Jerry Scullion wasn't going to let anything ruin his chances of claiming a spot in this year's LowFuelCard.ie Irish Championship – not even toothache.
The Kilkeel professional ignored the nagging pain in his jaw to top the leaderboard at the first of two qualifying events at Dundalk GC with a one over par 73.
“I had been annoyed by a sore tooth for a couple of weeks but it got so bad that I almost walked in after 13 holes,” said the 32-year-old.
“I was biting down on a tee while I was playing the 10th, 11th, and 12th but thankfully I stuck it out and got through.”
Jerry started his round brightly and reached three under after seven holes with birdies at the third, fifth and seventh.
“Everything was working pretty well and I really should have had four or five birdies on the front nine alone,” added Jerry.
“I dropped a shot at the eighth and then missed another good birdie chance at the ninth. From around the turn though the pain from the tooth was awful and it was hard to concentrate.”
Given how he was feeling, it's no surprise that Jerry made a number of mistakes on the back nine, dropping shots at the 12th, 14th and 16th.
After going to the turn in two under 34 he struggled home in three over 39 but his one over par total was more than good enough to secure his place in the Irish PGA Championship field on October 1.
“I'm looking forward to it. I missed the event last year and I'm happy to get another chance to play around Dundalk GC, it's a venue I really enjoy,” added Jerry, who claimed his best finish in the event – tied 11th – back in 2012 at Mount Juliet.
“They've made a number of very good course changes at Dundalk, taking some trees out and reworking some of the bunkers. The way they have done it makes a number of the holes look more inviting but if anything they are a bit more dangerous. The course still has plenty of bite.”
The second qualifying event will be held at Dundalk GC on September 21st.
Qualifiers - Detailed scores
Jerry Scullion (Kilkeel GC); Richard Creamer (Arklow GC); Paul Masterson (Coollattin GC); Diarmaid Fraser (Killarney Golf & Fishing Club); Joe Murray (Hollystown GC); Michael Kelly (Dun Laoghaire GC); Richard Kilpatrick (Banbridge GC); Brian Doheny; David Walker (Foxrock GC); Ciaran Boggan (Co Meath GC); Mark Peat (Bray GC); William Noble (Co Cavan GC)