Crowe targets amateur slam

From Brian Keogh at Lahinch

Dunmurry's Darren Crowe has set his sights on the second leg of the domestic 'Grand Slam' after cruising in the semi-finals of the McNamara South of Ireland Championship at Lahinch.

Last year's North of Ireland champion has been denied in the final of the 'South' for the last two years .

But after thrashing American Brendan Tracy 6&5 and then seeing off a dogged Brendan Walton of the Island by 3&2, he's determined to lift the title and then chase the East and West crowns next year.

Since gave up playing full-time amateur golf and to work for his father two years ago, Crowe is enjoying competition for competition's sake.

"Working full time takes the pressure off," said the 26 year-old. "Every match you win just means another day off work.

"When you are playing full time you are putting pressure on yourself to win titles and make Walker Cup teams. But I am just enjoying it now and it makes it a bit easier.

"I'd love to win all four provincial titles. It would be nice to win this to go the North. But there would still be two more titles to go and I have two matches still to go here."

Crowe ill face Dubliner Niall Kearney today, following the Royal Dublin man's impressive 3&2 win over Westport's Cathal O'Malley in the quarter-finals.

At the bottom of the draw West of Ireland champion struggled with his putter but beat qualifier Shane Horgan by one hole after first seeing off defending champion Simon Ward 2&1.

But Lyons will need to produce his best golf to defeat Castletroy's Stephen Moloney after the local hero crushed 2004 champion Cian McNamara 4&3.

McNamara knocked out North of Ireland champion Gareth Shaw in the fifth round by 2&1 but was undone by an three poor holes from the sixth to the eighth which left him five down at the turn.

South of Ireland Amateur Open (sponsored by McNamara & Co)
5th rd
D Crowe (Dunmurry) bt B Tracy (National Golf Links) 6/5;
B Walton (The Island/UCD) bt P O’Hanlon (The Curragh) 4/2;
N Kearney (Royal Dublin) bt P McGibney (Elm Park) 2/1;
C O’Malley (Westport) bt RJ Cannon (Laytown & Bettystown) 4/3;
J Lyons (Galway) bt S Ward (Co Louth) 2/1;
S Horgan (Monkstown) bt D Rawluk (The Island) 19th;
S Moloney (Castletroy) bt D O’Driscoll (Ballybunion) 2/1;
C McNamara (Limerick) bt G Shaw (Lurgan) 2/1.

D Crowe (Dunmurry) bt B Walton (The Island/UCD) 3/2;
N Kearney (Royal Dublin) bt C O’Malley (Westport) 3/2;
J Lyons (Galway) bt S Horgan (Monkstown) 1h;
S Moloney (Castletroy) bt C McNamara (Limerick) 4/3.

(8.30) D Crowe (Dunmurry) v N Kearney (Royal Dublin);
(9.00) J Lyons (Galway) v S Moloney (Castletroy).

Final (2.0)