Sunday 20 May 2018

Cancer survivor Towndrow leads way

England’s Sean Towndrow:
England’s Sean Towndrow: "Golf has a different meaning now" (stock picture)

Missing a four-footer on the last didn't bother England's Sean Towndrow after he marked his return from cancer treatment by grabbing a share of the halfway lead in the Flogas Irish Amateur Open at Royal County Down.

A semi-finalist in the British Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush three years ago, Towndrow (26) added a one-under 70 to his opening 69 for a share of top spot with South Africa's Kyle McClatchie on three-under.

"Golf has a different meaning now," said the towering 26-year-old.

"I had last year off with lymphatic cancer. Hopefully, I'm all clear though I'm still having a few tests. It's about nine months since I finished treatment; I got back into golf in early February.

"I had a lot of tiredness towards the end of 2015 and then I got diagnosed in early 2016. I had a massive pain because I had a tumour in the front of my chest - I struggled to breathe and struggled to walk further than 10 yards."

The leaders are just one stroke clear of Scotland's Christopher MacLean (67), Belvoir Park's Marc Norton (68) and Douglas' Peter O'Keeffe (70).

Kinsale's John Murphy is joint sixth, having raced around for a 66 in the first group of the day before his mother drove him back to Maynooth University to sit an economics exam at 3.30.

"I requested the first tee-time; it's not ideal but some things have to be done," said the Paddy Harrington Scholarship student after making an eagle and six birdies in a lightning four-hour round.

The top 50 and ties after today's third round will make the cut.

Irish Independent

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