Thursday 13 December 2018

Evergreen McGrane joined by son in 'West' field

Shane Lowry. Photo: Getty Images
Shane Lowry. Photo: Getty Images

Royal Dublin's Noel McGrane rolled back the years to qualify for the Radisson Blu-sponsored West of Ireland Championship as his son Gary came through an eight-man play-off to join him.

Winner of the title in 1987, Noel (55) shot a one-over 72 in yesterday's 18-hole qualifier at County Sligo to share top spot with The Island's Jonathan Quinn, Greenore's Jason Murphy and Stackstown's John McCarthy.

A field of 90 battled for just 12 places in the championship proper, which begins tomorrow with the first of two stokeplay qualifying rounds.

Karl McCormack, Shane O'Connor and Stuart Carter shot 73s to earn their spots but eight players who shot 74 had to play off for five places. Tramore's Charlie Dawson came through to join his brother Robin in the championship, along with Gary McGrane, Cian Daly, Ryan McNelis and Ryan O'Doherty the others to progress as Jonathan Hayden, Bob Loftus and Dominic Pollock missed out.

Elsewhere, Ian Poulter, Brandt Snedeker, Shane Lowry, Ernie Els and Lee Westwood are among several top names competing in the Houston Open hoping to earn the last place in the Masters.

Westwood has not missed the Masters since 2004 and was second to Danny Willett in 2016, but has slipped to 90th in the world and shot 78 in his last competitive round in the World Super 6 in February.

Irish quartet Padraig Harrington, Shane Lowry, Paul Dunne and Seamus Power are also in action in Texas.

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