Cannon trains sights on Mullingar

Brian Casey will defend the Mullingar Scratch Cup next weekend. Picture - Pat CashmanIrish Amateur Open winner Robbie Cannon has set his sights on another big strokeplay win in next month’s East of Ireland at Baltray.

But the 34-year old Balbriggan star can also match three-time major winner Pádraig Harrington if he pulls off a famous double by claiming the 50th anniversary staging of the Mullingar Scratch Cup this weekend.

The former South of Ireland winner is one of four “major” champions in the 90-strong field that will tee it up this coming Saturday and Sunday at the famed James Braid track hoping to become the 51st champion

Harrington won in Mullingar in 1994 but had to wait until it was revived in 1995 to claim the the Irish Amateur Open at Fota Island.

Robbie Cannon. Former West of Ireland winners Harry Diamond and Joe Lyons, and former South champion Simon Ward are also in the field hoping to etch their names on a trophy that has been won by all the Irish greats.

The legendary Joe Carr won the inaugural edition in 1963 and was followed by a who’s who of tour stars in Des Smyth (1972), Philip Walton (1982), Darren Clarke (1989), Paul McGinley (1991), Harrington (1994), Gary Murphy (1995), Peter Lawrie (1996), Rory McIlroy 2006 and Shane Lowry (2008).

Traditionally played on the August bank holiday weekend, the 72-hole strokeplay event has been brought forward this year due to the packed international calendar.

And once again it will feature the best of the best in Irish golf with Cannon partnering the defending champion Brian Casey of Headfort and Newlands’ Andy Hogan.

A special commemorative magazine has been produced for the occasion with results, features and pen pics of the tournament winners over the past 50 years.

The leading 45 after Saturday’s opening 36 holes will tee it up on the last two rounds on Sunday.

Mullingar Scratch Trophy

Tee-times Saturday May 18th

6.22/11.22 C Dunphy (Killeen Castle) M Murphy (Co Longford) M Kelly (Mullingar)

6.30/11.30 C Stone (Carton House) B.McCormack (Castlebearna) S Maloney (Dunmurry Springs)

6.38/11.38 P O’Leary (Lucan) M O’Rourke (Royal Tara) D Murray (Co Louth)

6.46/11.46 D Reidy (Co Sligo) N Worth (The Island) L Grehan (Mullingar)

6.54/11.54 S Cullen (Slieve Russell) P Neville (Athenry) B Mungovan (Headfort)

7.02/12.02 P Coughlan (Moate) C Tormey (Mullingar) D McDonough (Galway)

7.10/12.10 T McLarnon (Masserene) L McMillan (Carton House) P Burke (Mullingar)

7.18/12.18 P Connolly (Clontarf) D Carey (Carton House) J Conroy (Bray)

7.26/12.26 N McGlynn (Carton House) C Dullaghan (Greenore) E Farrell (Ardee)

7.34/12.34 W Hanna (Warrenpoint) M Richards (Roganstown) D Coughlan (Portmarnock)

7.42/12.42 J Rackard (Bunclody) J Walsh (Castle) J Timlin (Dungannon)

7.50/12.50 S Moran (Carton House) B McCusker (Hollywood) B McGarry (Birr)

7.58/12.58 S O’Connor (Luttrelstown) J Whelan (Newlands) J Gourley (Hollywood)

8.06/1.06 C Rafferty (Greenore) A Hanley (Royal Dublin) E Griffin (Waterford)

8.14/1.14 S Bryan (Delgany) S Brady (Co Sligo) S Brady (Co Sligo ) H Coyne (Carton House)

8.22/1.22 R Symington (Lisburn) D Shaw (Belvoir Park) C Geraghty (Laytown & Bettystown)

8.30/1.30 S McGlynn (Carton House) S Healy (Claremorris) G McGrane (Royal Dublin)

8.38/1.38 J Fox (Portmarnock) A Kearney (Castlerock) C Fairweather (Knock)

8.46/1.46 H Diamond (Belvoir Park) S Ward (Co Louth) C Doran (Banbridge)

8.54/1.54 B Casey (Headfort) A Hogan (Newlands) R Cannon (Balbriggan)

9.02/2.02 D McElroy (Ballymena) N Grant (Knock) S Grehan (Tullamore)

9.10/2.10 J Lyons (Galway) A Purdy (Ballyclare) J Monaghan (Royal Dublin)

9.18/2.18 G Lenehan (Portmarnock) E McCormack (Galway) M Shanahan (Castlemartyr)

9.26/2.26 A Doran (Ardee) R Walsh (Kilkenny) B Fennelly (Royal Dublin)

9.34/2.34 C Purcell (Portmarnock) J.R Galbraith (Whitehead) S Ryan (Royal Dublin)

9.42/2.42 G Bohill (Co Louth) R Bridges (Stakstown) R Knightly (Royal Dublin)

9.50/2.50 G O’Connor (Malahide) D Downie (Sutton) A Kiernan (Forest Little)

9.58/2.58 S Hogan (Nenagh) K Purcell (Dun Laoighre) A Grant (Dundalk)

10.06/3.06 G Lawlor (Newbridge) L Hutchinson (Royal Dublin) B Lupo (Sutton)

10.14/3.14 D Holland (Castle) C Kennedy (Forest Little) C McGrogan (Newbridge)