Round-up: Kearney shines, Rice burns, Ganton gales

Florian Fritsch © Getty Images

Challenge Tour — Slowly but surely, Niall Kearney is edging closer to a breakthrough.

The 26-year old Dubliner has missed just three of 20 cuts on the Challenge Tour since since finished 21st in the Norwegian Challenge two years ago and with just one weekend off in 10 starts this year, he's put himsel in position to win. Scores

He'll have another outside chance this weekend after a two under 70 left him six shots behind Florian Fritsch in the Norwegian Challenge  at Miklagard Golf Club on the outskirts of Oslo.

Fritsch fired a five under 67 to lead by a stroke on 13 under par from France’s Benjamin Hebert with Kearney in an 11-man tie for fifth on seven under.

Lurgan's Gareth Shaw also made the two under par cut, carding a 69 to share 46th on three under as Stephen Grant (76-69) missed out by three shots and Mike Kelly (81-75) by 14.

Europro Tour — A poor final round cost Tim Rice dear in the Clipper Logistics Championship at Moor Allerton's Blackmoor Course. England's Billy Hemstock birdied the last two holes to win the title the second year running, firing a three under 68 to win by a shot from compatriot Richard Law on nine under.

But Rice shot a 76 to slip from the Top 10 to tied 40th on level par and got just £250 for his efforts as Killeen Castle's Ricky Weldon shot 70 to share 37th and earn a modest £265.


Hemstock jumps 31 places to seventh on the Order of Merit, from which the top five at the end of the season earn a Challenge Tour category for 2015.

Richard Kilpatrick is the leading Irish player in 15th with £8,101 from 10 starts with Mark Murphy 23rd (£6,098), Mick McGeady 29th (£4,779), Stephen Grant 47th (£2,678) and Rice 58th (£1,837).



The Seniors Amateur Championship — American Brady Exber overcame 40 mph winds to pull away from the field and win the Seniors Amateur Championship by four shots at Ganton.

But there was also good news for Irish golf with Portmarnock's Adrian Morrow (76 79 75) and Calcot Park's George Wilson (72 82 76)  tied for sixth on 17 over.  Scores

Exber, a 58-year-old from Las Vegas, closed with a 78 for a four-shot victory over Yorkshire’s Stephen East who finished on 228 after a 79.

Three players shared third – Americans Michael Mercier and John McClure and England’s Tony McLure.

With the wind gusting up to 40mph, it turned into a taxing final 18 holes for the entire field but Exber, who was fifth on his debut in 2011 and sixth in 2012, played outstanding golf for the first 12 holes and was never seriously threatened.

He promised to return for the 2015 Seniors Amateur, which will be played at Royal County Down from 5-7 August.