Leading qualifier Jake Whelan fell to Omagh’s Jordan Hyland in a ding-dong battle in the round of 64 at the South of Ireland Championship at Lahinch.
Never trailing, Hyland took a 1UP lead four times in the match and the Grange man was able to reel him in on three occasions but when the Dave & Elkins student who’d progressed through strokeplay via countback hit the front again on the 16th, he’d hold the lead until the end and it wouldn’t be the first time that the leading qualifier exits stage left at the first matchplay round.
Hyland now plays Enniscrone’s David Shiel who was a 7&6 winner over Conal Keenan, with Douglas’ Peter O’Keefe, former West of Ireland champion Alan Fahy and Naas’ Robert Brazil among the other big names to advance.
Carton House man Marc Boucher defeated Ballinasloe’s Tom Cafferky on the 23rd hole, while Castle’s Robert Moran and Warrenpoint’s Colm Campbell may well be the tie of the round of 32, though the north-west matchup between Co. Sligo’s T.J. Ford and Ballybofey and Stranorlar’s Ryan Griffin is a mouth-watering prospect as well.
Portumna’s Sam Murphy and Joshua Hill of Galgorm Castle were among the marquee names to join Whelan on the losing end of their last 64 ties, falling to Nenagh’s David Reddan and Senan Carroll from Ballybunnion respectively.