Whelan tops South qualifiers
Lahinch's goats

Lahinch's goats

Elite amateur golf is game for full-time players these days but Newlands’ Jake Whelan proved that you can get a job and still deliver a first class performance.

The 21-year old from Clondalkin in Dublin, added a seven-birdie 70 to his opening 68 to win the silver medal awarded to the leading qualifier for the matchplay stages of the Pierse Motors sponsored South of Ireland Amateur Open Championship  at Lahinch.

At six under 138, the former Maynooth University player finished one stroke clear of last year’s silver medal winner Paul McBride from The Island, Alex Gleeson from Castle and Mallow’s Noel McCarthy as the cut for the top 64 for the first round of matchplay combat fell at eight over par 152.

On a day when southerly winds gusted to 25 mph by midday and some afternoon starters were hit by a brief but torrential downpour, first round leader Whelan backed up his score with a 70 that also featured three bogeys and a double bogey six at the tough 14th.

“I’m happy with that,” said Whelan, who holed the winning putt to give Maynooth its first AIG Irish Senior Cup win last year but no longer attends the college. “I played well and holed a few putts.”

As for life away from university, he said: “I wasn’t enjoying the college course as much as I would have liked so I have taken time out and so I took a job the post office so I can have the money to be able to go out and play the championships.”

Whelan has the freedom to test himself on what is an attractive but costly amateur circuit and he will be a tough and hungry opponent in head to head combat.

The same can be said of McBride and Gleeson, who are two of Ireland’s most talented young players in Ireland.

Beaten at the 20th in the semi-finals of the (British) Amateur Championship at Royal Porthcawl earlier this year, 20-year old McBride from The Island is preparing to return to prestigious Wake Forest University in the US for his third year while Gleeson will return to UCD in the autumn to complete his degree in Sports Science, stretching it out to five years by taking breaks to play full time golf.

Both are keen to hoist an amateur “major” and they he can think of no better venue than Lahinch, where they have enjoyed success in the past.

McBride led the qualifiers last year but fell to eventual semi-finalist Keith Egan in the last 16 while 22-year Gleeson reached the semi-finals in 2013, losing to eventual winner Simon Ward.

“Paul Dunne sent me a text trying to keep it light after I lost in the semis of the British Amateur,” McBride revealed. “He sort of said, “Ah sure you’ve played Augusta already.”

A student of  Entrepreneurship and Communications at Arnold Palmer’s alma mater of Wake Forest, McBride enjoyed his trip down Magnolia Lane but would enjoy winning the title and the gold medal even more having fallen at the penultimate hurdle in the Amateur.

“I love it here,” the young Dubliner said as he looked out at the first tee. “I love this. I love the atmosphere around the town. The people around the tee box here and the 18th. 

“My last win was Ulster Boys three years ago so I want to win. I am not getting frustrated but it ’s just annoying. 

“I’ve come close a few times and felt like I’ve been playing well enough to win but haven’t won. I guess, I’ll just wait for it to happen. That’s the way this game is.”

Life experience also counts and 65 year old Arthur Pierse will be in action in the last 64 following rounds of 75 and 73 on a day when Delgany’s Marc Nolan posted a best of day 67 to qualify tied seventh with Cairndhu’s Stephen Watts on three under 141, one behind Egan (68) and John Ross Galbraith (69).

Pierse’s nephews Jack and Robbie also made it after some second rounds heroics. On a day wen Jack played his last eight holes in five under to add a 69 his 79 for 148 while Robbie followed an 82 with a 70 to be one of just two players to make it on 152.

South of Ireland Amateur Open Championship, sponsored by Pierse Motors Volkswagen, Lahinch GC (Par 72, CSS Rd 2 73)

South of Ireland Championship 2016 - First Round Draw 

1 07:00 Tiarnan McLarnon (Massereene) v Nils Conway (Grange) 

2 07:09 Evan Farrell (Ardee) v Shaun Carter (The Royal Dublin)      

3 07:18 Fergal O’Sullivan (Tralee) v Devin Morley (Oughterard)      

4 07:27 Michael Ryan (New Ross) v Rowan Lester (Hermitage)      

5 07:36 Paul McCarthy (Mallow) v David Foy (Laytown & Bettystown)      

6 07:45 Shane Hogan (Nenagh Golf Club) v Marc Nolan (Delgany)      

7 07:54 John Greene (Portmarnock) v Ted Collins (Dun Laoghaire)      

8 08:03 Ryan Berkeley (Dun Laoghaire) v Paul McBride (The Island)      

9 08:12 Jake Whelan (Newlands) v Eamonn Haugh (Castletroy)      

10 08:21 Stuart Bleakley (Shandon Park) v Stephen Coulter (Warrenpoint)      

11 08:30 Michael Reddan (Limerick) v Luke Donnelly (Kilkenny)      

12 08:39 Liam Grehan (Mullingar) v Sean Flanagan (Co Sligo)     

13 08:48 Daniel Holland (Castle) v Paul Carey (Nenagh)      

14 08:57 John Hickey (Cork) v Gary Collins (Rosslare)      

15 09:06 Eugene Smith (Ardee) v Arthur Pierse (Tipperary)      

16 09:15 Paul O’Hara (Kilkenny) v John Ross Galbraith (Knock)      

17 09:24 Colm Campbell Jnr (Warrenpoint) v David Brady (Co. Sligo)      

18 09:33 Gerard Dunne (Co. Louth) v Aaron Grant (Dundalk)      

19 09:42 James Gerard Fox (Portmarnock) v Jamie Sutherland (Galgorm Castle)      

20 09:51 William Small (Tandragee) v Paul O’Hanlon (Carton House)      

21 10:00 Keith Egan (Carton House) v Jordan Hood (Galgorm Castle)      

22 10:09 Geoff Lenehan (Portmarnock) v Declan Reidy (Co. Sligo)      

23 10:18 Robert Cannon (Balbriggan) v Peter O’ Keeffe (Douglas)      

24 10:27 Cian Geraghty (Laytown & Bettystown) v Robin Dawson (Tramore)      

25 10:36 Cole Madey (USA) v Thomas Mulligan (Co. Louth)      

26 10:45 Eanna Griffin (Waterford) v Rob Brazill (Naas)      

27 10:54 Andrew McCormack (Castletroy) v Marc Norton (Belvoir Park)      

28 11:03 Dean McMahon (Castletroy) v Conor Purcell (Portmarnock)     

29 11:12 Pat Murray (Limerick) v Cathal Butler (Kinsale)     

30 11:21 Greg Mungovan (Headfort Golf Club) v Stephen Watts (Cairndhu)      

31 11:30 Jack Pierse (Portmarnock) v Jack McDonnell (Forrest Little)     

32 11:39 Robbie Pierse (Grange) v Alex Gleeson (Castle)      


Detailed scores

138 Jake Whelan (Newlands) 68 70

139 Paul McBride (Island) 70 69, Alex Gleeson (Castle) 70 69, Paul McCarthy (Mallow Golf Club) 69 70

140 Keith Egan (Carton House Golf Club) 72 68, John Ross Galbraith (Whitehead Golf Club) 71 69

141 Marc Nolan (Delgany Golf Club) 74 67, Stephen Watts (Cairndhu Golf Club) 72 69

142 Daniel Holland (Castle) 71 71

143 Tiarnan McLarnon (Massereene Golf Club) 74 69

144 James Gerard Fox (Portmarnock) 75 69, Robin Dawson (Tramore Golf Club) 73 71, Gary Collins (Rosslare Golf Club) 73 71, Rowan Lester (Hermitage Golf Club) 73 71

145 Michael Reddan (Limerick Golf Club) 77 68, Declan Reidy (Co. Sligo Golf Club) 75 70, Pat Murray (Limerick Golf Club) 73 72, Cole Madey (USA) 72 73, Conor Purcell (Portmarnock) 71 74

146 Andrew McCormack (Castletroy Golf Club) 77 69, Fergal O'Sullivan (Tralee Golf Club) 75 71, Shaun Carter (The Royal Dublin) 75 71, Rob Brazill (Naas Golf Club) 74 72, Sean Flanagan (Co. Sligo Golf Club) 72 74, Robert Cannon (Balbriggan Golf Club) 72 74

147 Stephen Coulter (Warrenpoint Golf Club) 76 71, Eugene Smith (Ardee Golf Club) 75 72, Aaron Grant (Dundalk Golf Club) 71 76

148 Jack Pierse (Portmarnock) 79 69, John Greene (Portmarnock) 79 69, Ted Collins (Dun Laoghaire Golf Club) 77 71, Jack McDonnell (Forrest Little.) 76 72, Gerard Dunne (Co. Louth Golf Club) 75 73, Arthur Pierse (Tipperary Golf Club) 75 73, Stuart Bleakley (Shandon Park Golf Club) 75 73, Colm Campbell Jnr (Warrenpoint Golf Club) 75 73, Peter O' Keeffe (Douglas) 74 74, Eanna Griffin (Waterford) 74 74, Evan Farrell (Ardee Golf Club) 73 75, Devin Morley (Oughterard Golf Club) 72 76

149 Marc Norton (Belvoir Park Golf Club) 76 73, Geoff Lenehan (Portmarnock) 76 73, Luke Donnelly (Kilkenny Golf Club) 74 75, John Hickey (Cork Golf Club) 74 75, Jamie Sutherland (Galgorm Castle Golf Club) 73 76, Greg Mungovan (Headfort Golf Club) 73 76

150 Shane Hogan (Nenagh Golf Club) 78 72, David Foy (Laytown & Bettystown) 77 73, Cathal Butler (Kinsale) 77 73, Paul O'Hanlon (Carton House Golf Club) 76 74, William Small (Tandragee Golf Club) 75 75, Paul Carey (Nenagh Golf Club) 75 75, Liam Grehan (Mullingar Golf Club) 74 76, Jordan Hood (Galgorm Castle Golf Club) 74 76, Dean McMahon (Castletroy Golf Club) 74 76, Michael Ryan (New Ross Golf Club) 74 76

151 Nils Conway (Grange) 79 72, Thomas Mulligan (Co. Louth Golf Club) 79 72, Cian Geraghty (Laytown & Bettystown) 79 72, Eamonn Haugh (Castletroy Golf Club) 78 73, Paul O'Hara (Kilkenny Golf Club) 75 76, David Brady (Co. Sligo Golf Club) 73 78

152 Robbie Pierse (Grange) 82 70, Ryan Berkeley (Dun Laoghaire Golf Club) 78 74,


152 Mark MacGrath (Limerick Golf Club) 77 75, Des Morgan (New Forest) 75 77, Gavin Fitzmaurice (Balcarrick Golf Club) 75 77, Colin Fairweather (Knock) 75 77

153 Tony Cleary (Woodstock Golf Club) 82 71, Jack Ryan (Castletroy Golf Club) 80 73, Thomas Neenan (Lahinch Golf Club) 80 73, Stefan Greenberg (Tandragee Golf Club) 80 73, Paul Murphy (Rosslare Golf Club) 79 74, Darragh Coghlan (Portmarnock) 79 74, Michael Reid (Galgorm Castle Golf Club) 78 75, Mark Ford (Cork Golf Club) 77 76, Dylan Brophy (Castleknock) 77 76, Ed Stack (Ballybunion Golf Club) 77 76, Michael O'Kelly (Limerick Golf Club) 76 77

154 David Reddan (Nenagh Golf Club) 83 71, James Sugrue (Mallow Golf Club) 82 72, Marc Boucher (Carton House Golf Club) 81 73, Peter Kane (Ashbourne) 80 74, Kyle McCarron (North West) 80 74, Eoin Glynn (Lahinch Golf Club) 78 76, Ally Purdy (Ballyclare Golf Club) 78 76, Ian Spillane (Mallow Golf Club) 77 77, Dave O'Donovan (Muskerry Golf Club) 77 77, Keith Murphy (Charlesland Golf Club) 77 77, Ronan Mullarney (Galway Golf Club) 76 78

155 John Conroy (Portmarnock) 82 73, Gary Ward (Kinsale) 82 73, Joe Lyons (Galway Golf Club) 81 74, Eddie Power (Kilkenny Golf Club) 79 76, Brian Shally (Dromoland Golf Club) 79 76, Rory Williamson (Holywood Golf Club) 79 76, Eoin Leonard (Wentworth Golf Club) 78 77, Peter Sheehan (Ballybunion Golf Club) 76 79, Ben Best (Rathmore) 76 79

156 Ruairi O'Connor (Co. Sligo Golf Club) 85 71, Jason O'Donnell (Shannon) 82 74, Tony O'Leary (Rosslare Golf Club) 81 75, Sean Walsh (Carton House Golf Club) 79 77, Gavin Young (Nenagh Golf Club) 78 78, Gareth Lappin (Belvoir Park Golf Club) 78 78, Justin Kehoe (Limerick Golf Club) 76 80, Ed Hickey (Shannon) 76 80, Mark Morrissey (Mount Wolseley Golf Club) 75 81, Daniel Brennan (Shannon) 74 82

157 Jamie Fletcher (Warrenpoint Golf Club) 82 75, Sam Sweeney (USA) 82 75, Colin Woodroofe (Blainroe Golf Club) 80 77, Alec Myles (Newlands) 77 80, Gavin Smyth (Clonmel Golf Club) 76 81, Mark Mullen (Rosslare Golf Club) 73 84

158 Aaron Moore (Adare Manor Golf Club) 87 71, Jack Walsh (Castle) 83 75, Barry Daly (Edmondstown Golf Club) 82 76, Richard Knightly (The Royal Dublin) 80 78, Darragh Crawford (Bundoran Golf Club) 80 78, Owen O'Brien (Limerick Golf Club) 79 79, Sean Poucher (Limerick Golf Club) 78 80, Eoin O'Connor (Ballybunion Golf Club) 77 81, Cathal Nolan (Galway Golf Club) 76 82

159 Peter McKeever (Castle) 85 74, Alan Thomas (Dungarvan Golf Club) 83 76, Declan McInerney (Lahinch Golf Club) 81 78, Michael Buggy (Castlecomer Golf Club) 81 78, Thomas O'Connor (Athlone Golf Club) 80 79, Ross Steedman (Courtown Golf Club) 80 79

160 Cillian Moloney (Fota Island Golf Club) 84 76, Gary McGrane (The Royal Dublin) 84 76, Graham Nugent (Kilkenny Golf Club) 81 79, Conor Byrne (USA) 80 80

161 Stephen Walsh (Portmarnock) 81 80, Peter Redmond (Beech Park Golf Club) 81 80, Clayton Madey (USA) 79 82, Shane McGlynn (Portmarnock) 78 83

162 John Reynolds (Dungarvan Golf Club) 87 75

163 Conor Ryan (Dun Laoghaire Golf Club) 86 77

164 Tom Griffin (Crews Hill Golf Club) 86 78, Robert Farrell (New Ross Golf Club) 85 79, Colm Crowley (Woodbrook Golf Club) 83 81

165 Anthony Sweeney (Woodstock Golf Club) 85 80, Brian Doran (Baltinglass Golf Club) 82 83

168 Brett Macias (Palmerstown Stud) 83 85, Niall O'Reilly (Clonmel Golf Club) 80 88
Sean Burns (Dromoland Golf Club) 88 NR, Brian Gilligan (Woodstock Golf Club) NR

WD Sean Ryan (The Royal Dublin) WD