There’s plenty of Cork interest in Ballybunion today as the round of 16 matchplay gets underway. The Cashen course in North West Kerry proved to be a good challenge for some of Ireland’s top young golfers over the past two days, with six Cork golfers making it through to the last sixteen. Mukerry’s Fionn Hickey shot the low round yesterday, a 73 saw him top day two and added to his opening 76, he qualified comfortably. The Irish International had a colourful scorecard yesterday and interesting it included four birdies – all of which came on the par three’s. Tom Higgins from Roscommon was the top qualifier on 148, with Hickey one shot behind on 149.
Lee Valley’s Keelan McCarthy shot rounds of 75 & 78 to take the third qualifying spot. Bandon’s David Kelly was the next qualifier on 154, thanks to an opening 72 which had him in second place after 18 holes. Mel Deasy (Lee Valley) is also in top half of the draw having finished on 154 as well, and Robbie Walsh (Kinsale) finished in 7th place after rounds of 77 & 78. Jack Murphy (Douglas) had two shots to spare after rounds of 77 & 82.
All six golfers will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Cathal Butler and John Murphy, and add their name to the famous boys trophy. Mallow’s Daniel O’Sullivan was unlucky to miss the championship flight but he is through to the plate. Blarney’s Dean Browne is also through to the plate competition as is Shane Williams (Douglas), Stephen Riordan (Muskerry) and James Walsh (Kinsale).
The first two rounds take place on the Cashen Course today.