English pair keep pressure up at Irish Boys Open
The stage is set for a thrilling finish to the Irish Boys Open Championship at Castletroy today with five players within four strokes of the lead going into final 18 holes.
And it could well be that the title is for export given that the joint leaders on 211, five under par, are the English pair Jack Cope and Danny Daniels who have completed 54 holes, two ahead of defending champion Mark Power (Kilkenny) with Rosslare’s John Brady on 214 and the admirably steady Mallow golfer Adam Boland on 215.
A very strong, cold crosswind sweeping across the Castletroy course made for a difficult day for the talented, multi national field and in the end it was the English pair who stood up best to the challenge. Cope went into yesterday’s third round one off the pace but his two under par 70 that included four birdies but a bogey on the 18th saw him in a share of the leader with Daniels at the close of play.
In contrast, a birdie at the last enabled Daniels to join his compatriot at the head of affairs and extend a serious challenge to home favourites Power, Brady and Boland. Power’s massive hitting from the tee drew gasps from an admiring gallery but his game otherwise lacked its usual consistency for much of the afternoon.
He offset a birdie at the 1st with a double bogey at the next and even though gains at the 7th and 10th spurred him on, a bogey, bogey finish left the Kilkenny 17 year-old with to make up today.
Much the same applies to Brady who took 40 for the homeward journey and there was much to admire in the performance of Mallow’s Adam Boland who has brought in rounds of 71, 73 and 71, a score that included six birdies.
England’s Paul Waring left some of Europe’s biggest names trailing in his wake to claim the lead after the first round of the £5.4m HNA Open de France.
Waring, 32, who is competing this season on a medical exemption due to ongoing back problems which restricted him to four starts in 2016, carded seven birdies in a flawless opening 64 at Le Golf National, venue for the 2018 Ryder Cup.
That left the former English Amateur champion two shots clear of Thomas Pieters, Alexander Bjork and qualifying school winner Nathan Kimsey, with Tommy Fleetwood part of a three-strong group on four under.
Walker Cup hopeful Conor O’rourke leads the Irish charge for the European Amateur Championship heading into day three at Walton Heath in Surrey.
The Naas man starts this morning just two strokes off the lead after following up on his first round 67 with a 70 yesterday.
It left him seven-under (137) for the two rounds and within touching distance of Spaniard Victor Pastor, Jeremy Freiburghaus of Switzerland and Australian Dylan Perry.
The Island star Paul Mcbride is also well placed to challenge as he sits on five-under after two rounds.
Tramore’s Robin Dawson is threeground under with the trio of Alex Gleeson (Castle), Stuart Grehan (Tullamore) and Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint) all on two-under.
Conor Purcell (Portmarnock) and Jonathan Yates (Naas) are on level par while John-ross Galbraith is one-over and Thomas Mulligan (Laytown & Bettystown) three-over.
Joseph Byrne (Baltinglass) after his victory in the Leinster Boys U4 Amateur Open at Corballis. Byrne shot a course record four under par 62 to win by six shots.