Rising star Keeling seals another crown

Irish Golfer

Seán Keeling (Roganstown) winner of the Flogas Irish Boys' Amateur Open Championship, Ballybunion Golf Club, Ballybunion, Co. Kerry. Photo: Thos Caffrey / Golffile.

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Roganstown youngster, Seán Keeling, was crowned the Flogas Irish Boys’ Amateur Open champion after the tournament was cut short due to strong winds which were forecast for tomorrow (FRI).

The 17-year-old was utterly dominant again today and despite the blustery conditions he mastered the Ballybunion course, for a brilliant 69, and a -7 total at the end of 36 holes.

Robert Garry (Malahide) and Seán Cloonan (Dunmore Demense) were the only other players to have broken 70 on the day, while they finished up second and third respectively, back on Level Par.

Keeling was also the only player to shoot in the 60s on both days and his blistering round of 66 on Wednesday paved the way for a comfortable victory.

“It probably hasn’t really sunk in yet,” said Keeling.

“My course management was pretty good today, I probably just tried to keep it in the fairways. The greens are quite narrow here so I tried to hit the middle of the greens and give myself as many birdie looks as I could.

“Luckily enough my approach play was fairly solid. I was in play most of the time off the tees so I just gave myself plenty of looks and took my opportunities when I got them.”

Keeling began the day four shots clear of the chasing pack, having carded seven birdies on his way to an opening -5 round of 66 on Wednesday.

The former Junior Ryder Cup star began his second round with a bogey on the second, although he quickly steadied the ship birdying four, five and six on his way to a -1 par front nine.

He began his back nine with a bogey on ten but quickly settled into his rhythm again and slotted two more birdies on 12 and 16, finishing with a -2 round of 69.

Meanwhile, Garry produced a strong second round and signed for the best score of the day, carding a 67, which included six birdies and he tied with Cloonan.

Daniel Tolf (Sweden) finished highest of the international challengers on +2 after back-to-back rounds of 72 while Mark Gazi (Tralee) was the best of the Kerry competitors on +3.

However, it was Keeling who won the title and he hopes the Flogas’ Irish Boys’ Amateur Open Championship can help build the confidence ahead of another big season.

“I want to improve my overall game and try and get a few wins under my belt. Just to have an overall consistent year would be nice,” said Keeling.

“I’m really looking forward to that (going to Texas), getting to play against the best players in the world over there. New competitions, new courses so it will be a good experience.”


View the final scores here

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