The cream continued to rise to the top on day two as the West of Ireland Amateur Championship at Rosses Point reached its halfway mark.
Royal Dublin’s Max Kennedy found himself joined by Dundalk’s Caolan Rafferty atop the board at five-under par as the pair enjoyed the best of it in Sligo.
Rafferty proved most impressive; his five-under par round of 66 unsurprising given his form so far this term. The Maynooth student shot six birdies and he’ll be looking for a strong weekend showing to ensure he goes a place better than his tied second finish on Tuesday at the R&A Scholars.
17-year old Kennedy, a plus-three handicapper, showed composure beyond his years in a steady one-under par 70 that included two birdies and just the one dropped shot as he held the early lead on Friday.
Defending Champion, Robert Brazill, revisiting the site of his greatest triumph in golf to date, was similarly steady as he continues to look right at home on a track that changed the course of his amateur career last season.
The big-hitting Naas 22-year old has taken closer order after two birdies of his own in a one-under par 70 and finds himself in outright third and just a shot back on four-under heading into the weekend.
Three shots further afield you’ll find a chasing pack full of talent with six players tied for fourth at one-under par. Waterford’s Eanna Griffin, Baltinglass’ Joseph Byrne, Mallow’s James Sugrue, Forrest Little’s Jack McDonnell, Chelmsford’s Arron Edwards-Hill and Portmarnock’s Australian Amateur Champion, Conor Purcell, will all be looking to close the gap on moving day.
With the handicap cut off for the event this year set at plus 0.3, it’s no surprise that our leading amateurs are thriving at the Radisson Blu sponsored championship. 132 players will contest one more round before a cut to the top-50 and ties ahead of Sunday’s decider.