Sport Golf

Monday 24 September 2018

No joy for Irish bidding to make final cut for Open place

Derry’s Brendan McCarroll was the best of the Irish at Prince’s, finishing six shots behind Goosen, who took the final Open spot on one-undel. (Stock picture)
Derry’s Brendan McCarroll was the best of the Irish at Prince’s, finishing six shots behind Goosen, who took the final Open spot on one-undel. (Stock picture)

Brian Keogh

Ireland's 14-strong contingent came up empty-handed in final qualifying for The Open.

They were among the 288 hopefuls bidding for just 12 spots at four venues in England and Scotland but only The Island's Kevin Le Blanc came close.

Ashton Turner, Oliver Wilson Rhys Enoch at Notts; James Robinson, Marcus Armitage and Jack Senior at St Annes Old Links; amateur Sam Locke, Grant Forrest and Thomas Curtis at The Renaissance Club, and Tom Lewis, Icelander Haraldur Magnus and two-time US Open winner Retief Goosen at Prince's were the lucky winners of spots at Carnoustie.

LeBlanc, a former Junior Open champion, finished four shots outside the top three at The Renaissance Club on one-under par after rounds of 69 and 72.

Derry's Brendan McCarroll was the best of the Irish at Prince's, finishing six shots behind Goosen, who took the final spot on one-under.

McCarroll shot rounds of 75 and 74 to finish on five-over par with Tramore amateur Robin Dawson, who was runner-up in both the Amateur Championship and the European Amateur Championship over the past fortnight, a shot further back after a brace of 75s.

Rallied

Michael Hoey and Peter Williamson did not finish after opening with respective rounds of 74 and 75 at Notts Golf Club, while at St Annes Old Links Mallow amateur James Sugrue rallied from an opening 75 with a 67 but missed out by eight strokes.

Pádraig Harrington, Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke, Shane Lowry and Paul Dunne have already-qualified for Carnoustie but the likes of McDowell can still make it with three places still up for grabs at the Irish Open and next week's Scottish Open.

Seamus Power will have a chance to win one of four places on offer in PGA Tour's Greenbrier Classic at Old White TPC this week and one more spot up for grabs in next week's John Deere Classic.

Meanwhile, Laura Webb leads the way on two-under-par 71 heading into the second round of stroke-play qualifying at the Irish Senior Women's Close Championship after an impressive opening 18 holes at a very warm Monkstown.

Mallow's Carmel Kearney is only one stroke behind after starting and finishing her round with bogeys. Gertie McMullen (The Island), who won the title in 2015 and 2016, is a shot back.

Reigning champion Suzanne Corcoran (Portumna) slumped to a disappointing seven-over-par 80 that included two double-bogeys, four bogeys and a birdie.

Catherine Reilly (The Heath) will remember her round for a long time after she bagged a hole-in-one on the 13th on her way to a five-over 78.

Irish Independent

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