A birdie three on the last hole was the perfect finish to Cathal Butler’s round in Co Sligo today, as he signed for a 65 after a great second round. Butler, who had a four over par 75 in his opening round, got to work early today and was three under through five holes. He added another two birdies before the turn to go out in 31 (-5). Although he had a few good birdie chances on the back nine he ended up with eight consecutive pars. He did close out on the 18th with a birdie, leaving him on -2 and tied for 20th at the halfway stage. Needless to say the Kinsale golfer was in a positive frame of mind after his round. “It was a relief as much as anything – it feels like a long time since I shot a low one” said Butler after the round. “I was hitting it lovely, I only missed one green and hit a lot of the shots close. The putter was steady throughout and it was nice to hole a long one on 18 to finish.” Butler has been struggling with a back injury for the past while and that has contributed to his lack of recent appearances near the top of the leaderboard. “I’m off around 2pm tomorrow so I’ll get a chance to go to the gym before hand. My back has been troublesome for the past few weeks so I’ll do some exercises before I go out to play.” As for the strategy for tomorrow, it more of the same for Cathal. “I’ll just keep trying to make good decisions and smooth swings. If I can stay as relaxed as I was today it should be another good day.”
James Sugrue followed his opening 70 (-1) with a two over par 73 today. The Mallow man had a colourful back nine, comprised of two pars, three birdies, three bogies and an unfortunate double on the par five 12th. He’s just inside the top 50, and a good round tomorrow should see him through to Sunday. The 54 hole cut after tomorrow’s third round will see the top 50 (plus ties) go forward for Sunday’s final round. Mel Deasy, back at the venue where he led the qualifier for the West just a few weeks ago has found the going a little tougher. Rounds of 72 & 74 has him Continue reading
The West of Ireland qualifier takes place on Sunday and four Cork golfers will be heading for Co Sligo with the hope of making the tournament proper. Mel Deasy, now wearing Lee Valley colours will be hoping to make his first senior championship start while Kieran Murphy from Cork Golf Club will also challenge for one of the ten championship spots. Kinsale have two representatives in the qualifier, Mark Healy and Eric Rumley. They will be hoping to join the three Kinsale members already in the Championship field; Cathal Butler, Gary Ward and Keith Fitzpatrick.
West of Ireland Qualifier Tee Times
This week marks the start of a busy few weeks for Cork’s top golfers with six already confirmed for the West of Ireland. Peter O’Keeffe (+3.7) and James Sugrue (+3.6) are both in the top ten of entries, the Irish squad members had some very impressive performances at national and international level in 2018 and both will be hoping to add another championship to their resume at the first opportunity this year. Kinsale trio Cathal Butler, Gary Ward and Keith Fitzpatrick will be joined by Sean Desmond (Monkstown), Greg O’Mahony (Fota Island) and Padraig O’Connor (Macroom). This year the event has a different format, the traditional 36/64 has been replaced by a 72 hole strokeplay event. The reason behind the change is that Co Sligo is also hosting the Flogas Irish Amateur Open this year. It’s the first time in 96 years that the event will not be run as a match play competition with a new date also adding to the changes. With the Irish Open taking place in Mid May, the decision made to move the West from the traditional Easter date. For anyone not heading to Sligo, the East Cork SSC takes place on Saturday 6th April.
Mark Shanahan, Cathal Butler and Seanie Barry, Ian O’Rourke and Niall Gorey all made the cut for the matchplay stage of the West of Ireland Championship. 40mph winds this afternoon forced a suspension in play and the inability to continue led to the cancellation of the second strokeplay round. The tournament committee had a tough decision and decided to make the matchplay draw based on the first round only.
Mark Shanahan and Paul McCarthy had made the good weather on Saturday morning, they both returned 73’s to put themselves in a good position. McCarthy was one of those adversely affected by the cancellation of Round 2, his 73 this morning to see him provisionally in 21st place with half of the second round scores in. McCarthy’s first round 84 meant that he finished in 85th place and two shots outside the cut mark. Cork’s John Hickey also finished on 84, two shots outside the cut.
Sean Barry (Fota Island) was the 64th and final golfer to make the cut, he’ll face leading qualifier Sean Flanagan from Co Sligo in the first game tomorrow.
West of Ireland Matchplay Draw