There was no joy today for the seniors who were playing in the Irish Seniors Open Championship in Co Tipperary, and Brian O’Donovan also failed to secure a full card in the PGA China final qualifying.
Holder Tom Cleary was among the local hopefuls in action but he couldn’t match the results of 2016 and rounds of 78,76,78 saw him finish just inside the top 20. Not much of a consolation but he was the highest placed golfer from Cork after the three rounds. Doneraile’s Tahg Heenan opened with a disappointing 81 on Wednesday but closed with two rounds of 76 to finish one shot behind Cleary and inside the top 30. Micheal Quirke had threatened the lead on day one after shooting a 73 but rounds of 79 yesterday and 82 today saw him drop out of contention. Kinsale’s Jerry Crean was the only other Cork golfer to make the cut and he finished one shot behind Quirke. The winner was Wales Nicholas Grimmitt who finished on +7 to edge out Tramore’s John Mitchell by one shot.
Bandon’s Brian O’Donovan was in action in the final round of qualifying at the PGA China Tour School this morning. O’Donovan had been hoping to claim on of the 16 full tour cards on offer after posting rounds of 71/72/70. The wheels came off on the final round however and O’Donovan shot a 77 to finish outside the qualifiers. In the past O’Donovan has used Monday qualifying to gain entry into some of the events, the Shenzen based professional is a Lead Instructor at one of the Mission Hills Academies in Shenzen.
Tom Cleary (Cork) with the 2016 Irish Seniors Amateur Open Championship trophy after his victory at Ardee Golf Club today. Picture by Pat Cashman
Tom Cleary added another prestigious title to his collection today, the Irish Seniors Amateur Open. The three time Munster Seniors Champion won his first national seniors title at Ardee Golf club after a final round 72 left him three ahead of the field. Cleary was tied for the lead going into the final round, and there were nine other players within two shots of the lead. Just like the Munster Seniors in Waterville, Cleary played very steady golf while all around him dropped shots on another testing day in Ardee.
The Cork Golf Club member opened on Wednesday with a three over par 74 to lie two shots off the lead. He followed on Thursday with another 74 that saw him lead alongside England’s Andrew Carman. The English international carded a four over par 75 in his final round to fall out of contention. Cleary had a testing start, he bogied the 2nd & 3rd holes but he added two birdies at 6 and 8 to reach the turn on level par. Two more pars followed and at that stage Tom was three shots ahead of Carman. Cleary bogies the 15th but he was three shots ahead of the leader in the club house. Cleary reached the 18th tee Continue reading
Cork’s Tom Cleary shots a second consecutive 74 to lead after two rounds at the Irish Seniors Open in Ardee today. Cleary was in 8th place after the first round, but he was only two shots off the three way tie for the lead. He followed up with another 74 today to tie with England’s Andrew Carman. Cleary was happy with his performance, this was his first competitive outing since representing GB&I in the Concession Cup in Florida: “It was very windy out there to be honest, very hard to keep the ball straight but I’m happy enough”.
The competition still has a very crowded leaderboard after 36 holes. There are three players just one shot behind and Tramore’s John Mitchell is in a group of six players who are two shots behind. Three more Cork golfers made the cut for the final round, Doneraile’s Michael Quirke is four shots off the lead and Peter Cowley and George Mellerick also made it through. The final round takes place tomorrow with Continue reading