Madden best of the bunch at Open Championship Regional Qualifier

Mark McGowan

Jack Madden (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

Mark McGowan

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Royal Portrush pro Jack Madden’s six-under was the pick of the scores on a bright and breezy day at County Louth Golf Club as 125 players took to the links hoping to book their places in the next stage of Open Championship qualifying.

Six birdies – three on each nine – and staying blemish free, Madden’s tally was the best of the day by two and afforded him the luxury of relaxing in the afternoon safe in the knowledge that he’d done enough to make it through to final qualifying.

County Louth’s own Gerard Dunne recorded the second lowest score as the amateur made the most of his local knowledge to go round in four-under, one better than Liam Grehan who also avoided playoff drama with a three-under 69.

With six places available, a seven-for-three playoff would be needed at the end of the day with Jack Hume, Stuart Grehan, Jake Whelan, Brendan McCarroll, Thomas Abom, Ciaran Lavery and Niall Kearney all locked together on -2.

Former DP World Tour member Kearney and Grange amateur Whelan were the first two to lock up their Final Qualifying spots thanks to birdies on the second playoff hole while Grehan and McCarroll were eliminated, leaving Hume, Abom and Lavery battling it out for the final spot.

And it was former Walker Cup player Hume, who’s recently rediscovered his love for the game, who advanced and the six will now will head for one of four mainland UK Final Qualifying venues on Tuesday July 2.


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