Galway Bay’s Eddie McCormack is on track for back to back championship wins after he added a sensational 69 to his opening 76 to take a five stroke lead into the final round of the Irish Mid-Amateur Championship on his home track.
Now 45, the Cavan native has decided to make this season his “final fling” as he and his wife Mary prepare for the arrival of a second child, a boy, in September.
A former international and winner of multiple scratch cups and Mid-Amateur events, he won last week’s Connacht Strokeplay Championship at Portumna to notch his maiden senior win, 13 years after losing to Rory McIlroy in the Irish Close final at Westport.
He now has a chance to make it back-to-back wins but while he leads by five shots on one-over par 145, former Mullingar Scratch Trophy winner Geoff Lenehan and 2010 South of Ireland champion John Greene will be keen to make him sweat.
Lenehan shot rounds of 76 and 74 as Greene, a Carlow native, birdied his last two holes for a second successive 75 and a share of second with his clubmate on six-over.
With County Louth’s Gerard Dunne alone in fourth, nine shots off the pace on 10-over, McCormack is in a strong position on a track he knows like the back of his hand.
Irish Mid-Amateur Championship, Galway Bay GC (Par 72)
After 36 holes
145 E McCormack (Galway Bay) 76 69
150 G Lenehan (Portmarnock) 76 74; J Greene (Portmarnock) 75 75
154 G Dunne (Co. Louth) 78 76
155 S Moloney (Castletroy) 80 75; P Sheehan (Ballybunion) 78 77
156 J Carvill (Banbridge) 81 75
157 J Lyons (Galway) 79 78; J Mulready (Castle) 78 79
161 G Bohill (Co. Louth) 84 77; P O'Hara (Kilkenny) 79 82
162 F Kennedy (The Island) 83 79; E Haugh (Castletroy) 81 81; A Condren (Greystones) 79 83
163 T O'Leary (Rosslare) 81 82
164 F O'Sullivan (Tralee) 85 79; P Kirby (Dun Laoghaire) 81 83
165 R Knightly (Royal Dublin) 87 78; P Hennessy (Lahinch) 86 79; S Kelly (Ballinasloe) 80 85
166 S McGlynn (Portmarnock) 86 80; K McCarthy (Kinsale) 77 89
167 C Murphy (Clandeboye) 87 80; S Miskelly (Knock) 86 81; M McMurray (Royal Portrush) 83 84
168 C Cullen (Beaverstown) 89 79; L Connolly (Wexford) 86 82; A Adair (Clandeboye) 83 85
169 K Lewis (Skerries) 87 82
171 A Lynch (Bray) 88 83
172 D O'Neill (The Links Portmarnock) 85 87; D Gleeson (Limerick) 83 89
173 C Lally (Blainroe) 84 89
174 C Waters (Lahinch) 92 82; D O'Donoghue (Bandon) 90 84
175 K Lawlor (Beaverstown) 93 82; C Cooney (Gort) 87 88
176 S Kavanagh (Borris) 91 85
177 J Crangle (Fortwilliam) 93 84
178 T Hogan (Headfort) 90 88
179 B Power (Goldcoast) 96 83; A Smolak (Saadiyat Beach Golf Club) 90 89
181 R Williams (Naas) 92 89; P Flynn (Tramore) 89 92
WD T Cleary (Woodstock) 81 WD; J Kiely (Slievenamon) 82 WD; L Halpin (Shannon) 85 WD
NR P Murray (Clontarf); D Donohoe (Slieve Russell); D Coughlan (Castleknock); J Williams (Castle); K Crowley (Fota Island); M Horan (Birr Golf Club); B Kennedy (Palmerstown Stud); D Basquill (Enniscrone); B Stevens (Spa); P McNeill (Woodbrook); J Bernie-Jnr (Athenry); A Moran (Tuam); J Bodkin (Tuam); D Glynn (Galway Bay)
RTD D Sweeney (Westmanstown); C O'Donoghue (Castletroy); B Timlin (Galway); J Duffy (Galway Bay); M Hogan (Glasson)
NS P Gribben (Warrenpoint); M Kearns (Westport)
raw for Round 3 - Sunday 17 June
- 0800 (1st) D O'Neill (The Links Portmarnock), D Gleeson (Limerick), C Lally (Blainroe)
- 0810 (1st) A Adair (Clandeboye), K Lewis (Skerries), A Lynch (Bray)
- 0820 (1st) M McMurray (Royal Portrush), C Cullen (Beaverstown), L Connolly (Wexford)
- 0830 (1st) K McCarthy (Kinsale), C Murphy (Clandeboye), S Miskelly (Knock)
- 0840 (1st) P Hennessy (Lahinch), S Kelly (Ballinasloe), S McGlynn (Portmarnock)
- 0850 (1st) F O'Sullivan (Tralee), P Kirby (Dun Laoghaire), R Knightly (Royal Dublin)
- 0900 (1st) E Haugh (Castletroy), A Condren (Greystones), T O'Leary (Rosslare)
- 0910 (1st) G Bohill (Co. Louth), P O'Hara (Kilkenny), F Kennedy (The Island)
- 0920 (1st) J Carvill (Banbridge), J Lyons (Galway), J Mulready (Castle)
- 0930 (1st) G Dunne (Co. Louth), S Moloney (Castletroy), P Sheehan (Ballybunion)
- 0940 (1st) E McCormack (Galway Bay), G Lenehan (Portmarnock), J Greene (Portmarnock)