Kilkenny teenager Mark Power is gunning to become the youngest winner of the West of Ireland since Rory McIlroy in 2006 after he completed two impressive wins on the opening day of matchplay combat at Rosses Point.
Winner of the Irish Boys title in 2016 and 2017, the 17-year old beat Carton House’s Paul O’Hanlon 7&6 in the first round before defeating Royal Dublin’s Robbie Hynes 5&3.
“I’ve been hitting the ball great all week and I feel very comfortable in the wind,” said Power, a member of the Irish senior squad, who will face Athlone’s Thomas O’Connor for a place in this afternoon’s quarter-finals.
“I’ve been feeling good and I played great against Paul this morning — three birdies and bogey-free — though it was a lot tougher in the wind this afternoon and I was pleased to get through on the 15th.”
Several fancied contenders made their exit on day one with the 2016 champion Jonathan Yates from Naas and Warrenpoint’s reigning AIG Irish Amateur Close champion Jamie Fletcher going out in the first round.
But the cream also started to rise to the top with leading qualifier Kyle McCarron edging out Tiarnan McLarnon by one hole to set up a last 16 match with 2017 runner-up Jack Pierse and Castle’s Alex Gleeson seeing off Welsh raider Jake Hapgood 3&2.
Douglas’ Peter O’Keeffe, the Irish Amateur Open champion, was four down to Holywood’s Rory Williamson after nine in round two but while he staged a late fightback, he lost by one hole as defending champion Barry Anderson also progressed.
Tramore’s Robin Dawson also eased into the last 16 with wins over Marc Nolan and Cian Geraghty but now faces a tough game with Co Sligo’s Sean Flanagan.
West of Ireland Amateur Open, Co Sligo GC (sponsored by Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa Sligo)
Third round - Monday, 2 April
(8:00) K McCarron (North West) v J Pierse (Portmarnock);
(8:10) A Gleeson (Castle) v R Black (Hilton Templepatrick);
(8:20) S McDermott (Co Cavan) v J Fox (Portmarnock);
(8:30) M Power (Kilkenny) v T O’Connor (Athlone);
(8:40) R Brazill (Naas) v B Anderson (Co Sligo);
(8:50) P Connolly (Killeen Castle) v J McDonnell (Naas);
(9:00) R Dawson (Tramore) v S Flanagan (Co Sligo);
(9:10) R Williamson (Holywood) v J Madden (Royal Portrush).
Second round - Sunday, 1 April
- K McCarron bt TMcLarnon 1h;
- J Pierse bt R Moran 6/5;
- A Gleeson bt J Hapgood 3/2;
- R Black bt C Ryan 5/3;
- S McDermott bt E McCormack 2/1;
- J Fox bt TJ Ford 3/2;
- M Power bt R Hynes 5/3;
- T O’Connor bt C Denvir 3/2;
- R Brazill bt A Hill 3/2;
- B Anderson bt M Ryan Jnr 2/1;
- P Connolly bt N Hearns 2/1
- J McDonnell bt F Kennedy 4/3;
- R Dawson bt C Geraghty 6/5;
- S Flanagan bt D McAleenon 4/3;
- R Williamson bt P O’Keeffe 1 hole;
- J Madden bt G Collins 19th (finished on Monday).
First round - Sunday, 1 April
- K McCarron (North West) bt W Small (Tandragee) 4/3;
- T McLarnon (Massereene) bt W Russell (Clandeboye) 2/1;
- J Pierse (Portmarnock) bt J McCarthy (Stackstown) 1 h;
- R Moran (Castle) bt G Dunne (Co. Louth) 1h;
- A Gleeson (Castle) bt J Doherty (Carton House) 5/3;
- J Hapgood (Southerndown, Wales) bt T Neenan (Lahinch) 5/4;
- R Black (Hilton Templepatrick) bt P Coughlan (Castleknock) 20th;
- C Ryan (Dun Laoghaire) bt A McDaid (Palmerstown Stud) 20th;
- E McCormack (Galway Bay) bt P McKeever (Castle)1h;
- S McDermott (Co. Cavan) bt A McCormack (Castletroy) 1h;
- TJ Ford (Co. Sligo) bt R Knightly (The Royal Dublin) 3/2;
- J Fox (Portmarnock) bt G McDermott (Carton House) 2/1
- M Power (Kilkenny) bt P O’Hanlon (Carton House) 7/6;
- R Hynes (The Royal Dublin) bt J Walsh (Castle) 7/6;
- T O’Connor (Athlone) bt A Marshall (Lisburn) 3/2;
- C Denvir (Elm Park) bt R McKinstry (Cairndhu) 5/4;
- A Hill (Athenry) bt J Yates (Naas) 6/5;
- R Brazill (Naas) bt S Cullen (Slieve Russell) 1h;
- B Anderson (The Royal Dublin) bt J Greene (Portmarnock) 3/2;
- M Ryan Jnr (New Ross) bt J Fletcher (Warrenpoint) 4/3;
- P Connolly (Killeen Castle) bt J Brady (Rosslare) 2/1;
- N Hearns (Mountrath) bt A Kearney (Castlerock) 3/2;
- F Kennedy (The Island) bt K Egan (Carton House) 2/1;
- J McDonnell (Forrest Little) bt D Mallon (Dungannon) 3/2;
- R Dawson (Tramore) bt M Nolan (Dun Laoghaire) 3/2;
- C Geraghty (Laytown & Bettystown) bt F Carr (Kirkistown Castle) 1h;
- D McAleenon (Edenmore) bt A Maguire (Laytown & Bettystown) 5/3;
- S Flanagan (Co. Sligo) bt G Smyth (Clonmel) 3/2;
- P O’Keeffe (Douglas) bt S Ryan (The Royal Dublin) 5/3;
- R Williamson (Holywood) bt L O’Neill (Connemara) 5/4;
- J Madden (Royal Portrush) bt J Whelan (Newlands) 3/2;
- G Collins (Rosslare) bt M Sinclair (Knock) 1h.