Solid Smith happy with second
Rising Irish star Eugene Smith got the domestic season off to a fine start by claiming second place in the first major stroke play event of the season – the Duncan Putter tournament – at Southerndown in south Wales.
The former Munster youths champion from Ardee in County Louth, recorded a 72-hole aggregate of 285 – 13 below the competition scratch score – to finish just three strokes adrift of English star Jimmy Mullen from Royal North Devon.
Two brilliant rounds by Mullen of 67 and 69 earned him the honours. Smith was steady throughout the weekend carding rounds of 72 71 70 and 72.
The Irishman was two strokes behind Adam Chapman going into the final round, but a couple of early dropped strokes cost him dearly.
However, his overall performance and high finish were pleasing. "I hit the ball well today and if a few more putts had gone in the story may have been different, but I am delighted to be runner-up on this splendid course," said Smith.
Tullamore's Stuart Grehan finished on 288 after rounds of 71 73 69 and 75, a disappointing closing 18 holes being his downfall.
Stephen Healy of Claremorris also made the cut, but ended up well down the field on 298.