Enniscrone takes its toll in Close opener

Enniscrone left its scars on the field as just 16 players broke 80 in the first strokeplay qualifying round of the Irish Amateur Close Championship.

Holywood's Jonathan Gourley topped the leaderboard at the end of a traumatic opening day, carding a two over par 75 to take a one stroke lead over the experienced international Michael Sinclair from Knock near Belfast

Enniscrone is proving to be a tough test.High winds wreaked havoc on the field but Gourley played the front nine in one under par 36 and came home in three over 39 as he mixed birdies at the second, eighth, 11th and 16th holes with bogeys at the seventh and 18th and double bogeys at the 12th and 15th.

Sinclair hit the turn in three over par 40 but came home in level par 35 to finish a shot better than recently crowned East of Ireland champion Paul Cutler from Portstewart and Lahinch's Stephen Loftus.

Bidding to make this year's Walker Cup side, Cutler was level par after thirteen holes, but bogeyed the 14th, 15th and 16th before following a birdie two at the 17th with a double bogey at the 18th.

If the same conditions persist on Sunday, the cut for the top 64 qualifiers for Monday's matchplay round could fall at an amazing 18 over par.

Irish Amateur Close Championship, Enniscrone

Strokeplay qualifying, after 18 holes

75 J Gourley (Holywood)

76 M Sinclair (Knock)

77 S Loftus (Lahinch), P Cutler (Portstewart)

78 L Mulligan (Stackstown), R Symington (Lisburn), S Dwyer (Newlands), R McNamara (Headfort), S Crowe (Dunmurry)

79 D Crowe (Dunmurry), K McDonagh (Athlone), C McAleavey (Banbridge), P Dunne (Greystones), B Campbell (Malone), D Keating (Kinsale), C Selfridge (Moyola Park)

80 M Collins (Mahon), S McConnell (Ballyclare), D O'Sullivan (Strandhill), M Shanahan (West Waterford), C Martin (Kilkenny), J Patterson (Knock), C Curley (Newlands)

81 R Bridges (Stackstown), K Metcalfe (Mullingar), P O'Kane (Moyola Park), J Hughes (Douglas), K Canty (Douglas), P Murray (Limerick), R Cannon (Laytown & Bettystown), D Beattie (Whitehead), M McAlpin (Royal Portrush), D Lernihan (Castle), J Lyons (Galway), D O'Donovan (Muskerry), N Grant (Knock)

82 S Morrison (City of Derry), C Doran (Banbridge), S Ward (Co Louth), D King (Tramore), G O'Flaherty (Cork), G Lenehan (Portmarnock), P Sheehy (Lahinch), D Boyle (Cruit Island), A McCormick (Scrabo), N Gorey (Lee Valley), J Tobin (Carrick-on-Suir), E Arthurs (Forrest Little)

83 B Fitzpatrick (Headfort), F O'Sullivan (Tralee), F Rafferty (Dungannon), A Harty (West Waterford), L Reilly (Galgorm Castle), S Barry (Lee Valley), R Leonard (Banbridge), A O'Callaghan (Douglas), K Crowley (Lee Valley), E McCormack (Galway)

84 E Maguire (Seapoint), R Finn (Curragh), C O'Connor (Athlone), J Mcintyre (City of Derry), D McElroy (Ballymena), K Sheehy (Athlone), S Moloney (Castletroy), B Walton (The Island)

85 G Bohill (Co. Louth), R O'Sullivan (Fota Island), M Durcan (Co. Sligo), D Coghlan (The Royal Dublin), D Reilly (Westmanstown), J Monaghan (The Island), T Fay (Rush), D Kelleher (Portmarnock), M Mullen (Wexford)

86 A Hogan (Newlands), C O'Malley (Westport), K Irwin (Castlebar), D Winters (Seapoint), G Barry (Muskerry), G McDermott (Co. Sligo), P O'Hara (Kilkenny), G Kelly (Co. Louth), R Oliver (Carrickfergus), A Morris (Belvoir Park)

87 E O'Connor (Ballybunion), R Whitson (Mourne), T O'Flynn (Fota Island), D Morgan (Mullingar), J Fox (Portmarnock), G Boyd (Donaghadee), D McInerney (Lahinch), S Webster (Castle), A Moran (Tuam), S Healy (Claremorris), J Timony (Headfort)

88 E Long (Monkstown), J Ward (Westmanstown), D O'Sullivan (Youghal), G McGrane (The Royal Dublin), D Coyne (Tuam), A McCloy (Ballymena)

89 M Hammond (Moyola Park), A Dooley (Glasson), D O'Neill (Carton House)

90 S Coyne (Athenry), B Loftus (Ennis), T McGowan (Strandhill)

91 G Dunne (Seapoint), D Ruddy (Thurles), C Molloy (Ardee), C McCarthy (St. Anne's)

92 C Moulds (Lisburn), D O'Neill (Newlands), L Ashby (Killerig Castle), D Moran (The Island)

93 G McGee (Malone), J Cullen (Tuam), B Fennelly (The Royal Dublin)

94 G O'Connor (Malahide), R McKeown (Enniscrone)

96 G Lawlor (Newbridge), A Taylor (City of Derry)

97 J O'Sullivan (Co. Louth), C Carvill (Belvoir Park)

99 N Woods (East Clare)

103 S McGlynn (Castle)
NR B Keating (Clonmel), F O'Hagan (Edenmore), T Cleary (East Clare), M Ryan (Grange), J Hopkins (Skerries), N Molloy (East Clare), C Drumm (Rosslare), D Ryan (Grange)
DQ D Byrne (Douglas), R Forsythe (Ballyclare), L Lennox (Moyola Park)
RTD D Lally (Tuam), D McCusker (Moyola Park)