Casey sets the pace in Mullingar
Home favourite Dessie Morgan drives off the 10th in Saturday’s second round.

Home favourite Dessie Morgan drives off the 10th in Saturday’s second round.

Headfort’s Brian Casey opened with super 68 to grab the first round lead in the 50th anniversary edition of the Mullingar Grant Thornton Scratch Trophy.

He leads by a stroke on four under par from former South of Ireland champion Stephen Walsh of Portmarnock with Royal Dublin’s Sean Ryan, Castlemartyr’s Mark Shanahan, Ballyclare’s Ally Purdy, Ger Lawlor of Newbridge and The Island’s Brendan Walton a further shot back.

While British Amateur champion Alan Dunbar was one of several top players to withdraw due to the hectic amateur calendar, there is a top class field in action at the famed James Braid course.

They are chasing a place in the history books alongside a host of Irish golfing heroes who have lifted the  famous silver trophy, incluing major winners Padraig Harrington, Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy, Ryder Cup stars Des Smyth, Paul McGinley and Philip Walton and tour players such as Shane Lowry, Gary Murphy and Raymond Burns.

The list of winners is a who’s who of Irish golf, starting with the great JB Carr in 1963.

Mullingar Grant Thornton Scratch Trophy 2012

Saturday & Sunday, 25th & 26th August 2012

Round One

68 B Casey (Headfort)

69 S Walsh (Portmarnock)

70 S Ryan (Royal Dublin), M Shanahan (Castlemartyr), A Purdy (Ballyclare), G Lawlor (Newbridge), B Walton (Malahide)

71 C Fairweather (Knock), L Grehan (Mullingar), J Greene (Portmarnock), N Grant (Knock)

72 C Glynn (Carton House), T McLarnon (Masserene), A Kearney (Castlerock), T O’Connor (Athlone), J Fox (Portmarnock), M Kane (Whitehead), C Molloy (Ardee), J Gourley (Holywood), M McAlpin (Royal Portrush), J Lyons (Birr)

73 D Morgan (Mullingar), C Sharvin (Ardglass), S Grehan (Tullamore), A Lowry (Esker Hills), A Hogan (Newlands), C Rafferty (Greenore)

74 S Ward (Co Louth), K McDonagh (Athlone), G McGrane (Royal Dublin), D Holland (Castle), C Cunningham (Carton House), C O’Rourke (Naas), P Small (Bangor), J Conroy (Bray), J Rothwell (Curragh), D Downie (Sutton)

75 R Weldon (Killeen Castle), G Lenehan (Portmarnock), J Hume (Rathsallagh), J Rackard (Enniscorthy), S Smyth (Co Louth), S Egan (Castle Bearna), B McGarry (Birr), L Hutchinson (Royal Dublin), D McElroy (Ballymena), M Murphy (Enniscorthy), L Ashby (Killerig), S Hogan (Nenagh), R Bridges (Stackstown), P O’Kane (Moyola Park)

76 A Grant (Dundalk), G Shaw (Mullingar), D Reidy (Co Sligo), A Doran (Ardee), S Carter (Stackstown/NUIM), E Smith (Ardee)

77 J McGuinness (New Forest), M Kelly (Mullingar), A Duffy (Royal Tara), R Symmington (Lisburn), C Tormey (Mullingar), C Geraghty (L&B), D Lally (Mullingar), M Boucher (Carton Hse), S McGlynn (CartonHse)

78 E Farrell (Ardee), J Carvill (Banbridge), T Jordan (Dungannon)

79 R Burke (Castle), C McGrogan (Newbridge), G O’Connor (Malahide), R Knightly (Royal Dublin), S Healy (Claremorris)

80 G Carr (Mullingar), G Walsh (Mount Juliet)

81 I Brennan (Greenore)

82 M Richards (Carton House), C Rentes (Highfield)

85 P Burke (Mullingar)

86 L McMillan (Blessington Lakes)

89 D O’Connor (Athlone)

CSS Round 1: 73

Mullingar Scratch Cup - Past winners

2011    Nicky Grant

2010    Kelan McDonagh

2009    Connor Doran

2008    Shane Lowry

2007    Paul O’Hanlon

2006    Rory McIllroy

2005    Gareth Shaw

2004    Greg Bowden

2003    Colm Moriarty

2002    Eoin O’Sullivan

2001    Colm Moriarty

2000    Johnny Foster

1999    Tim Rice

1998    Pat Collier

1997    Sean Quinlivan

1996    Peter Lawrie

1995    Gary Murphy

1994    Padraig Harrington

1993    Eddie Power

1992    Raymond Burns

1991    Paul McGinley

1990    Leslie Walker

1989    Darren Clarke

1988    Adrian Morrow

1987    Frank Gannon

1986    John McHenry

1985    Garth McGimpsey

1984    Paul Murphy

1983    Ian Elliott

1982    Philip Walton

1981    Mark Gannon

1980    Val Smyth

1979    Frank Gannon

1978    B. Wilson

1977    Eddie Dunne

1976    M.D. O’Brien

1975    Hugh Smyth

1974    B. P. Malone

1973    Mark Gannon

1972    Des Smyth

1971    Martin D. O’Brien

1970    Peter Benka

1969    N. Mason

1968    Martin D. O’Brien

1967    B. P. Malone

1966    Peter Townsend

1965    Peter Townsend

1964    Tom Craddock

1963    J.B. Carr