Irish in the pack at Patriot All-America Invitational
Caolan Rafferty (left) and Ronan Mullarney (far right) before the Am-Am

Caolan Rafferty (left) and Ronan Mullarney (far right) before the Am-Am

Maynooth University's Ronan Mullarney added a 73 to his opening 72 to lead the Irish challenge into the final round of the Patriot All-America Invitational in Arizona.

The Galway international (23) shares 40th place on five-over par, 10 strokes behind 36-hole leaders Isaiah Jackson and Alex Scott at The Wigwam Resort in Litchfield Park.

His Maynooth University teammate Caolan Rafferty (26) followed his first round 74 with a two-over 72 to lie one stroke further back, tied for 46th on six-over with Royal Portrush's Peter Kerr, playing out of St Andrews University, tied 70th on 12-over after a 73.


Rafferty and Mullarney will now play together in the final round.

Jackson, a junior at the University of Memphis, finished birdie-birdie to card a six-birdie 68 as Scott, a senior from Grand Valley State University, posted a three-under-par 67 to tie for the lead on five-under, one shot clear of Quade Cummins from the University of Oklahoma (70-66) and Jackson Suber from Ole Miss (69-67).

Defending champion and first round co-leader Mason Overstreet shot a three-over-par 73 to share 12th place on level par heading into Monday's final round.

Participants in the Patriot All-America Invitational play in honour of a fallen or severely injured US soldier by carrying a golf bag bearing the name of that soldier.

Before the tournament, participants receive a card with the soldier’s story, so they can be familiar with who that person was, what they represented and how they were killed or wounded in action.

Rafferty is honouring Bradley S. Bohle from the 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group, Fort Bragg, who died September 16, 2009, of wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device when he was on patrol in Ghur Ghuri, Afghanistan.

Mullarney is carrying a bag bearing the name of Army Staff Sergeant Eric S. Holman of Evans City, Pennsylvania, who died on August 15, 2012 in Godali, Ghazni Province, Afghanistan aged 39.

Kerr is honouring U.S. Army Sergeant Gary A. “Andy” Eckert, Jr who was serving as a carpentry and masonry specialist and died on May 8, 2005, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee in Samarra, Iraq. He was 24 years old.