Carew takes down Edwards-Hill as we’re down to eight at Rosses Point

Mark McGowan

The West of Ireland Trophy - Image by

Reigning Irish Amateur and Irish Close champion Quentin Carew took down pre-tournament favourite Arron Edwards-Hill in arguably the tie of the round as the match play section of the Connolly’s Audi West of Ireland Championship got underway at County Sligo Golf Club.

In a match that swung both ways, Carew overcame a two-hole deficit through seven to reel Edwards-Hill back in, hitting the front with a birdie on the 12th, and further birdies on 13 and 15 saw him open a 3-up lead with three to play.

Gutsy par saves on 16 and 17 saw Edwards-Hill claw two back, but a solid par at the last saw the garda advance where he’ll now play Marc Boucher in the quarter-finals.


“I’m over the moon,” a beaming Carew declared afterwards, “Arron is going to be a Walker Cup player so I was just thinking I’d give it a lash and see how it goes so I’m delighted to get it over the line.

“I would’ve liked to have closed it a little earlier but I got a tough break on 17. I hit a pretty good drive and I couldn’t believe when I got down there that it had made it into the gully and from an awful lie I had no shot really, but those are the breaks and I’m through in the end.”

Boucher’s battle with Jordan Hood also made it to the 18th, with the Carton House man holing a vital par putt on 17 to take the lead for the first time in the match having trailed by three after seven.

“I knew coming down the stretch here that par is a good score,” Boucher said, “and that was a huge 13-footer to hole on 17 so I’m delighted to get the win.

“I felt like I was playing nicely over the first three days, but those were brutal conditions and you’re just trying to keep the ball down. I dried all my gear last night and I was expecting more of the same today but I was delighted to come out and see clear blue skies.”

Individual strokeplay winner James Claridge’s fine form continued as he dispatched 2007 West of Ireland champion Joe Lyons 5 & 4 in the opening match, and this sets up a mouth-watering quarter-final with Roganstown teenager Patrick Keeling who took a one-up lead after the first and would never relinquish it.

Highly-fancied coming into the week, Foley didn’t have his best in the opening rounds, but shot his best round of the week in the toughest of weather conditions to break into the top 16 on Sunday, but had no answer for Keeling who only bogeyed one of the 15 holes they’d complete on his way to a 4 & 3 win.

On the other side of the draw, Letterkenny’s Cian Harkin’s impressive showing continued as he took down Jack McDonnell 2 & 1.

“Jack’s a damn good player,” Harkin said as he walked up 18, “I knew that going out but I always seem to play well in the morning. My mum reckons it’s psychological, but I got one up early and it was nip and tuck all the way. I got a really good up-and-down on 12 from the dead zone really, and the five-footers today were going in.

“There’s still a little breeze there, nothing like the first three days yet, but as long as there’s something there it really focuses my mind and I’m not a big fan of trying to hit dead straight shots.”

He’ll face Slieve Russell’s Shane McDermott in the quarters. The last man to secure his top-16 berth in yesterday’s four-for-two playoff, McDermott took out number-two qualifier Jake Whelan 3 & 2 today having taken early control and reeling off par after par as Whelan’s fortunes ran out.

2017 West of Ireland winner Barry Anderson remains on course for the second title having overcome fellow Sligo man David Shiel. Anderson took control around the turn winning four on the spin from eight through 11 to ultimately secure a 4 & 3 win and he’ll square off with Tandragee’s James Hewitt in the last eight.

Hewitt ended the dreams of another home favourite as he took down Ruairi O’Connor on the 18th. O’Connor raced out to an early three-up lead, but Hewitt slowly drew him back in, tying the match up on the 12th, and taking the lead on 17 courtesy of a delicious pitch from well below the green that finished inches from the hole. A two-putt par on 18 saw him safely through as the early calm and sunny weather gave way to heavy rain with the wind whipping up.

Rough conditions are expected in the afternoon as the quarter-finals got underway at 12.30.


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