Thursday 8 December 2016

Mulligan takes route 69 to defy 'Close' winds

Brian Keogh

Published 17/08/2016 | 02:30

After losing 9&7 to Robbie Pierse in the last 16 in Tramore 12 months ago, the promising Mornington player knows anything can happen in matchplay.
After losing 9&7 to Robbie Pierse in the last 16 in Tramore 12 months ago, the promising Mornington player knows anything can happen in matchplay.

County Louth's Thomas Mulligan defied winds gusting up to 25mph to set the pace with a superb 69 in the first qualifying round of the AIG Irish Amateur Close at Ballyliffin.

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But while the 17-year-old Boys international was thrilled with his three-under-par effort, he's not getting ahead of himself and thinking of a maiden championship victory.

"I thought a score around 75 would be good today because it's quite windy," said Mulligan, whose ambition is simply to make the leading 64 today and qualify for the matchplay stages. "But I played quite well."

After losing 9&7 to Robbie Pierse in the last 16 in Tramore 12 months ago, the promising Mornington player knows anything can happen in matchplay.

"It would be unbelievable but there's a hell of a long way to go," Mulligan said.

"Last year I came second in qualifying and then I was walloped in the last 16, so I'll just take it round by round."

Just four players broke par on the testing Glashedy Links with 20-year old Tramore international Robin Dawson just a shot behind Mulligan after a 70.

"Very pleased in those conditions," said Dawson. "It was really stress-free golf."

Irish Amateur Open champion Colm Campbell from Warrenpoint also showed his resilience, dropping his only shot of the day at his final hole for a one-under 71 and a share of third with Irish team-mate and 2014 'Close' champion John Ross Galbraith from Whitehead.

Irish Independent

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