Defending champion Jonathan Yates produced the low round of the day but it was not enough to deny Naas club mate Conor O’Rourke in the race for the silver medal at the West of Ireland in Co Sligo today.
Yates carded a three under 68 while O’Rourke added a 74 to his opening 66. At the end of day two, O’Rourke was one shot clear of the field, winning the silver medal as leading qualifier.
“I’m pleased with my finish,” said O’Rourke, who now faces 2015 runner-up Eanna Griffin in the first round of the matchplay stages.
“The objective was to qualify but now I’d like to have a run because the best I’ve done here so far is the last 16 in 2014 when Joe Lyons beat me.” Added O’Rourke.
Yates began the defence of his West of Ireland title with a 73 but produced five birdies in a second round 68 that catapulted him into second place.
At the other end of the leaderboard, Waterford’s Eanna Griffin claimed the last place in the match play draw as the cut fell at 151 (+9). With a second round 76, Griffin edged out Ashbourne’s Marc McCormack.
David Brady is the leading hope for the home club after qualifying in sixth place with back to back rounds of 72. Brady was one of three Co Sligo players to make it through — TJ Ford posted 74 to finish on plus five while Mark Morrissey parred the last for a 75 to make the cut with one shot to spare. Sligo native Gary McDermott, now playing out of Carton House, is also through to the knockout stages although reigning North of Ireland champion Sean Flanagan failed to progress.
There was disappointment also for Flogas Irish Amateur Champion Colm Campbell, who finished one shot outside the cut. Castle’s Alex Gleeson recovered from an opening 79, carding a level par round of 71 to book his place in the match play draw.
Round 1 Draw
07:00 Conor O’Rourke (Naas) v Eanna Griffin (Waterford)
07:09 Thomas Neenan (Lahinch) v Robert Abernethy (Dun Laoghaire)
07:18 Stephen Barker (Mourne) v Ben Best (Rathmore)
07:27 Sean Desmond (Monkstown) v Robert Brazill (Naas)
07:36 Evan Farrell (Ardee) v Noel Crawford (Mourne)
07:45 T J Ford (Co. Sligo) v David Reddan Jnr (Nenagh)
07:54 Robert Moran (Castle) v Stephen Brady (Galway)
08:03 Allan Hill (Athenry) v William Small (Tandragee)
08:12 Andrew Hickey (Ballyhaunis) v Jordan Logue (Hilton Templepatrick)
08:21 Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk) v Ross Dutton (Tandragee)
08:30 Colin Woodroofe (Dun Laoghaire) v Mark Morrissey (Co. Sligo)
08:39 Alan Fahy (Dun Laoghaire) v Paul Coughlan (Moate)
08:48 John-Ross Galbraith (Whitehead) v Michael Ryan Jnr (New Ross)
08:57 Jack Walsh (Castle) v Stephen Healy (The Royal Dublin)
09:06 Michael Reid (Galgorm Castle) v Jamie Fletcher (Warrenpoint)
09:15 Jack Pierse (Portmarnock) v Geoffrey Lenehan (Portmarnock)
09:24 Jonathan Yates (Naas) v Hugh Foley (The Royal Dublin)
09:33 Ted Collins (Dun Laoghaire) v Stuart Bleakley (Shandon Park)
09:42 Andrew Morris (Belvoir Park) v Bryan Martin (Killymoon)
09:51 Peter Cummins (Lurgan) v Jake Whelan (Newlands)
10:00 John Greene (Portmarnock) v Colin Fairweather (Knock)
10:09 Gary McDermott (Carton House) v Gavin Fitzmaurice (Balcarrick)
10:18 Ronan Mullarney (Galway) v Bob Loftus (Lahinch)
10:27 Robert Cannon (Balbriggan) v David Foy (Laytown & Bettystown)
10:36 William Russell (Clandeboye) v Shane Hogan (Nenagh)
10:45 Jordan Hood (Galgorm Castle) v Paul Flynn (Tramore)
10:54 Luke Donnelly (Kilkenny) v Conor Ryan (Dun Laoghaire)
11:03 Barry Anderson (The Royal Dublin) v Alex Gleeson (Castle)
11:12 David Brady (Co. Sligo) v Paul Carey (Nenagh)
11:21 Alan Lowry (Esker Hills) v Anthony McDaid (Palmerstown Stud)
11:30 Richard Knightly (The Royal Dublin) v Marc Nolan (Delgany)
11:39 Eoin Murphy (Dundalk) v Tiarnan McLarnon (Massereene)