Michael McGinley claimed the first big scalp of the 109th South of Ireland Amateur Open Championship when he ousted three-time Irish Youths champion Seamus Power of West Waterford in the second round at Lahinch.
The 35-year old Dubliner, a younger brother of the 1991 ‘South’ champion and Ryder Cup vice-captain Paul, could not claim that he came to the magnificent Co Clare links with high hopes of adding to his victory in the North of Ireland championship at Royal Portrush 14 year ago.
But the scratch man from Grange produced the golf when it matter against Power, levelling the match with 25-foot birdie putt at the 15th before seizing the initiative with a two at the 16th, where he rifled a seven-iron to eight feet.
Power, who plans to turn professional in September, then handed McGinley a 2 and 1 victory by three-putting the 17th for a bogey five having done the difficult bit by finding the green from the rough.
“There was some good golf played,” Power said. “I think I was level par for the holes played but he holed that big putt on 15 and birdied the 16th as well to go one up.
“It’s disappointing but there is a lot of golf still to be played. I am turning professional after the Munster Senior Cup finals in a couple of weeks. I’ll play on the E-Golf Professional Tour, a mini tour based in North Carolina, and then I’ll enter the PGA Tour Q-School.
“If that doesn’t work out I’ll continue to play on the E-Golf Tour and take it from there. We shall see. I received my graduation papers from East Tennessee State University last week so that was great and I’m looking forward now to getting going in the professional game in September.”
He wasn’t the only Power to walk away disappointed as multiple championship winner Eddie Power carded a clumsy six at the last, overhitting his pitch and then three-putting to lose by one hole to Cahir Park’s Emmet Leahy.
But six-time semi-finalist Pat Murray of Limerick got his title bid off to a stress-free start when he carded an eagle and three birdies in a 5 and 4 win over Tuam’s Damien Coyne in the last match of a day.
It was a similar story for last year’s beaten finalist, Gary O’Flaherty, as the Cork player crushed Ballybunion’s Eoin O’Connor 5 and 4 to set up a third round clash with Royal Dublin’s Gary McGrane today.
Defending champion Robbie Cannon survived a scare when he beat Shane Hogan by one hole, but he’s hoping it’s a good omen after sending the Nenagh man home at the same stage for the second year in a row.
Most of the seeded players made it through but it was a day to forget for former West of Ireland champion Joe Lyons, the 2007 runner up, as he was crushed 7 and 6 by former international Niall Goulding of Portmarnock.
Irish Close champion Dara Lernihan shrugged off a shoulder injury to rack up an impressive 4 and 3 victory over his Castle club mate Ronan Burke.
Bidding to become the first man to complete the Close-South double since US Open champion Graeme McDowell a decade ago, the 23-year old Dubliner doesn’t plan to take any prisoners.
“Hopefully the shoulder holds up for the week because I only came to win,” explained Lernihan, who plans to try for his European Tour card at the Qualifying School later this year. “But I had a scan done and I was told that it wouldn’t get any worse. If I didn’t think I was going to win, I wouldn’t have come.”
South of Ireland Amateur Open Championship, Lahinch
(First Quarter) J Waldron (Muskerry) bt P Bulfin (Carlow) 6/5; J Tobin (Carrick-On-Suir) bt R Purcell (Abbeyleix) 2/1; D O’Donovan (Muskerry) bt B Kennedy (South County) 2/1; N Goulding (Portmarnock) bt B Daly (Edmondstown) 1 hole; M Sheridan (Old Conna) bt D Hallissey (Muskerry) 3/2; D McInerney (Lahinch) bt C Kenny (UCD/Curragh) 1 hole; T Morris (The Farms GC USA) bt R Loftus (Ennis) 3/1; D Kovari (Old Lake Hungary) bt M Brett (Portmarnock) 3/2; G Lenehan (Portmarnock) bt D King (Tramore) 1 hole; E Murphy (Cork) bt P Collier (Lahinch) 4/3; K Canty (Douglas bt D Reilly (Westmanstown) 3/2; T O’Rourke (Nenagh) bt J Kavanagh (Castletroy) 3/2; I O’Rourke (Cork) bt H Boch (Ballybunion) 4/3; G Nugent (Kilkenny) bt D Coughlan (Douglas) 4/3; I Genockey (The Island) bt B Fennelly (Royal Dublin) 1 hole; R Burke (Castle) bt A Meskell (Tipperary) 1 hole
B Campbell (Malone) bt E Stack(Ballybunion) 2/1; M Morrissey (Mt Wolseley) bt D Holland (Castle) 5/4; P Ryan (Tuam) bt K Nolan (Dun Laoghaire) 6/5; G Carew (Edenderry) bt K Murray (Charlesland) 20th; C Geraghty (Carton House) bt S Smyth (Co Louth) 20th; C McGrogan (Newbridge) bt G Collins (Rosslare) 1 hole; B Casey (Headfort ) bt W Jones (Youghal) 6/5; G Dillon (The Heath) w/o T Flanagan (New Forest); S Gonzales (Sun Valley GC USA) bt MP O’Brien (Charlesland) 1 hole; D Glynn (Galway) bt T Cleary (Dromoland) 3/2; P O’Hara (Kilkenny) bt C O’Rourke (Naas) 4/3; C Abernethy (Dun Laoghaire) bt M Feane (Lahinch) 2/1; B Ronan (Co Louth) bt R Bridges (Stackstown) 2/1; W Kelly (Killeen) bt D Hunt (Nenagh) 19th; M Gibson (Terrey Hills G&GC Sydney) bt S Walsh (Killeen) 2/1; C O’Sullivan (Fota Island) bt S Bryan (Delgany) 3/2
S Hogan (Nenagh) bt S Cannon (Athenry) 1 hole; D Murray (Skerries) bt F O’Sullivan (Tralee) 5/4; S McGlynn (South County) bt G Harden (Onondaga G&CC USA) 4/3; M Timmins (Mt Wolseley) bt R Walsh (Kilkenny) 5/4; S Devey (Skerries) bt N Pyne (Ennis) 3/2; M O’Toole (Lucan) bt P Sheehy (Newcastle West) 19th; D Downie (Sutton) bt R Cummins (Limerick) 1 hole; G Hurley (West Waterford) bt J Ward (Westmanstown) 4/3; D Hogan (Killeen) bt L Doran (Ardee) 4/3; A Kiernan (Forrest Little) bt P O’Leary (Lucan) 2 holes; D Keating (Fota Island) bt E Long (Thurles) 2/1; M McGinley (Grange) bt P O’Neill (Shannon) 2/1; R McCormack (Naas) bt Q Carew (Edenderry) 1 hole; K Dunne (New Ross) bt K Irwin (Castlebar) 2 holes; E Leahy (Cahir Park) bt K Maher (Limerick) 4/3; L Harnett (Milltown) bt D O’Driscoll (Ballybunion) 4/3
T Neenan (Lahinch) bt J McCarthy (Forrest Little) 1 hole; M Buggy (Castlecomer) bt E Smith (Ardee) 4/3; J Dillon (Headfort) bt D Daly (Muskerry) 3/2; R Knightly (Royal Dublin) bt D Fitzgerald (Dromoland) 5/3; JP Hughes (Douglas) bt R O’Sullivan (Fota Island) 2/1; C Martin (Kilkenny) bt P King (Lee Valley) 23rd; M Kingston (Bantry Bay) bt M Horan (Birr) 2/1; P Sheehan (Ballybunion) bt D Kelleher (Portmarnock) 3/2; E O’Connor (Ballybunion) bt S Keelan (Douglas) 5/3; G McGrane (Royal Dublin) bt D Conway (Portmarnock) 1 hole; J Reynolds (Dungarvan) bt A Pierse Jnr (Tipperary) 5/3; R Symington (Lisburn) bt E O’Brien (Dun Laoghaire) 2/1; M Ryan (Grange) bt D Barry (Mahon) 4/3; J Hanby (Castle) bt J Counihan (Dun Laoghaire) 1 hole; B Reddan (Co Louth) bt D Byrne (Douglas) 19th; D Coyne (Tuam) bt R Grehan (Curragh) 4/3.
(First quarter) J Waldron (Muskerry) bt M Durcan (Co Sligo) 19th; S Loftus (Lahinch) bt J Tobin (Carrick-On-Suir) 1 hole; K McDonagh (Athlone/NUIM) bt D O’Donovan (Muskerry) 3/2; N Goulding (Portmarnock) bt J Lyons (Galway) 7/6; M Sheridan (Old Conna) bt S Healy (Claremorris) 4/2; D McInerney (Lahinch) bt B Walton (the Island) 2/1; R Kenny (Hermitage) bt T Morris (The Farms USA) 3/2; D Kovari (Old Lake Hungary) w/o Rory McNamara (Headfort); T O Flynn (Fota Island) bt G Lenehan (Portmarnock) 19th; S Moloney (Castletroy) bt E Murphy (Cork) 1 hole; G Dunne (Seapoint) bt K Canty (Douglas) 3/2; R Whitson (Mourne) bt T O’Rourke (Nenagh) 5/4; I O’Rourke (Cork) bt S Barry (Lee Valley) 5/3; G Nugent (Kilkenny) bt C Carvill (Belvoir Park) 2/1; I Genockey (The Island) bt M O’Kelly (Limerick) 4/2; D Lernihan (Castle) bt R Burke (Castle) 4/3.
(Second quarter) S Ward (Co Louth) bt B Campbell (Malone) 7/5; M Morrissey (Mt Wolseley) bt A Ruia (Dunham Forrest G&CC UK) 7/6; J Foran (Thurles) bt P Ryan (Tuam) 5/4; J Monaghan (The Island) bt G Carew (Edenderry) 7/6; K Kennedy (Thurles) bt C Geraghty (Carton House) 5/4; C McGrogan (Newbridge) bt A Harrington (Cork) 2/1; B Casey (Headfort) bt A Kelly (Charleville) 1 hole, G Dillon (The Heath) bt E Arthurs (Forrest Little) 2 holes; D Crowe (Dunmurry) bt S Gonzales (Sun Valley USA) 3/2; K Stack (Dungarvan) bt D Glynn (Galway) 3/2; P O’Hara (Kilkenny) bt G Kelly (UCD/Co Louth) 1 hole; D Morgan (Mullingar) bt C Abernethy (Dun Laoghaire) 8/7; J Hopkins (Skerries) bt B Ronan (Co Louth) 5/3; C Daly (Castletroy) bt W Kelly (Killeen) 5/3, G Smyth (Clonmel) bt M Gibson (Terrey Hills Sydney) 6/5; S Ryan (Royal Dublin) bt C O’Sullivan (Fota Island) 2/1.
(Third quarter) R Cannon (Laytown & Bettystown) bt S Hogan (Nenagh) 1 hole; D Finn (Mallow) bt D Murray (Skerries) 1 hole; S McGlynn (South County) bt K Cunnane (Woodstock) 6/5; G Bohill (Co Louth) bt M Timmins (Mt Wolseley) 20th; S Devey (Skerries) bt C Boggan (Co Meath) 4/3; G McGee (Malone) bt M O’Toole (Lucan) 3/1; D Downie (Sutton) bt S O’Connor (Skerries) 20th; G Hurley (West Waterford) bt N Gorey (Lee Valley) 2/1; G McDermott (Co Sligo) bt S Hogan (Killeen) 3/2; I Brennan (Greenore) bt A Kiernan (Forrest Little) 7/5; J Greene (Carlow) bt D Keating (Fota Island) 1 hole; M McGinley (Grange) bt S Power (West Waterford) 2/1; R McCormack (Naas) bt A Glynn (Porters Park UK); K Dunne (New Ross) bt A Kearney (Castlerock) 21st; E Leahy (Cahir Park) bt E Power (Kilkenny) 1 hole; L Harnett (Milltown) bt J Fox (Portmarnock) 1 hole.
T Neenan (Lahinch) bt D Kernohan (Galgorm Castle) 1 hole; M Buggy (Castlecomer) bt M Poucher (Limerick) 20th; J Dillon (Headfort) bt E Maguire (Seapoint) 2/1; T O’Mahony (Mallow) bt R Knightly (Royal Dublin) 1 up; R McCarthy (The Island) bt JP Hughes (Douglas) 4/3; C Martin (Kilkenny) bt C Fairweather (Knock) 1 hole; E Haugh (Castletroy) bt M Kingston (Bantry Bay) 5/4; R O’Donovan (Lucan) bt P Sheehan (Ballybunion) 2/1; G O’Flaherty (Cork) bt E O’Connor (Ballybunion) 5/4; G McGrane (Royal Dublin) bt K McGarry (Bandon) 7/5; M Shanahan (West Waterford) bt J Reynolds (Dungarvan) 2/1; D Ruddy (Thurles) bt R Symington (Lisburn) 3/2; B Keenan (The Heath) bt M Ryan (Grange) 1 hole; J Hanby (Castle) bt D Coghlan (Royal Dublin) 1 hole; C Glynn (Carton House) bt B Reddan (Co Louth) 4/3; P Murray (Limerick) bt D Coyne (Tuam) 5/4.
(7:00) Waldron v Loftus; (7:09) McDonagh v Goulding; (7:18) Sheridan v McInerney; (7.27) Kenny v Kovari; (7:36) O’Flynn v Moloney; (7:45) Dunne v Whitson; (7:54) O’Rourke v Nugent; (8:03) Genockey v Lernihan; (8:12) Ward v Morrissey; (8:21) Foran v Monaghan; (8:30) Kennedy v McGrogan; (8:39) Casey v Dillon; (8:48) Crowe v Stack; (8:57) O’Hara v Morgan; (9:06) Hopkins v Daly; (9:15) Smyth v Ryan; (9:24) Cannon v Finn; (9:33) McGlynn v Bohill; (9:42) Devey v McGee; (9:51) Downie v Hurley; (10:00) McDermot v Brennan; (10:09) Greene v McGinley; (10:18) McCormack v Dunne; (10:27) Leahy v Harnett; (10:36) Neenan v Buggy; (10:45) Dillon v O’Mahony; (10: 54) McCarthy v Martin; (11:03) Haugh v O’Donovan; (11:12) O’Flaherty v McGrane; (11:21) Shanahan v Ruddy; (11:30) Keenan v Hanby; (11:39) Glynn v Murray.