Enniscrone’s Charles McGoldrick beat the odds and his handicap when he came through Wednesday’s newly created strokeplay pre-qualifier for the West of Ireland Amateur Open Championship at Rosses Point.
The teenager, who is a son of the late Enniscrone PGA professional Charlie McGoldrick, will be first off at 7am in Friday’s first qualifying round alongside fellow qualifiers, County Sligo’s Shane Underwood and Cairndhu’s Stephen Watts.
All three shot two over 73s on a cold and breezy day at the famous links to top the with Strandhill veteran Adrian Wynne the first reserve after a 74.
McGoldrick, who entered the championship with a handicap of 4.7 and was a reserve for the qualifier at one stage, joins the highest quality field in the history of the event after the handicap cut off fell at a record low of 0.0.
With the exception of British Amateur champion Alan Dunbar, who is preparing for the Georgia Cup match against the US Amateur champion Steven Fox (April 4) before heading to Augusta National for the Masters, all the leading Irish internationals are taking part.
The 123-strong field is headed by plus five handicapper Richard O’Donovan from Lucan with Ballymena’s Dermot McIlroy, UK visitor Henry Featherstone, recently crowned Spanish Amateur champion Reeve Whitson from Mourne and defending champion Harry Diamond of Belvoir Park all playing off plus three.
No fewer than 89 players in the field play off plus one or better and there are high hopes for last year’s beaten finalist Stephen Healy of Claremorris and Headfort’s Rory McNamara, the North of Ireland champion.
McNamara reached the semi-finals in 2010 and again last year, when he was beaten 2 and 1 by Healy.
2013 West of Ireland Amateur Open Championship
Co. Sligo Golf Club March 29 – April 2
In Association with Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Sligo
18 Hole Strokeplay Qualifier
73 S Underwood (Co. Sligo), C McGoldrick (Enniscrone), S Watts (Cairndhu) - all 3 qualified
74 A Wynne (Strandhill) 1st Reserve
75 L Hutchinson (The Royal Dublin) 2nd Reserve, A Faulkner (Donegal) 3rd Reserve, M Gielty (Grange) 4th Reserve, S Cullen (Slieve Russell) 5th Reserve
76 B Fennelly (The Royal Dublin), C Tormey (Mullingar), D Glynn (Galway), N Crawford (Mourne)
77 K Flanagan (Co. Sligo), S Heavey (Co. Sligo)
78 J Hopkins (The Royal Dublin), J Kelly (Elm Park), D McGrath (Tuam), A Duffy (Royal Tara), J Conway (Donegal), S Alley (Co. Tipperary), M Rooney (Co. Sligo), P Morgan (Co. Sligo)
79 G Finnegan (Co. Sligo), E O’Keeffe (Corrstown), R McCormack (Naas), C Kelly (Enniscrone), L Ashby (Killerig), C Feeney (Co. Sligo), C Carroll (Shandon Park), C Dunphy (Killeen Castle)
80 P Dallat (Ballycastle), D McMahon (Tralee)
81 C McCaughey (Dungannon), M Richards (Roganstown), D Stapleton (Castlebar)
82 R Timlin (Galway), E Campbell (Donegal), G Fitzpatrick (Naas), S Flanagan (Co. Sligo), A McCormack (Newcastle West), C Cooney (Gort), T Ford (Co. Sligo)
83 B Cafferkey (Belmullet), J Pierse (Grange), P Delaney (Arklow), R O’Connor (Co. Sligo), D Murray (Skerries), F O’Donoghue (Belvoir Park), G O’Farrell (Galway)
84 P Brennan (Belvoir Park), J Timlin (Dungannon), P Neville (Athenry), D Reidy (Co. Sligo), J Hannigan (Navan)
85 E Hannon (Lee Valley)
86 A Kelly (Muskerry), L Mannerings (Esker Hills), K Daniels (Loughrea)
87 M Burke (Galway), D O’Reilly (Clones)
88 T Finnegan (Co. Sligo)
89 L O’Hara (Athenry), N Lawlor (Roscommon)
91 A Flanagan (Co. Sligo)
92 P Kenny (Athlone)
93 R Fitzpatrick (Co. Sligo)
NR T Coffey (Slieve Russell)