O’Keeffe leads the way in Lahinch


Peter O'Keeffe (Douglas) (Image: Niall O'Shea)

Last year’s runner-up Peter O’Keeffe made the most of the more favourable early morning conditions to take the lead on Day 1 of the Pierse Motors South of Ireland Amateur Championship.

The Douglas golfer had a bogey-free round of 68 to claim top spot at -4 in qualifying, with fellow Cork native Sean Desmond (Monkstown) in second one shot further back at Lahinch.

The top four golfers all come from Munster as Darren O’Sullivan (Tralee) and David Reddan (Nenagh) also carded opening 69s.


O’Keeffe, who shot a course record on his way to the Woodbrook Scratch Cup last month, had birdies on 2, 4, 13 and 15 to get his week off to the best possible start.

“Trying to go one step further, that’s the plan,” said O’Keeffe.

“I have a new putter in the bag, so a new project I was working on. Built my own putter and it’s working. Been putting really poorly all year.

“I just controlled it really nicely in the wind. I like bad weather so just a good combo now.”

The 2021 South of Ireland champion TJ Ford (Co Sligo), who is operations manager at Lahinch, is on -1 following a 71 while Rob Moran (Castle) finished on the same score.

But Desmond is one of the golfers best placed to dislodge O’Keeffe at the top – he had four birdies and an eagle in his round but three bogeys cost him.

“Looking forward to tomorrow, trying to get into that 64 and go from there, that’s the key,” said Desmond.

“I played quite well, kept it in play, played a few nice shots and held a few nice putts. So it was nice and the weather didn’t hugely impact our round.

“It wasn’t as bad as was forecast. We got a little bit wet and obviously it was windy but it wasn’t too bad considering the forecast.”


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