Freshly tanned Keith Egan tops Amateur Championship qualifier

Ronan MacNamara

Keith Egan hits his tee shot on the 9th enroute to winning the 2024 West of Ireland

Ronan MacNamara

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Keith Egan topped the Amateur Championship pre-qualifier as thirteen Irish players qualified for next week’s championship taking the Irish involvement to 26 in Ballyliffin.

Egan (Carton House) closed with a birdie on the Ballyliffin Old Course to progress to Monday’s Amateur Championship field on two-under-par which was enough to win by one from Samuel Mukherjee.

“Happy enough, I played quite well so it’s just step one of the whole week. It’s nice not even to qualify but just to play well up there,” said West of Ireland amateur winner Egan who spent the last few days on a lads holiday in Croatia but a fresh tan and some relaxation served him well.

“I was on a lads trip! Probably bad timing for the year but it was good for me more than anything as I got a good break from work and golf which I never really do so it was actually lovely.”

Thirty six spots in the field were up for grabs with Roscommon’s Cian O’Connor taking up one of the final three spots in a playoff.

Carton House man Darragh Flynn and Royal Dublin’s Jack McDonnell eased through on level-par with Connacht Strokeplay winner Jake Whelan (Grange) a shot further back alongside Robbie Cannon (Balbriggan) and Dylan Keating (Seapoint).

“It was about getting through regardless where you are on the leaderboard,” said McDonnell.

“This is my third amateur, never made the cut but yeah it will be a good experience. Even for the qualifier there was a crowd already so I’d say come the championship there will be a good crowd. A few locals and tented village so it was good.”

Morgan Cain of Cork, Athenry’s David Kitt, Dundalk’s Eoin Murphy and Bangor’s Lewis Gowdy are safely through on two-over while Quentin Carew (Castleknock) birdied the last to squeeze through on three-over-par alongside Edmondstown’s Thomas Abom.

“It’s relief more than anything. I was going along nicely after twelve holes, then I made a few silly mistakes on the back nine. Going up the 18th I knew I needed a birdie, managed to hit two good shots up on the green and two putts to sneak it in!”

Scoring HERE


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