Whelan the runaway leader at Munster Strokeplay

Ronan MacNamara
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Whelan the runaway leader at Munster Strokeplay

Jake Whelan (Image: Golffile / Thos Caffrey)

Jake Whelan has opened up a five-shot lead at the halfway stage of the Munster Strokeplay Championship in Cork.

The Grange golfer is on eleven-under-par after rounds of 64 and 69 and leads from Harry Gillivan with Paul Coughlan on four-under in third place.

Whelan who is the reigning Mullingar Scratch Cup champion has carded just two bogeys thus far, on the 17th in round one and 18th in round two after the entire field played 36 holes on Saturday.

Whelan carded nine birdies and just the one dropped shot in his opening round on Saturday morning and he was equally as good in the afternoon as he pulled away from the chasing pack.

The Dubliner opened his second round with eight successive pars before three birdies in four holes around the turn saw him become the first player to reach double figures.

A birdie on the 14th extended his lead on twelve-under before he came back to the field slightly with a closing bogey.

Westport’s Gillivan recovered from a poor finish to his front nine with birdies on eleven and twelve to keep himself on the coattails of Whelan.

The Mayo man roared out of the traps in round two with birdies on the second and third before three bogeys in four holes left him on the ropes.

Gillivan finished with six successive pars to lie in second place.

Only eight players are under-par through 36 holes as Cork showed its teeth.

Tom Dowdall and Gary O’Flaherty are alongside Dean O’Riordan on two-under while Carton House man Keith Egan and James Fox are the only other players under-par in a share of 7th.

Galgorm starlet Joshua Hill, Gerard Dunne, and Aaron McNulty are on level-par.

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