Friday 24 November 2017

Sharvin aims to repeat Close heroics

Cormac Sharvin will be attempting to stay in dreamland when he tees up in the Amateur Championship this morning.

Just five days after becoming the shock winner of the Irish Close Championship only five years after taking up the game, the Ardglass star will be determined to show that his success at Connemara was no flash in the plan over the Princes and Royal Cinque Ports links courses.

The 20-year-old is one of the early starters this morning at Princes in the first of two qualifying rounds playing alongside Spaniard Mario Galiano and Scotsman Anthony Blaney.

The Down man will hope to follow in the successful footsteps of another Northern Irishman, Alan Dunbar from Rathmore, who won this title at Troon a year ago.

He will conclude the qualifying phase at Royal Cinque Ports, Deal, tomorrow.

Sharvin, who has become a different player since taking up a scholarship last year at Stirling University, where he is coached by Dean Robertson, should not be fazed by the stroke-play ordeal as he led the qualifiers in the Irish championship and became only the third player after Garth McGimpsey and Padraig Harrington to win the title after capturing the Silver Medal.

Paul Dunne from Greystones has also shown good form, winning the East of Ireland crown and being narrowly beaten by Sharvin in the Irish final. He plays today at Deal with Workington's Sebastian Crookall-Nixon and Scotland's James Ross. One man who had entered but will not be in Kent is Waterford Castle's Kevin Phelan. He qualified for the US Open for the second time in four years and made the halfway cut – an incredible achievement for an amateur.

Dermot McElroy, Reeve Whitson and Richard O'Donovan will all be hoping to make an impact over the next week.

Rory McNamara has suffered from a stomach bug in recent weeks which forced him out of the Scottish Open stroke-play championship.

Among others in the strong Irish contingent in the field of 288 are Harry Diamond, Jack Hume, Nicholas Grant, Geoff Lenehan, Aaron Kearney, Brian Casey, James Fox, Chris Selfridge, Gary Hurley, Andrew Hogan and Robert Cannon.

Irish Independent

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