Robbie Walsh claimed his first provincial title today when he overturned a three shot deficit to win the Connacht Boys in Oughterard. It was a long three days for the Kinsale golfer, he was in contention from the start and held a share of the lead with Galgorm Castle’s Joshua Hill after an opening 68. He fell back to second place after round two though when he shot a level par 72 and Hill shot a 69. With a three shot lead, Hill was favourite to win the title, and after the opening nine it still looked like that. The Kinsale teenager was still three behind at the turn but two mistakes from Hill and a birdie from Walsh on the par five 14th saw the pair tied for the lead on the 16th tee. Hill went one ahead with a birdie on the 16th, but he closed with two bogies that would put him into second place. Walsh’s birdie on the par three 17th was crucial, it gave him a one shot lead heading to the 18th tee. Although both golfers bogied the last, Walsh knew he had a cushion and claimed his first provincial title.
Muskerry’s Fionn Hickey carded a final round 69 (-2) to move up to 4th place, that’s another good result after he won the Under 17 trophy at the Irish Boys last week. Jack Egan (Muskerry) and Keelan McCarthy (Lee Valley) both finished inside the top twenty, and Ronan Feerick (Mallow) dropped a few places after a disappointing final round. This is the first individual win for Walsh, last year he was part of Kinsale’s Jimmy Bruen Shield team who won the Munster and All-Ireland title. Walsh becomes the latest Cork winner in Connacht. In 2012 James Sugrue claimed the Connacht Boys while in 2009 it was won by Kieran Lynch. Before that Morgan O’Donovan won in 1992. Next stop for Cork’s top juniors is the Leinster Boys which takes place on Waterford next week.