Jack Hearn and 2021 champion Aideen Walsh lead the Ulster Men’s And Women’s Stroke Play after two rounds on the opening day at Belvoir Park in Belfast.
Hearn’s second round of 65 was unbeaten on the opening day, and the Tramore golfer leads the Men’s competition on -8 after recording 13 birdies over the two rounds. He’s one shot clear of former West of Ireland champion Robert Brazill (-7)
Brazill led after the morning’s opening round after a bogey-free 67, and his 68 in the afternoon saw him lie one behind Hearn going into tomorrow’s final round.
Andrew Hickey goes into the final day in third place on -5. The Ballyhaunis golfer’s rounds on 68 and 69 see him right in contention to win the title for the first time.
Reigning champion Rob Moran will start the final round in a tie for sixth, as the defence of his title started with rounds of 69 and 71 to leave the Castle golfer on -2.
In the Women’s competition, Lahinch’s Aideen Walsh is on course to defend the title she won in Royal County Down last year.
Despite starting her opening round with a double bogey, Walsh played the remaining holes with six birdies and no bogeys to lead after the opening round. Two birdies and a bogey in Round 2 saw her finish the day on -5.
Clandeboye’s Molly O’Hara leads the chasing pack, and is the only other player under par, on -2. A second round of 68, wasn’t beaten all day in the Women’s competition, with O’Hara looking to chase down Walsh on Tuesday.
Kate Lanigan, Olivia Costello and Jan Browne are in a tie for third on +1. Browne recorded a rare albatross in the opening round on the par-5 12th, to leave her in a strong position going into the final day.
The top-36 men and top-18 women after the first two rounds, will play in tomorrow’s final round, which is part of the Men’s and Women’s Bridgestone Tours. There is the added incentive in both competitions of a place at the ISPS Handa World Invitational for the top-two men and the Women’s champion.
An event co-sanctioned by the DP World Tour, Ladies European Tour and LPGA Tour, the three players will compete at Galgorm Castle and Massereene with the world’s elite in August.