Sligo derby the highlight of semi-final draw

Derek Basquill Photo: Fran Caffrey / Golffile.

Local golfer Derek Basquill has downplayed his chances of winning the Irish Senior Men’s Amateur Close Championship, as he prepares for a Sligo derby in the semi-finals tomorrow.

The poor weather conditions halted play in Strandhill but the Men and Women were still able to complete their Last 16 and quarter-final ties.

Enniscrone’s Basquill claimed a 2&1 win against Leo Connolly (Wexford) before another narrow victory over Cathair Conneely (Oughterard) on the 19th hole of their quarter-final.


Serryth Heavey (Co Sligo) awaits in the final four. Heavey had a 1up win against Declan O’Neill (Grange) and then got the better of Corrstown’s Christopher O’Connor, 4&3.

“I wouldn’t say being local gives me an edge. I haven’t actually played here that much over the years,” said Basquill.

“I remember winning the Connacht U14 Close here back in the early 80s and I’ve played for Enniscrone against Strandhill here in the Mixed Foursomes, but wouldn’t be very familiar.”

Elsewhere, Patrick Madigan (Tramore) will clash with Joe Lyons (Galway) in the other semi-final tomorrow morning.

The Senior Women’s Amateur Close is also down to the final four with Deirdre Smith (Co Louth) set to face Laura Webb (Royal Portrush). Maria O’Reilly (Headfort) and Tracy Eakin (Dooks) will do battle as well.

Earlier, Smith beat Carol Wickham (Laytown & Bettystown), Webb got the better of Alison Taylor (Malahide), O’Reilly defeated Deirdre Walsh (Milltown) and Eakin was too good for Kate Evans (Royal Co Down).

But the battle of Basquill and Heavey could be the highlight tomorrow. The Enniscrone man, who was a former teammate of Padraig Harrington, reached the semi-final of the West of Ireland Amateur Open over 30 years ago.

“It feels very similar to the 1990 West,” said Basquill.

“I played great golf today. I was -4 after 12 this morning in very difficult conditions. Figures weren’t as good in the afternoon and I gave away a few holes but it’s great to be in the mix.”


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