Coughlan has that winning feeling as he takes aim in Connacht

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Paul Coughlan (Castleknock)Picture: David Lloyd | Golffile.

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Paul Coughlan has already tasted success this season with a four-shot victory in Cork at the Munster Men’s Amateur Open Championship and the Castleknock golfer has his eyes set on yet more provincial glory as he takes aim at the Connacht Men’s Amateur Stroke Play Championship in Portumna this weekend.

“Certainly, winning something after it sunk in, you’re kind of right, well I don’t want it to be one and that’s it. You kind of have to play for it now and try and get another,” said Coughlan.

“Last year I just plotted around and said right, top twenty is not the worst case. Now it’s a case of just trying to attack courses and see can you get a win.”

The Moate native was at the very top of his game when claiming the Cork Scratch Cup earlier in the season and while feeling he played poorly last time out at the East of Ireland Men’s Amateur Open Championship in Baltray, the 32-year-old feels he has the game, and armed with the aggressive playing style that served him well in the rebel county, the strategy to play his way into contention once again.

“There’s little mistakes that I’ve cut out of my game a lot more this year than years gone by. My gameplan is a bit different this year. I used to be a kind of plotting it around kind of golfer but now I try and take on the golf course for the most part,” said Coughlan.

“Definitely a few holes that I’d be playing for position on, but I think for the majority of it I’ll probably still take it on. First opportunity at driver I will take it. You know after a few holes how you’re swinging it if I’m swinging it good, I won’t think twice about it.”

David Kitt (Athenry) and Quentin Carew (Castleknock) are among the 75 golfers teeing it up in Galway and also know what it takes to perform around the parkland course, finishing second and third respectively in 2023.

With 72 holes to be played across Saturday and Sunday, the championship will be a test of both skill and endurance, a challenge Coughlan is looking forward to.

“It’s a tough format as well like 36, 36. A lot of it comes down to stamina. I kind of like the two days,” said Coughlan.

“If you are playing well that morning you are probably going to take it into that evening as well. Kind of get into a good run. It is tough on the body in fairness for those two days.”

The Connacht Men’s Amateur Stroke Play Championship gets underway at 8.00am tomorrow morning as Coughlan begins his tournament alongside Cian O’Connor (Roscommon) and fellow Castleknock golfer Mark Doogue, with the trio teeing off from the first hole, while Dean Browne (Blarney), Ian O’Connell (Castleknock) and Shane O’Neill (Malahide) will set off at the same time from the tenth.

Check out the tee times here


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