Whelan primed for Mullingar defence this weekend

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Jake Whelan (Grange Golf Club) winner of the Mullingar Scratch Cup, in Mullingar Golf Club, Mullingar, West Meath, Ireland. 02/08/2021. Picture Fran Caffrey / Golffile.ie

The 60th Mullingar Scratch Cup gets underway this weekend, with 90 players set to compete over two days looking to win the historic trophy.

Grange’s Jake Whelan is looking to become only the second man to successfully defend the title after Peter Townsend was victorious in 1965 and 1966.

Whelan finished last year with two birdies in his final two holes to defeat Co. Sligo’s TJ Ford by a shot.

“It was a manic way to win, especially with TJ birdieing the final hole too, but I was delighted to win.”

The Grange golfer added the Munster Men’s Stroke Play earlier this year to the Mullingar Scratch Cup. Both events see 72 holes played over two days, and despite the testing nature of both events, Whelan thinks they play to his strengths.

“It’s all about focusing on the next shot. It’s a cliche, but it’s all you can do. They’re long days, so you can’t be looking too far ahead.

After strong performances in the North of Ireland and South of Ireland Championships in recents week, the Dubliner feels his game is in a good place.

“It’s trending in a decent way. I was sick before the North so missed a week or so on the course. I feel like the game is back to where it should be. It’s all about getting momentum and hopefully I’ll be able to play well in Mullingar and at the Close in a few weeks.

Currently seventh on the Men’s Bridgestone Tour, Whelan hopes he can move up the rankings before the season ends.

“You want to finish as high as you can in these events. Hopefully I can improve my position, and it’ll be a good year.

90 players will compete in the Mullingar Scratch Cup, with the top-51 and ties competing in the final two rounds on Monday.

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