Cannon takes Silver in quest for Irish Close glory

Robbie Cannon (Balbriggan) driving at the 13th tee during the second day of strokeplay at the 2015 Irish Amateur Close Championship at Tramore Golf Club (19/05/2015). Picture by Pat Cashman

Two-time championship winner Robbie Cannon captured the first Silver Medal of his career when he impressively led the qualifiers for the AIG Irish Amateur Close Championship at Tramore.

Rounds of 70 and 68 left him two shots clear on six under 138 of 16-year old Co Louth star Thomas Mulligan, who was called up for Jacques Leglise Trophy duty on Monday.

And while Cannon is keen to win all six amateur "majors" having captured the South and the Irish Amateur Open, taking the 'Close' won't be easy given the depth of the talent these days.

The matchplay field is festooned with danger men and even if he beats Simon Bryan—who was a client of his strength and conditioning business recently—he could face testing second round against James Fox or Aaron Grant.

South and East of Ireland winner Stuart Grehan of Tullamore (69 72) is still very much a threat having finished  joint third in the qualifying with Faithlegg's Robin Dawson (69 72) and Naas' Jonathan Yates (67 74) (Tullamore/MU) 69 72, Jonathan Yates (Naas) 67 74.

"I feel great," Cannon told Golfnet.ie. "This is the first time I have won a qualifying Silver Medal in the 16 or 17 years I have played amateur golf. I was second a couple of times—Rory shot 61 to beat me in the North to beat me one year (2005)—I am really happy to get the medal."

Cannon joked after wins by client Shane Lowry and Lowry's brother Alan that it was his turn to win soon.

Given his experience, 36-year old Cannon has an excellent chance of going deep though the likes of Mulligan, who came close to a course record with a best of the day 66, shows that the young guns are ready to do some damage.

There are some cracking first round matches in store with three time winner Eddie Power trying to win a fourth title at the course where he grew up and won in 1987.

Power takes on the up and coming Waterford man Eanna Griffin as his son Kevin faces Neil McKinstry. Then there's Pat Murray v Dan Holland and Yates vs Caolan Rafferty.

The cut for the Top 64 fell at seven over 151 with Mallow's Paul McCarthy (77 and North West and Maynooth Univeristy's  Kyle McCarron (78) the unlucky two.

There was also disappointment for Tramore's Paul Flynn and Galway's Joe Lyons.

Eddie Power (Kilkenny) watched by Mick Burns (Walker Cup selector) driving at the 17th at Tramore Golf Club (19/05/2015). Picture by Pat Cashman

Father and Son......Kevin and Eddie Power (Kilkenny) qualified for the matchplay of the 2015 Irish Amateur Close Championship. Picture by Pat Cashman

Kevin Power (Kilkenny) driving at the 11th tee during the second day of strokeplay at the 2015 Irish Amateur Close Championship at Tramore Golf Club (19/05/2015) Picture by Pat Cashman

Robin Dawson (Faithlegg) pitching to the 16th green. Picture by Pat Cashman

Robin Dawson (Faithlegg) lining up his putt on the 7th green during the second day of strokeplay at the 2015 Irish Amateur Close Championship at Tramore Golf Club (19/05/2015). Picture by Pat Cashman

Simon McConnell (Ballyclare) driving at the 16th tee during the second day of strokeplay at the 2015 Irish Amateur Close Championship at Tramore Golf Club (19/05/2015). Picture by Pat Cashman

Stuart Grehan (Tullamore) driving at the 8th. Stuart Grehan (Tullamore) driving at the 8th tee during the second day of strokeplay at the 2015 Irish Amateur Close Championship at Tramore.  Picture by Pat Cashman

Thomas Mulligan (Co Louth) on the 18th green during the second day of strokeplay at the 2015 Irish Amateur Close Championship at Tramore Golf Club. Picture by Pat Cashman

AIG Irish Close Championship, Tramore Golf Club (18-21 August 2015

First round — Thursday 20 August

  1. 07:00 Colin Fairweather v Shaun Carter
  2. 07:08 Jordan Hood v Ian Spillane
  3. 07:16 Gavin Smyth v Colm Crowley
  4. 07:24 Tiarnan McLarnon v Brian Doran
  5. 07:32 Jeff Hopkins v Sean Barry
  6. 07:40 Marc Nolan v John Reynolds
  7. 07:48 Cathal Nolan v Jamie Fletcher
  8. 07:56 Sean Flanagan v David Kiely
  9. 08:04 Jonathan Yates v Caolan Rafferty
  10. 08:12 Jack Walsh v Gary Collins
  11. 08:20 Ted Collins v Ronan Mullarney
  12. 08:28 Geoff Lenehan  v Mark Mullen
  13. 08:36 Robert Cannon v Simon Bryan
  14. 08:44 James Fox v Aaron Grant
  15. 08:52 Eoin Arthurs v Eugene Smith
  16. 09:00 Stuart Grehan v Gavin Fitzmaurice
  17. 09:08 Robin Dawson v David Reddan Jnr
  18. 09:16 Stefan Greenberg v Stuart Bleakley
  19. 09:24 Eddie Power v Eanna Griffin
  20. 09:32 Theo Coffey v Ben Murray
  21. 09:40 Alan Lowry v Robbie Pierse
  22. 09:48 Cian Geraghty v Alan Thomas
  23. 09:56 Stephen Healy v Rob Brazill
  24. 10:04 Thomas Mulligan v Ronan Twomey
  25. 10:12 Conor O'Rourke v Richard Knightly
  26. 10:20 Gavin Young v Mark Shanahan
  27. 10:28 Kevin Power v Neil McKinstry
  28. 10:36 Pat Murray v Daniel Holland
  29. 10:44 Simon McConnell v Kevin Stack
  30. 10:52 Rory Williamson v Bill Murray
  31. 11:00 Shane Hogan v Jack McDonnell
  32. 11:08 Alex Gleeson v Michael Ryan

Strokeplay qualifying (Par 72)

Detailed scores

138 Robert Cannon (Balbriggan) 70 68 (Leading qualifier)

140 Thomas Mulligan (Co. Louth) 74 66

141 Robin Dawson (Faithlegg/MU) 69 72, Stuart Grehan (Tullamore/MU) 69 72, Jonathan Yates (Naas) 67 74

143 Ronan Mullarney (Galway/MU) 73 70, Gavin Fitzmaurice (Balcarrick) 69 74

144 Daniel Holland (Castle) 73 71, Shaun Carter (The Royal Dublin) 72 72, Stuart Bleakley (Shandon Park) 70 74, Eoin Arthurs (Forrest Little.) 69 75

145 Simon McConnell (Ballyclare) 77 68, Pat Murray (Limerick Golf Club) 74 71, Eanna Griffin (Waterford) 74 71, Sean Barry (Fota Island) 71 74, Jamie Fletcher (Warrenpoint) 71 74, Rob Brazill (Naas) 71 74

146 Geoff Lenehan (Portmarnock) 76 70, Rory Williamson (Holywood) 75 71, Kevin Power (Kilkenny) 74 72, Sean Flanagan (Co. Sligo/MU) 74 72, Jeff Hopkins (The Royal Dublin) 74 72, James Fox (Portmarnock) 73 73, Robbie Pierse (Grange) 72 74, Gavin Young (Birr) 71 75

147 Cathal Nolan (Galway) 76 71, Jack Walsh (Castle/MU) 75 72, Colin Fairweather (Knock) 74 73, Cian Geraghty (Laytown & Bettystown) 73 74, Simon Bryan (Delgany) 73 74, Eddie Power (Kilkenny) 73 74, Ian Spillane (Mallow) 72 75, Mark Shanahan (Castlemartyr) 72 75, Shane Hogan (Nenagh) 70 77, Gavin Smyth (Clonmel) 69 78, Alex Gleeson (Castle) 69 78

148 Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk) 76 72, Brian Doran (Palmerstown Stud) 73 75, Michael Ryan (New Ross) 73 75

149 Aaron Grant (Dundalk) 76 73, Theo Coffey (Slieve Russell) 74 75, Stefan Greenberg (Tandragee) 73 76, Jack Mc Donnell (Forrest Little/MU) 73 76, Alan Lowry (Esker Hills/MU) 73 76, David Reddan Jnr (Nenagh) 72 77

150 Bill Murray (Waterford Castle) 79 71, Ted Collins (Dun Laoghaire) 77 73, Kevin Stack (Dungarvan) 77 73, Gary Collins (Rosslare) 76 74, John Reynolds (Dungarvan) 75 75, Marc Nolan (Delgany) 75 75, David Kiely (Tramore) 75 75, Ronan Twomey (Muskerry) 75 75, Jordan Hood (Galgorm Castle) 74 76, Mark Mullen (Wexford) 74 76, Eugene Smith (Ardee) 73 77, Stephen Healy (Carton House) 73 77, Colm Crowley (Woodbrook) 72 78

151 Richard Knightly (The Royal Dublin) 80 71, Neil McKinstry (Cairndhu) 78 73, Tiarnan McLarnon (Massereene) 77 74, Ben Murray (Waterford Castle) 77 74, Conor O'Rourke (Naas) 74 77, Alan Thomas (Dungarvan) 74 77,

Non-qualifiers

151: Paul McCarthy (Mallow) 74 77, Kyle McCarron (North West/MU) 73 78

152 Keith Murphy (Charlesland) 80 72, Ryan Berkeley (Dun Laoghaire) 77 75, Ben Best (Rathmore) 76 76, Paul Flynn (Tramore) 74 78, Robert Farrell (New Ross) 74 78, Mark Morrissey (Mount Wolseley) 72 80, Shane McGlynn (Carton House) 72 80

153 Joe Lyons (Galway) 78 75, David Byrne (Athenry) 78 75, Greg Mungovan (Headfort) 77 76, Colin Woodroofe (Blainroe) 74 79, Aaron Moore (Adare Manor Golf Club) 74 79, Rory Keighery (Tramore) 71 82

154 Sean Walsh (Carton House/MU) 82 72, Jack Leacy (Dungarvan) 81 73, Matthew Wylie (Belvoir Park) 80 74, Jack Blake (The Island) 79 75, Paul Tobin (Cork) 75 79, Evan Farrell (Ardee) 75 79, Niall O'Reilly (Clonmel) 74 80, Alan Fahy (Bray) 74 80

155 Michael Reid (Galgorm Castle) 79 76, Peter Meaney (Cahir Park) 78 77, Ian Lynch (Rosslare) 76 79, Mark Timmins (Coollattin Golf Club) 76 79, Luke Robinson (Bundoran) 73 82

156 Sean Ryan (The Royal Dublin) 84 72, John Mitchell (Tramore) 82 74, Barry Daly (Edmondstown) 82 74, Jonathan Breen (Kirkistown Castle Golf Club) 79 77, Louis O'Hara (Athenry) 79 77, Adam Doran (Ardee) 78 78, Eamonn O'Driscoll (Killarney) 78 78, Anthony Feicks (Waterford) 76 80

157 Philip Spratt (West Waterford) 83 74, Stephen Egan (Castle Barna) 80 77, Martin O'Dwyer (Tramore) 79 78, Declan King (Tramore) 79 78, Colm Hughes (Galway) 79 78, Brian O'Reilly (Athenry) 75 82

158 John McCarthy (Stackstown) 81 77, Stephen Linehan (Tramore) 80 78, Peter Mullaney (Dungarvan) 80 78, Sean Denny (Castleblayney) 79 79, John Cleary (Elm Park) 78 80

159 Paul McGuigan (Foyle) 82 77, Stephen Brady (Co. Sligo) 81 78, Marc McKinstry (Cairndhu) 79 80, Patrick Brennan (Belvoir Park) 75 84

160 Craig Melvin (Corrstown) 83 77, Danny Linehan (Tramore) 82 78, Niall Kennedy (Tramore) 81 79, Timmy Broderick (Kinsale) 81 79, Marc Boucher (Carton House) 80 80, Conor Ryan (Dun Laoghaire) 78 82

161 Damien Coyne (Tuam) 85 76, Gabriel Leacy (Dungarvan) 80 81

162 Peter McKeever (Castle) 80 82, Michael Young (Ireland) 79 83

163 Andrew Magee (Powerscourt) 82 81, Jasper Marken (Ireland) 82 81, Ross Steedman (Balcarrick) 79 84

165 Derek Power (Goldcoast) 77 88

166 Eoin Cantwell (Kilkenny) 84 82

167 Liam Doran (Ardee) 80 87

171 Andrew Montgomery (Old Conna) 91 80

173 Declan Kelly (Hermitage) 85 88, Darragh Hogan (Killeen Castle) 78 95

175 Ruairi O'Connor (Co. Sligo) 90 85, Adam Price (Delgany) 86 89

179 John Garvey (Seapoint) 84 95

 WD/NR:Daniel Murphy (Portarlington) 80 NR, Christopher O'Connor (Corrstown) 80 NR, Jake Whelan (Newlands/MU) 81 NR, William Hanna (Kilkeel) DQ , Sean Alley (Co. Tipperary) 78 WD, Shaun O'Connor (Carton House) 82 WD, James Sugrue (Mallow) WD