Laytown and Bettystown’s Alex Maguire is the leading qualifier for the 2022 AIG Irish Men’s Amateur Close.
The 2022 East of Ireland Champion shot a terrific 65 in Headfort which included eight birdies and a solitary bogey in his impressive round.
“I hit my irons very well which is key out here because as soon as you start to miss some greens you can get into trouble”, Maguire said after his round. “I rolled in a few 15 footers and played the par fives quite well.”
For most of the day it looked like Malone’s Matt McClean was leading on -4, in the final Men’s Bridgestone Tour event of the year.
McClean has had unusual preparations for the event, and was only able to travel to the Meath venue on Saturday morning without a practice round the day before. Despite that, two rounds on 70 saw the Belfast golfer take the second seed for the Match Play.
“Despite a cold putter, I’ve only missed three or four greens over the two rounds so I played lots of the best golf that I have played all year”, McClean said after his round.
Royal Dublin’s Max Kennedy also finished on -4. The University of Louisville student shot a level par 72 to be in a strong position going into Monday’s Round 1.
Paul Conroy (Enniscorthy) shot an impressive 66 to jump up the leaderboard after an opening 75. He finished on -3, alongside Clandeboye’s Ross Latimer and overnight leader Keith Egan (Carton House).
2021 champion Peter O’Keeffe also shot a 66 to jump up to -2, alongside Galgorm Castle’s Jordan Hood.
12 players finished under par for the 36 holes, with the cut line falling at +7.
32 matches will take place tomorrow morning in Round 1, with the pick of the matches seeing Hugh Foley face former Ireland international Sean Flanagan.
The winners of those 32 matches will advance to Round 2 in the afternoon.