Peter O’Keeffe, Alex Maguire, Michael Reid and Max Kennedy will contest the Semi-Finals of the North of Ireland Amateur Open after coming through another two rounds on a splendid day at Royal Portrush.
Laytown and Bettystown’s Maguire was the first man to book his spot in the final four after a 7&6 win over Mullingar’s Adam Smith. A birdie on the first saw Maguire take the lead, and he would never surrender it, winning on the 12th, without losing a hole.
“I love this course, and I feel like I play well every time I come here. I haven’t made many bogeys this week in the Matchplay, and it helps not giving away holes,” he said.
2019 runner-up O’Keeffe defeated Athenry’s David Kitt 3&2 to advance to meet Maguire on Friday morning. The Douglas golfer revealed he was very close to not travelling to Portrush for the competition:
“I wasn’t playing well, and was going to give the North a miss. I decided to come up, and my golf has gotten better the more I’ve played. I’m drained after two days of Matchplay. It’s a battle of wits, and mentally demanding.”
Galgorm Castle’s Michael Reid is the only Ulsterman in the last four. After winning his Round 3 tie on the 21st hole, he defeated Elm Park’s Robert Galligan on the 18th to book his place in the Semi-Finals.
“It was a tough game that required a lot of good golf from the two of us. I’d like to be winning matches a little earlier, but I’m happy to be through to tomorrow.”
Royal Dublin’s Max Kennedy was the last man to book his ticket to the final day, after a 4&3 win over Lisburn’s Joshua Robinson. After beating a local favourite in Robinson, Kennedy knows there will be plenty of interest in his match with Reid.
“The more support, the better. Everyone will be there to see good golf. It’d be pretty special to win on a course like this,” she said.
North of Ireland Amateur Open Semi-Finals
8.00am: Peter O’Keeffe v Alex Maguire
8.15am: Michael Reid v Max Kennedy