Best keeps Ulster hopes alive with monster putt
 Ben Best (Ulster) holes his 65 foot putt on the 18th green to halve his match against Joe Lyons (Connacht) during the second day of the 2016 Interprovincial Championship at Fota Island Golf Club. Picture by  Pat Cashman

Ben Best (Ulster) holes his 65 foot putt on the 18th green to halve his match against Joe Lyons (Connacht) during the second day of the 2016 Interprovincial Championship at Fota Island Golf Club. Picture by Pat Cashman

Ben Best holed an incredible 65-foot putt to deny Joe Lyons and to keep Ulster's title hopes alive and set up a winner takes all clash with holders Leinster on the final day of the Interprovincial Championship at Fota Island.

As reigning champions Leinster crushed Munster 8-3, Best's unlikely halved match with Lyons helped Ulster snatch a 5.5 - 5.5 draw with Connacht and leaves them needing a win over title holders Leinster Wednesday to stop them retaining the trophy.

It was  disappointing end to the day for Connacht as Lyons was two ups with three to play and one up playing the par-five 18th while Shaun Carter also had to settle for a half against Tiarnan McLarnon having been ahead with one to play.

Jack McDonnell, who beat Ireland international Dermot McElroy, and Ronan Mullarney, who took down Stuart Bleakley 5&3.

But while John Ross Galbraith has won four out of four and McLarnon has dropped just half a point, Leinster will be tough to beat.

According to the GUI:

So far, Leinster’s pairings have taken seven of a possible eight points from the combined format. It is the same formula that took them to the title in 2015.
Kevin LeBlanc and Rowan Lester led from the front once more while Conor Purcell and Jonathan Yates bounced back from a heavy defeat on day one to record a 5&3 win. Purcell and Yates were just as impressive in the singles while LeBlanc scored his third point of the week against Peter O’Keefe.
On home soil, Munster will be desperate to end their losing streak but Connacht will be hungry for a win having come so close already. Ulster are the only ones who can stop Leinster now.
Place  Squad  Fixtures  Games 
PPts  Pts 
1st Leinster 22  14  14 
2nd Ulster 22  12  14 
3rd Connacht  22  10  10.5 
4th Munster 22  16  5.5 

Interprovincial Championship, Fota Island

Leinster 8 Munster 3 (Leinster names first)

Foursomes:

  1. Rowan Lester & Kevin Le Blanc beat Pat Murray & Geoff Lenehan 3/2
  2. Jonathan Yates & Conor Purcell beat Gary O’Flaherty & Andrew McCormack 5/3
  3. Caolan Rafferty & Eugene Smith beat Peter O’Keefe & Cathal Butler 1 hole
  4. Daniel Holland & Thomas Mulligan beat Robin Dawson & John Hickey  2/1

Singles:

  1. Rowan Lester lost to Robin Dawson 1 hole
  2. Jonathan Yates beat Geoff Lenehan 5/4
  3. Conor Purcell beat Gary O’Flaherty 7/5
  4. Kevin Le Blanc beat Peter O’Keefe 2/1
  5. Caolan Rafferty lost to Andrew McCormack 3/2
  6. Eugene Smith beat John Hickey 1 hole
  7. Daniel Holland lost to Pat Murray 1 hole

Ulster 5.5 Connacht 5.5 (Ulster names first)

Foursomes

  1. Dermot McElroy & Colin Fairweather lost to Sean Flanagan & Mark Morrissey 2/1
  2. Tiarnan McLarnon & John-Ross Galbraith beat Shaun Carter & Stephen Healy 5/4
  3. Ben Best & Gareth Lappin beat Ronan Mullarney & Jack McDonnell 5/4
  4. Jordan Hood & Stuart Bleakley v Joe Lyons & Cathal Nolan 

Singles

  1. Dermot McElroy lost to Jack McDonnell 1 hole
  2. Colin Fairweather beat Mark Morrissey 3/2
  3. John-Ross Galbraith beat Sean Flanagan 2 holes
  4. Tiarnan McLarnon halved with Shaun Carter
  5. Gareth Lappin halved with Cathal Nolan
  6. Stuart Bleakley lost to Ronan Mullarney 5/3
  7. Ben Best halved with Joe Lyons
P D1 Fsms D1 Sgls D2 Fsms D2 Sgls Tot
John-Ross Galbraith 4 1 1 1 1 4
Tiarnan McLarnon 4 1 1 1 0.5 3.5
Rowan Lester 4 1 1 1 0 3
Kevin LeBlanc 4 1 0 1 1 3
Conor Purcell 4 0 1 1 1 3
Jonathan Yates 4 0 1 1 1 3
Eugene Smith 3 1 - 1 1 3
Ronan Mullarney 4 1 1 0 1 3
Colin Fairweather 4 1 1 0 1 3
Gareth Lappin 4 0.5 1 1 0.5 3
Andrew McCormack 4 0.5 1 0 1 2.5
Joe Lyons 4 0 1 1 0.5 2.5
Cathal Nolan 4 0 1 1 0.5 2.5
Caolan Rafferty 4 1 0 1 0 2
Daniel Holland 4 1 0 1 0 2
Thomas Mulligan 3 1 0 1 - 2
Sean Flanagan 4 0 1 1 0 2
Dermot McElroy 4 1 1 0 0 2
Jack McDonnell 4 1 0 0 1 2
Ben Best 4 0.5 0 1 0.5 2
Mark Morrissey 4 0 0 1 0 1
Cathal Butler 3 1 0 0 - 1
Peter O’Keeffe 4 1 0 0 0 1
Jordan Hood 3 0 1 0 - 1
Robin Dawson 4 0 0 0 1 1
Pat Murray 4 0 0 0 1 1
Gary O’Flaherty 4 0.5 0 0 0 0.5
Shaun Carter 3 0 - 0 0.5 0.5
Stephen Healy 3 0 0 0 - 0
John Hickey 3 0 - 0 0 0
Geoff Lenehan 4 0 0 0 0 0
Stuart Bleakley 3 0 - 0 0 0