Friday 25 May 2018

Grehan runaway leader in Mullingar

As the rain cleared up in the afternoon, Grehan remained equally impressive. Picture: Golffile | Fran Caffrey
As the rain cleared up in the afternoon, Grehan remained equally impressive. Picture: Golffile | Fran Caffrey

David Branigan

Walker Cup hopeful Stuart Grehan bounced back from his South of Ireland disappointment to storm into an impressive seven-stroke halfway lead in the Sherry Fitzgerald Davitt & Davitt-sponsored Mullingar Scratch Trophy.

Beaten in the second round at Lahinch, the Tullamore man carded 15 birdies as he posted a brace of five-under-par 67s around the classic James Braid course.

As a result, he's got a massive seven-stroke lead on 10-under-par 134 over fellow Walker Cup panelist Robin Dawson from Tramore and Portmarnock's Geoff Lenehan, a former winner of the title.

Rain marred the morning for the 90-strong field but it didn't seem to bother Grehan, who birdied the fourth and ninth to go out in 33 and then followed back-to-back bogeys at the 10th and 11th by finishing with five successive birdies from the 14th.

His 67 gave him a one-stroke lead over former Irish Close champion McLarnon and a two shot lead over Dawson with Corrstown's Dave Lowry (70) and Lenehan (71) the only other players to break par.

As the rain cleared up in the afternoon, Grehan remained equally impressive and, while he mixed three birdies with three bogeys in a level-par outward nine, he again came home in five-under 32 thanks to birdies at the 10th, 14th, 15th, 16th and 18th.

Lenehan added a 71 and Dawson a 72 to leave them tied for second on three under par with Lowry two shots further back after a 73.

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