Grehan leads East by six shots and biggest halfway lead for eight years
 Stuart Grehan. Picture:  Pat Cashman

Stuart Grehan. Picture: Pat Cashman

Tullamore’s Stuart Grehan birdied two of his last three holes for a second round 69 and the biggest halfway lead in the CityNorth Hotel sponsored East of Ireland Amateur Open for eight years.

The 22-year old Maynooth University star led by a stroke overnight at County Louth thanks to a superb 67 on Saturday. 

But he was equally impressive yesterday as he mixed six birdies with three bogeys to head the qualifiers by six strokes on eight under par from reigning Irish Amateur Close champion John-Ross Galbraith.

Winner of the Close at nearby Seapoint last year, Whitehead player Galbraith posted a second successive 71 to sit alone in second place on two under par with Castle’s Alex Gleeson the only other player in red figures, a shot further back on one-under par after rounds of 72 and 71.

Belvoir Park’s Gareth Lappin (72), Warrenpoint’s Jamie Fletcher (73), Galway Bay’s Eddie McCormack (74) and Knock’s Colin Fairweather (76) were tied for fourth on level par.

But the star of the show was Grehan, whose six-shot lead is the biggest since eventual champion Richard Kilpatrick led by six strokes from Shane Lowry and Pat Murray in 2007.

A quarter-finalist in the Irish Close at Seapoint last year, where he led the strokeplay qualifiers, Grehan turned in level par 37 as he birdied the par-five second and sixth and the tricky eighth but bogeyed the fourth, the tough, par-three fifth and the testing ninth.

However, he was immaculate on the homeward nine, racing home in 32 thanks to birdies at the 10th, 16th and remodelled, par-five 18th.

The cut for the leading 51 players fell at eight over par 152 which meant a disappointing title defence for last year’s winner Colm Campbell from Warrenpoint, who added a 74 to an opening 80 to miss out by two strokes.

Galbraith made his debut for Ireland in winning Home Internationals team last year and while has struggled to hit top for so far this year, he’s clearly at home in County Louth.

An impressive winner of the Close last season,his controlled style of play clearly suits Baltray and after birdies at the third and sixth he followed bogeys at the 13th and 14th with a two at the 15th for his second successive 71.


CityNorth Hotel sponsored East of Ireland Amateur Open, County Louth (Par 72)

Qualifiers

136 Stuart Grehan (Tullamore) 67 69  

142 John-Ross Galbraith (Whitehead) 71 71  

143 Alex Gleeson (Castle) 72 71  

144 Gareth Lappin (Belvoir Park) 72 72, Jamie Fletcher (Warrenpoint) 71 73, Eddie McCormack (Galway Bay) 70 74, Colin Fairweather (Knock) 68 76  

145 Stuart Bleakley (Shandon Park) 73 72, Alan Lowry (Esker Hills) 69 76  

146 Eoin Arthurs (Forrest Little.) 76 70, Aaron Grant (Dundalk) 75 71, Kyle McCarron (North West) 73 73, Mark Morrissey (Mount Wolseley) 73 73, Greg Mungovan (Headfort) 72 74, Jeff Hopkins (The Royal Dublin) 71 75, Shaun Carter (The Royal Dublin) 70 76, Mark Shanahan (Castlemartyr) 70 76, Tiarnan McLarnon (Massereene) 69 77  

147 Joe Lyons (Galway) 76 71, Pat Murray (Limerick) 74 73, Jamie Sutherland (Galgorm Castle) 73 74, Conor O’Rourke (Naas) 72 75, Liam Hutchinson (The Royal Dublin) 70 77  

148 Jack Pierse (Portmarnock) 78 70, Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk) 77 71, Gavin Smyth (Clonmel) 73 75, Geoff Lenehan (Portmarnock) 73 75, Ian Lynch (Rosslare) 70 78  

149 Robert Cannon (Balbriggan) 75 74, Matthew McClean (Balmoral) 73 76, John Hickey (Cork) 73 76, Richard Bridges (Stackstown) 72 77, Gerard Dunne (Co. Louth) 71 78, Sean Flanagan (Co. Sligo) 69 80  

150 Sean Ryan (The Royal Dublin) 78 72, Theo Coffey (Slieve Russell) 77 73, Colm Crowley (Woodbrook) 77 73, Ryan Symington (Lisburn) 74 76, Niall Gorey (Palmerstown Stud) 74 76, Stephen Brady (Galway) 74 76, Marc Boucher (Carton House) 73 77, Paul McCarthy (Mallow) 73 77, Jonathan Yates (Naas) 72 78  

151 Stephen Coulter (Warrenpoint) 78 73, Michael Reid (Galgorm Castle) 78 73, Stephen Watts (Cairndhu) 76 75, David Reddan (Nenagh) 74 77, Stephen Healy (Carton House) 73 78, Alan Dowling (Hermitage) 70 81  

152 Jordan Hood (Galgorm Castle) 79 73, Gary Collins (Rosslare) 78 74

Non-qualifiers

152 Eugene Smith (Ardee) 77 75, Barry Daly (Edmondstown) 77 75, Padhraic O’Brien (Co. Louth) 76 76, Paul Reavey (Warrenpoint) 76 76, James Fox (Portmarnock) 75 77 , Gary O’Flaherty (Cork) 75 77 , Daryl Callister (Mount Murray) 75 77 , Ted Collins (Dun Laoghaire) 74 78 , John Greene (Portmarnock) 74 78 , Ben Best (Rathmore) 74 78 ,, , , , , , Stephen Walsh (Portmarnock) 74 78  

153 Conor Purcell (Portmarnock) 78 75, Ryan Gribben (Warrenpoint) 77 76, Keith Egan (Carton House) 77 76, Shaun O'Connor (Carton House) 77 76, Steffan O'Hara (Co. Sligo) 75 78, Michael Sinclair (Knock) 75 78, John McGinn (Laytown & Bettystown) 73 80, Connor Doran (Banbridge) 72 81, Gareth Bohill (Co. Louth) 72 81  

154 Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint) 80 74, Gary McDermott (Carton House) 78 76, Paul Coughlan (Moate) 78 76, William Hanna (Kilkeel) 77 77, Kelan McDonagh (The Royal Dublin) 77 77, Richard Knightly (The Royal Dublin) 76 78, Kevin Le Blanc (The Island) 76 78, Seamus Cullen (Slieve Russell) 76 78, Robin Dawson (Faithlegg) 75 79, Thomas Mulligan (Co. Louth) 75 79, Sean Doyle (Athlone) 74 80, Daniel Holland (Castle) 73 81, Angus Carrick (Douglas Park) 73 81, Karl Purcell (Dun Laoghaire) 73 81  

155 Neil McKinstry (Cairndhu) 77 78, Sean Walsh (Carton House) 77 78, Cian Dullaghan (Greenore) 76 79, Mark Mullen (Rosslare) 74 81  

156 Michael Buggy (Castlecomer) 79 77, Daniel Coyle (Portmarnock) 76 80, Evan Farrell (Ardee) 76 80, Daniel Brennan (Shannon) 76 80  

157 Herve Blanco (FRANCE) 81 76, Roy Connolly (Palmerstown Stud) 81 76, Declan Reidy (Co. Sligo) 79 78, Mark O’Rourke (Royal Tara) 79 78, Robert Neville (The Links Portmarnock) 79 78, Dan Murphy (Portarlington) 78 79, Eanna Griffin (Waterford) 77 80, Liam Grehan (Mullingar) 77 80, Robbie Pierse (Grange) 76 81  

158 David Foy (Laytown & Bettystown) 83 75, Rory Williamson (Holywood) 81 77, Matthew Kane (Whitehead) 79 79, Mark Power (Kilkenny) 78 80, Nigel Beirth (Co. Louth) 76 82, Simon Bryan (Delgany) 75 83  

159 Shane Walsh (Killeen) 82 77, Chris Drumm (The Royal Dublin) 80 79, Jake Whelan (Newlands) 78 81, Owen Crooks (Bushfoot) 78 81, Niall Goulding (Portmarnock) 78 81, Thomas O’Connor (Athlone) 77 82, Thomas Hackett (USA) 77 82  

160 Paul Murphy (Rosslare) 85 75, Marc Nolan (Delgany) 80 80, Christopher O’Connor (Corrstown) 78 82, Ronan O'Reilly (Headfort) 74 86  

161 Keith Murphy (Charlesland) 82 79, Peter Kane (Ashbourne) 81 80, Alan Duffy (Royal Tara) 79 82, Finnian O’Doherty (Letterkenny) 79 82, Quentin Carew (Edenderry) 77 84  

162 Karl Murray (Delgany) 83 79, Sebastien Alsuguren (FRANCE) 82 80, Allan Kiernan (Forrest Little.) 81 81, Luke Robinson (Bundoran) 81 81, Ryan O’Doherty (Enniscrone) 80 82, Ruairi Kennelly (Portmarnock) 80 82, Gerard Lawlor (Craddockstown) 78 84, Cian Geraghty (Laytown & Bettystown) 78 84  

163 John McCarthy (Stackstown) 84 79, Paraic Connolly (Killeen Castle) 82 81, Michael Brett (Portmarnock) 80 83, Edward O’Keeffe (Corrstown) 79 84  

164 Shane Whooley (Muskerry) 80 84, Liam Ashby (Naas) 80 84  

165 Stephen Kinch (Hollystown) 81 84, Tony O’Leary (Wexford) 80 85  

166 James Monaghan (The Royal Dublin) 84 82, Shane Mc Dermott (Co. Cavan) 83 83, Conor Coyne (Youghal) 82 84  

167 Jack McDonnell (Forrest Little.) 82 85, Mark MacGrath (Limerick) 81 86  

170 Declan O’Neill (Carton House) 82 88  

171 Declan Kelly (Hermitage) 86 85  

WD 75 Gary McGrane (The Royal Dublin) 75  WD, Timothy Jordan (Dungannon) 78 WD, John Conroy (Bray) 80 WD, Greg O’Mahony (Fota Island) 79 WD, Alan Fahy (Bray) 79 WD, Shane McGlynn (Carton House) 81 WD, Niall Foley (The Island) 81 WD, Jonathan Gourley (Shandon Park) 82 WD, Conor Ryan (Dun Laoghaire) 82 WD.