Today started with five Cork golfers still in contention in Lahinch, however as play came to a close that was reduced to just two. The draw meant that there were two all-Cork clashes this morning, and one more this afternoon. Tomorrow will see another all-Cork match with Peter O’Keeffe taking on James Sugrue.
Peter O’Keeffe marched on to the semi-final of the South of Ireland today, the Irish Open Champion was up against Cathal Butler this morning and beat the Kinsale man on the 17th. This afternoon he was up against Robbie Cannon and again closed out the match on the 17th. O’Keeffe has surely done enough at this stage to secure his place on the Home International side, he’ll be hoping to go further and become the first Cork man to win the South since Mervyn Owens. James Sugrue will be having similar ideas after his two wins today.
James Sugrue was up against Gary O’Flaherty in the other Cork match, Sugrue won that contest on the 16th green. Sugrue faced John Murphy in the quarter-final after Murphy beat Colm Campbell on the 19th. This morning Murphy was three down but birdied the 12th, 13th and 14th to level the match. He had a putt to win on the 18th but the ball refused to drop while resting on the lip. He made no mistake on the 19th however and booked his place in the final eight. On paper, Murphy probably had a slight edge over Sugrue, but it was the Mallow man who won. It was a tight match all the way through with Sugrue one ahead for a few holes on the back nine. Sugrue stretched that the two holes when he won the 16th, giving him the upper hand. A half on the 17th was enough to see Sugrue go through to the semi-final.
In the other semi-final Conor O’Rourke will take on West of Ireland winner Barry Anderson. O’Rourke had a marathon 27 hole match this morning to get past Thomas Mulligan and was taken to the 18th this afternoon by leading qualifier Lester Rowan. Play in Lahinch get’s underway at 8.30 in the morning.