Greenore’s Ian Brennan on the 14th tee during roudn three of the South of Ireland Amateur Open Championship at Lahinch Golf Club. Picture: Thos Caffrey / www.golffile.ieReigning champion Pat Murray lost on the 19th as Knock’s Nicky Grant remained on course in his quest for his first amateur major with a 4 and 3 win over Arthur Pierse of Tipperary sending him into the last 16 of the South of Ireland Amateur Open at Lahinch.

The Ulsterman, 26, will face Colin Cunningham in tomorrow’s fifth round after the Carton House man beat Laytown and Bettystown’s David Foy by one hole.

Royal Dublin’s Sean Ryan, a beaten quarter-finalist last year, beat Tullamore’s talented interprovincial star Stuart Grehan 4 and 3 in the fourth round to set up a last 16 meeting with Cairndhu’s Ryan McKinstry, who beat Luttrellstown Castle’s Shaun O’Connor on the 19th.

Earlier in the day, Irish Amateur Open champion Robbie Cannon lost 4 and 3 to Mallow’s Paul McCarthy but the Corkman exited in the afternoon when he lost by 5 and 3 to Kilkenny’s Paul O’Hara.

O’Hara now plays Warrenopoint’s Stephen Coulter, 21, who was taken to extra holes Carton House’s Shane McGlynn before winning with a birdie four at the 20th, where he chipped close.

Ardee’s Eugene Smith, who reached the semi-finals last year, beat Ross Kenny of Naas 6 and 5 and now takes on Rathmore’s Ben Best who was a 3 and 1 winner of Wexford’s Tony O’Leary.

County Louth’s Simon Ward, the 2006 champion, made five birdies and just one bogey in a 6 and 5 demolition of Royal Dublin based Sigo man Barry Anderson and announced that he will be turning professional in the autumn.

“I just feel like I need a fresh challenge,” the 26-year old explained. “I’ve really enjoyed amateur golf but I’ve played so much matchplay and so many links courses in wind and rain that it would be nice to try it and see how I do.

“I played in the EuroPro event at Concra Wood last week because it’s near my home and I really enjoyed it so I’d like to give it a go and see if I can improve my game.”

The last 16 is an attractive blend of youth and experience but it doesn’t include reigning champion Murray, who three-putted the 19th to lose to Dubliner McSweeney, who celebrates his 34th birthday on Thursday

The Limerick player had a nine foot birdie putt at the 18th to win a match that had swung to and fro all day long but his title defence ended at the first extra hole when he three-putted for bogey.

“I’m ecstatic,” said McSweeney, whose biggest achievement at championship level until yesterday was a top 20 finish in the East of Ireland Championship.

“I beat Daniel Holland this morning but when I saw I had Pat Murray in the fourth round I knew I was in for a tough match. In fact, he’s probably my father’s golfing hero.”

Castle’s Alex Gleeson will face Shannon’s Ed Hickey with McSweeney now set to meet Jamie Rothwell, who beat Delgany’s Simon Bryan on the 18th.

Galgorm Castle’s Jamie Sutherland made it five Ulstermen in the last 16 when he beat Elm Park’s Eoin O’Connor at the 21st.

The winner of that one will take on Stackstown left-hander Richard Bridges, a player in form, or last year’s runner up Stephen Healy.

Bridges, who was a reserve for Leinster in last week’s Interpros, had a solid 2 and 1 win over former champion John Greene as Healy beat former West of Ireand champion Mark Ryan, a dual member of Grange and Lahinch, by 3 and 2.

South of Ireland Amateur Open, Lahinch GC (Sponsored by Clare Coast Hotels)

Fifth round (Tuesday)

(8:00) Ryan McKinstry (Cairndhu) v Sean Ryan (Royal Dublin),

(8:15) Ben Best (Rathmore) v Eugene Smith (Ardee),

(8:30) Paul O’Hara (Kilkenny) v Stephen Coulter (Warrenpoint),

(8:45) Colin Cunningham (Carton House ) v Nicky Grant (Knock),

(9:00) Alex Gleeson (Castle) v Ed Hickey (Shannon)

(9:15) Jamie Rothwell (Curragh) v Bryan McSweeney (Royal Dublin)

(9:30) Simon Ward (Co Louth) v Jamie Sutherland (Galgorm Castle)

(9:45) Richard Bridges (Stackstown) v Stephen Healy Claremorris),

Fourth round (in progress Live Scoring: For desktops For mobile devices

Ryan McKinstry (Cairndhu) bt Shaun O’Connor (Luttrellstown Castle) 19th,

Sean Ryan (Royal Dublin) bt Stuart Grehan (Tullamore) 4/3,

Ben Best (Rathmore) bt Tony O’Leary (Wexford) 3/1,

Eugene Smith (Ardee) bt Ross Kenny (Naas)  6/5,

Paul O’Hara (Kilkenny) bt Paul McCarthy (Mallow) 5/3,

Stephen Coulter (Warrenpoint) bt Shane McGlynn (Carton House) 20th,

Colin Cunningham (Carton House) bt David Foy (Laytown & Bettystown) 1H,

Nicky Grant (Knock) bt Arthur Pierse (Tipperary) 4/3,

Alex Gleeson (Castle) bt Gareth Bohill (Co Louth) 2/1,

Ed Hickey (Shannon) bt Jack Leacy (Dungarvan) 2/1,

Jamie Rothwell (Curragh) bt Simon Bryan (Delgany) 1up,

Bryan McSweeney (Royal Dublin) bt Pat Murray (Limerick) 19th.

Simon Ward (Co. Louth) bt Barry Anderson (Royal Dublin) 6/5

Jamie Sutherland (Galgorm Castle) bt Eoin O’Connor (Elm Park) 21st

Richard Bridges (Stackstown) bt John Greene (Portmarnock) 2/1

Stephen Healy Claremorris) bt Mark Ryan (Grange) 3/2.

Round three

Ryan McKinstry (Cairndhu) bt Evan Farrell (Ardee) 2/1

Shaun O’Connor (Luttrellstown Castle) bt Ian Brennan (Greenore) 4/2,

Stuart Grehan (Tullamore) bt John Conroy (Bray) 19th,

Sean Ryan (Royal Dublin) bt Eoin O’Sullivan (The Island) 2/1,

Tony O’Leary (Wexford) bt Kelan McDonagh (Athlone) 5/4,

Ben Best (Rathmore) bt Joe Lyons (Galway) 3/2,

Eugene Smith (Ardee) bt Gary McGrane (Royal Dublin) 4/3,

Ross Kenny (Naas) bt Chris Tormey (Mullingar) 5/4,

Paul McCarthy (Mallow) bt Robbie Cannon (Balbriggan) 4/3,

Paul O’Hara (Kilkenny) bt Paul Reavey (Warrenpoint) 2/1,

Shane McGlynn (Carton House) bt Shaun Carter (Stackstown/NUIM) 2h,

Stephen Coulter (Warrenpoint) bt Ryan O’Dwyer (Callan) 4/3,

Colin Cunningham (Carton House) bt Ian O’Flynn (Cork) 2/1

David Foy (Laytown & Bettystown) bt John Hickey (Cork) 2/1,

Arthur Pierse (Tipperary) bt Philip Spratt (West Waterford) 8/6,

Nicky Grant (Knock) bt Stephen McCarthy (Killeen Castle) 5/3,

Alex Gleeson (Castle) bt Tom Cleary (Dromoland Castle) 2/1,

Gareth Bohill (Co Louth) bt Declan Reidy (Co Sligo) 2/1,

Ed Hickey (Shannon) bt Thomas O’Connor (Athlone) 4/2,

Jack Leacy (Dungarvan) bt Shane Hogan (Nenagh) 2/1,

Jamie Rothwell (Curragh) bt Matthew McClean (Balmoral) 2/1,

Simon Bryan (Delgany) bt James McLaughlin (Portumna) 3/2

Bryan McSweeney (Royal Dublin) bt Daniel Holland (Castle) 4/3

Pat Murray (Limerick) bt William Hanna (Kilkeel/Warrenpoint) 3/2,

Simon Ward (Co. Louth) bt Billy McGarry (Birr) 2H,

Barry Anderson (Royal Dublin) bt Gary Collins (Rosslare) 2/1,

Jamie Sutherland (Galgorm Castle) bt Gary O’Flaherty (Cork) 4/3,

Eoin O’Connor (Elm Park) bt Mark Mullen (Wexford) 2/1,

John Greene (Portmarnock) bt Eamonn Haugh (Castletroy) 5/4,

Richard Bridges (Stackstown) bt Dave O’Donovan (Muskerry) 5/4,

Mark Ryan (Grange) bt John Kavanagh (Castletroy) 1H,

Stephen Healy Claremorris) bt Aidan Kelly (The Heritage) 3/2.