Friday 21 October 2016

Casey stays in hunt for Q-school progress

Published 23/09/2016 | 02:30

Brian Casey produced an impressive third round
Brian Casey produced an impressive third round

Golf: Brian Casey produced an impressive third round at Collingtree Park to haul himself into contention to progress to the second stage of the European Tour Qualifying School, during an otherwise mixed round for Ireland's golfers.

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An eventful day saw Sweden's Malcolm Kokocinski surrender his lead with a third-round score of 76, which leaves him three shots off new leader Sam Griffiths, who hit 71 for an overall score of 205, one ahead of fellow Englishman Alex Belt, with Martin Woodbridge and Guy Woodman rounding off an all-English top four.

Casey is now Ireland's leading contender after replicating his second round score of 70, producing four birdies to offset bogeys at the fifth and 15th to hand him a total score of 211 (five-under).

He currently sits one shot ahead of Northern Irishman Dermot McElroy, who fired two birdies on the back nine of his solid third round of 70. Four bogeys on the back nine saw Joe Dillon slip down the standings with a third round of 73, giving him a tally of 216 to leave him on level-par.

It was a disappointing day for Colm Campbell who tumbled down the leaderboard after recording a bitterly disappointing 77 for one-over par.

Meanwhile, Ireland slipped down the leaderboard in the opening half of their second round in the World Amateur Team Championship for the Eisenhower Trophy in Mexico . They started round two in the top half dozen but with the top teams continuing their fine runs the Irish slipped to a share of 10th spot as they turned for home. Stuart Grehan from Tullamore, who had produced some splendid golf on Wednesday, was at sixes and sevens and was eight-over par after 12 holes.

For the second successive day Paul McBride, the youngest member of the side, was the best of the Irish. He was level-par after nine holes with seven pars, a birdie at 14 and bogey on the closing hole.

Walker Cup star Jack Hume was just one-over par after nine holes, his highlight being an eagle three on the 14th. Australia took a grip on proceedings and were 19-under par well into their round.

At Machynys Peninsula, near Llanelli, it was a case of champions to wooden spoonists for Ireland in the Senior Men's Home Internationals. Losses to England and Wales ended hopes of the defending champions retaining their title, with their misery compounded on the final day by an impressively efficient Scotland line-up.

Ireland began the day with plenty of promise as Michael Quirke and Maurice Kelly produced a stunning display to earn a 7&5 win over John Fraser and Ian Brotherston in the foursomes.

But that encouraging start was offset by one-hole wins for the two other Scottish pairs, leaving Ireland 2-1 down heading into the singles. Kelly continued his good form, winning the first six holes on his way to a 5&4 victory over David Gardner. John Mitchell halved his match, while Barry O'Leary also won but the Scots eased to victory. England won the title with an 8.5 to 0.5 demolition of Wales.

Irish Independent

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