Grehan tops Close qualifiers
 Leading qualifier Stuart Grehan (Tullamore) driving at the 10th during the second round of the 2014 AIG sponsored Irish Amateur Close Golf Championship at Seapoint Golf Club today (08/06/2014). Picture by Pat Cashman  www.cashmanphotography.ie

Leading qualifier Stuart Grehan (Tullamore) driving at the 10th during the second round of the 2014 AIG sponsored Irish Amateur Close Golf Championship at Seapoint Golf Club today (08/06/2014). Picture by Pat Cashman www.cashmanphotography.ie

Tullamore's Stuart Grehan won the silver medal awarded to the leading qualifier in the Irish Amateur Close at Seapoint.

The 21-year old former Irish Youths champion shot rounds of 71 and 74 to finish on one over 145 and edge out Knock's Colin Fairweather (70-75) on count back. 

"I played smart and only hit driver three times each day," Grehan said. "The key here is just to hit fairways. No matter how far back you are, just hit fairways. That was my game plan and it worked well."

The cut for the top 64 fell on 12 over 156 with three players — Keith Murphy (Charlesland) 76 80, Robbie Pierse (Grange) 75 81, Conor Purcell (Portmarnock) 73 83 edged out on that score.

Five handicapper Louis O'Hara from Athenry also made the cut. 

Louis O'Hara (Athenry) driving at the 10th during the second round of the 2014 AIG sponsored Irish Amateur Close Golf Championship at Seapoint Golf Club. Picture by Pat Cashman www.cashmanphotography.ie

PHOTO GALLERY

East of Ireland champion Colm Campbell needed a par at the 18th to lead the qualifiers but took seven to add a 78 to his opening 68 for 146 to miss out by one.

"The ball just didn't want to go in the hole at the last,” Campbell said ruefully. “It was a tough day and I wasn't feeling 100 percent but I still should have been able to shoot a better score than that.

“I got off to a bad start and made five bogeys in seven holes with three three-putts but while it would have been nice to lead the qualifiers, you can't win it today. 

“Winning the East is only starting to sink in now and I know these championships aren't easy to win. But it was nice to get one under the belt so my intention this week is to win again so let's see how it goes.”

AIG sponsored Irish Amateur Close Championship, Seapoint GC (Par 72)

First round

7.30am (8 min intervals)
G Lenehan (Portmarnock) v A Lowry (Esker Hills); K Stack (Dungarvan) v J Hickey (Cork); J Fox (Portmarnock) v R McKinstry (Cairndhu); E Arthurs (Forrest Little) v P McKeever (Castle); C Fairweather (Knock) v M Sinclair (Knock); B Best (Rathmore) v K Cummings (Elm Park); J McGinn (Laytown & Bettystown) v C Butler (Kinsale); P Murray (Limerick) v J Pierse (Portmarnock);

8.34am (8 min intervals)
S Healy (Claremorris) v K LeBlanc (The Island); J Lyons (Galway) v J Gourley (Shandon Park); T McLarnon (Massereene) v G Dunne (Co. Louth); G O'Flaherty (Cork) v A Wilson (Portmarnock); D Loftus (Castlebar) v J Monaghan (The Royal Dublin); B Ronan (Co. Louth) v L O'Hara (Athenry); K Lynch (Skibereen) v R Lester (Hermitage); C Campbell (Warrenpoint) v C Kenny (Royal Curragh); 

9.38am (8 min intervals)
G McDermott (Carton House) v A McCloy (Ballymena); G Mungovan (Headfort) v D Carey (Carton House); E Griffin (Waterford) v G Carew (Edenderry); D Holland (Castle) v S Watts (Cairndhu); M McClean (Balmoral) v JR Galbraith (Whitehead); P O'Brien (Co. Louth) v K Egan (Carton House); D Reidy (Co. Sligo) v C Crowley (Woodbrook); G Collins (Rosslare) v S O'Connor (Luttrellstown Castle); 

10.42 (8 min intervals)
B Anderson (The Royal Dublin) v G Lappin (Belvoir Park); A Thomas (Dungarvan) v S Cullen (Slieve Russell); A Magee (Powerscourt) v D Byrne (Athenry); R Bridges (Stackstown) v I Spillane (Mallow); I O'Rourke (The Royal Dublin) v T O'Driscoll (Ring of Kerry); R Williamson (Holywood) v G McGrane (The Royal Dublin); S Walsh (Portmarnock) v P Reavey (Warrenpoint); S Grehan (Tullamore) v M Morrissey (Mount Wolseley)

Qualifiers

145 Stuart Grehan (Tullamore) 71 74 (leading qualifier), Colin Fairweather (Knock) 70 75

146 Brian Ronan (Co. Louth) 73 73, Gary McDermott (Carton House) 72 74, Gary O'Flaherty (Cork) 71 75, Matthew McClean (Balmoral) 70 76, Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint) 68 78

147 Pat Murray (Limerick) 72 75

148 Richard Bridges (Stackstown) 74 74, Gary Collins (Rosslare) 72 76, Declan Loftus (Castlebar) 71 77, Stephen Walsh (Portmarnock) 69 79

149 James Fox (Portmarnock) 76 73, Gerard Dunne (Co. Louth) 74 75, Michael Sinclair (Knock) 72 77

150 David Carey (Carton House) 77 73, Joe Lyons (Galway) 76 74, Mark Morrissey (Mount Wolseley) 76 74, Alan Thomas (Dungarvan) 75 75, Stephen Watts (Cairndhu) 74 76, Peter McKeever (Castle) 72 78

151 Eoin Arthurs (Forrest Little.) 79 72, Padraic O'Brien (Co. Louth) 75 76, Colm Crowley (Woodbrook) 75 76, Alexander Wilson (Portmarnock) 75 76, Stephen Healy (Claremorris) 74 77, Geoff Lenehan (Portmarnock) 74 77, Daniel Holland (Castle) 72 79, Shaun O'Connor (Luttrellstown Castle) 71 80

152 Kevin Le Blanc (The Island) 78 74, Ben Best (Rathmore) 77 75, Ryan McKinstry (Cairndhu) 77 75, Gareth Lappin (Belvoir Park) 76 76, Barry Anderson (The Royal Dublin) 76 76, Eanna Griffin (Waterford) 74 78, Greg Carew (Edenderry) 74 78, Rory Williamson (Holywood) 74 78

153 Greg Mungovan (Headfort) 79 74, Tiarnan McLarnon (Massereene) 76 77, Ian Spillane (Mallow) 76 77, Seamus Cullen (Slieve Russell) 75 78, Alex McCloy (Ballymena) 75 78, John McGinn (Laytown & Bettystown) 75 78, Ian O'Rourke (The Royal Dublin) 72 81

154 John Hickey (Cork) 82 72, John-Ross Galbraith (Whitehead) 80 74, Jonathan Gourley (Shandon Park) 77 77, Alan Lowry (Esker Hills) 76 78, Keagan Cummings (Elm Park) 75 79, Tommy O'Driscoll (Ring Of Kerry) 75 79, Louis O'Hara (Athenry) 73 81

155 Jack Pierse (Portmarnock) 78 77, Andrew Magee (Powerscourt) 75 80, James Monaghan (The Royal Dublin) 74 81, Kevin Stack (Dungarvan) 73 82

156 David Byrne (Athenry) 79 77, Keith Egan (Carton House) 79 77, Colum Kenny (Curragh) 78 78, Kieran Lynch (Skibbereen) 78 78, Gary McGrane (The Royal Dublin) 77 79, Paul Reavey (Warrenpoint) 77 79, Cathal Butler (Kinsale) 77 79, Rowan Lester (Hermitage) 77 79,  Declan Reidy (Co. Sligo) 76 80, 

Non-qualifiers

156 Keith Murphy (Charlesland) 76 80, Robbie Pierse (Grange) 75 81, Conor Purcell (Portmarnock) 73 83

157 Bernard Bermingham (Carton House) 80 77, Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk) 79 78, Richard Knightly (The Royal Dublin) 79 78, Ryan O'Doherty (Enniscrone) 78 79, Steffan O'Hara (Co. Sligo) 78 79, Shaun Carter (Stackstown) 78 79, William Hanna (Kilkeel) 78 79, Paul Burke (Mullingar) 77 80, Aaron Grant (Dundalk) 76 81

158 Liam Harnett (Milltown) 82 76, Ronan Mullarney (Galway) 80 78, Declan Kelly (Hermitage) 78 80, Ryan Symington (Lisburn) 77 81, David Brady (Co. Sligo) 77 81, Alex Gleeson (Castle) 77 81, Marc Boucher (Carton House) 76 82, Daniel O'Connor (Athlone) 76 82, William Russell (Clandeboye) 76 82, Ruairi O'Connor (Co. Sligo) 76 82, Nigel Beirth (Co. Louth) 76 82, Sean Alley (Co. Tipperary) 74 84

159 Thomas O'Connor (Athlone) 81 78, Shane McGlynn (Carton House) 78 81, Marc Nolan (Delgany) 76 83, Conor Coyne (Youghal) 76 83, Stephen Kinch (Hollystown) 76 83

160 Cian Geraghty (Laytown & Bettystown) 79 81, Stephen Brady (Co. Sligo) 79 81, Stuart Bleakley (Shandon Park) 78 82, Edward Kennedy (Woodbrook) 78 82, Chris Tormey (Corballis Links) 78 82, Ross Mohan (The Island) 76 84, Craig Melvin (Corrstown) 74 86

161 Stephen McCarthy (Black Bush) 82 79, Ruairi Kennelly (Portmarnock) 81 80, Shane Hogan (Nenagh) 81 80, Stephen Loftus (Lahinch) 79 82

162 Daniel Brennan (Shannon) 83 79, James Kelly (Elm Park) 81 81, Ian O'Flynn (Cork) 80 82, Gareth Bohill (Co. Louth) 79 83, Paul Coughlan (Moate) 78 84, Harry McHugh (Skerries) 76 86

163 Conor Rankin (Royal Portrush) 85 78, Ian Lynch (Rosslare) 82 81, Daniel Coyle (Co. Louth) 81 82, Jamie Fletcher (Warrenpoint) 80 83, Ally Purdy (Ballyclare) 80 83, Conor Mccaughey (Dungannon) 79 84, Barry Fennelly (The Royal Dublin) 78 85, Darragh Hogan (Killeen Castle) 76 87

164 Neil Cullen (Beaverstown) 81 83

165 Ross McKeever (Castle) 84 81, Ger Cohen (Beaverstown) 83 82

166 Gerard MacNamara (Portmarnock) 79 87

167 Brian O'Reilly (Athenry) 86 81, John Garvey (Seapoint) 85 82, Liam Hutchinson (The Royal Dublin) 82 85, Martin Hynes (Athenry) 80 87, Darragh Conlon (Athenry) 79 88

168 Rory O'Connor (Strandhill) 86 82, Sean Maloney (Dunmurry Springs) 80 88, Eamonn O'Driscoll (Ring Of Kerry) 79 89

170 Eoghan Murphy (Cork) 88 82, Ciaran Smyth (Greenore) 82 88

171 Sean Denny (Castleblayney) 86 85

172 Paul Cox (Strandhill) 82 90, Eoghan McKeever (Castle) 81 91

174 Eoghan O'Donovan (Craddockstown) 80 94

182 Damien McDonough (Galway) 89 93

NR/WD  Jamie Richardson (Royal Portrush) 79 NR, Daniel Cosgrove (Kilcock) 81 NR, Bob Loftus (Lahinch) WD 82, Thomas Fay (Rush) 85 WD, Paraic Connolly (Killeen Castle) WD WD


Heavy rough and a south wind gusting over 30 mph has sent scores soaring in second strokeplay qualifying round at the AIG sponsored Irish Amateur Close Championship at Seapoint.

LIVE SCORING

The cut for the 64 qualifiers for Monday's matchplay stages projected to fall at around 156 or 157 with the best score of the morning a brace of level par 72s by Forrest Little's Eoin Arthurs (151) and Cork's John Hickey (154).

Balmoral's Matthew McClean is the leader in the clubhouse on two over 146 after rounds of  70 and 76.

But there were plenty of tales of anguish, such as that of Castle's Alex Gleeson, who was one of the biggest victims among the morning starters.

The 20-year old UCD student covered the back nine in level par 36 but then came home in 45 for an 81, taking an 11 at the par-four fourth in a round that took more than five and a half hours (they started at 9.34 am and finished at 3.10 pm).

His group was put on the clock as he stood on the fourth tee and ironically, they only got slower as he racked up a septuple bogey there and a double bogey seven at the sixth.

Overnight leader Colm Campbell was three over after five and back to one under, two shots behind Portmarnock's Stephen Walsh, who lost two balls on his opening nine (the front) but was still a sensational level for the day and three under for the qualifying rounds.