McGettigan and McCarroll best in Ballyliffin battle
The drive to Ballyliffin was not without its perils on Saturday morning for the final Alliance visit of the season to Inishowen. But the members are made of very stern stuff and they battled through ice, snow and strong winds to get to Ballyliffin to enjoy their game of winter golf.
Trainor motoring in Lexus Race to Mount Juliet
Barrie Trainor is perfectly placed to overhaul David Higgins and snatch the Lexus Race to Mount Juliet after opening with a four under par 68 in the 36-hole, year-ending bonanza.
The Ulsterman had six birdies in brilliant first round effort at the stunning Kilkenny venue outside Thomastown to share the lead with Headfort’s Brendan McGoven.
Trainor had four birdies on an error-free card to join bogey-free McGovern at the top and move one stroke clear of recently crowned Irish Assistants champion Seamus McMonagle (69).
Joy for trio; heartache for Collins and Murphy
Jonny Caldwell, Aaron O’Callaghan and Noel Fox made the top 15 who came through the European Tour Qualifying School First Stage at Dundonald Links.
But there was heartbreak for Cork’s Michael Collins, who was ninth overnight but slipped one shot outside the seven over par qualifying mark after a final round 77.
It was an even tougher day for former European Tour stalwart Gary Murphy as he crashed to an 80 to miss out on a place in Stage Two by five shots, slipping from 13th overnight to 18th place.
Terrific Thornton in control at Irish PGA
Simon Thornton shot a second successive 66 to lead the 101st Irish PGA Championship bu three shots from Des Smyth at Seapoint.
As 56 players made the cut on five-over-149, Thornton went bogey free for the second day in a row, matching the course record again with a six birdie effort. Scores
“After the ninth hole today I set myself a target of five under but I bettered that by a shot,” he told the PGA website. “No dropped shots in 36 holes isn’t bad and I have bettered my eleven-under for two rounds at City of Derry.