenty year term with the ILGU, David Kearney will hand over the High Performance programme at the end of this year after a long sustained period of success

Harrington & GMac join strong field for Scottish Open

Padraig Harrington remains in the Tour’s bubble after making a u-turn on previous remarks that suggested any action after last week’s Irish Open would be a burden too far for the Dubliner

Bermuda Championship set to give green light to spectators

It would be a stretch to say we’re missing outbursts of ‘MASHED POTATOES’ with our golf coverage since the restart but the eventual return of fans will be otherwise most-welcomed