Cormac Sharvin saves his best for last at Galgorm Castle

Ardglass pro makes final round while Stephanie Meadow dominates women’s draw

Cormac Sharvin drives on the 18th hole at Galgorm Castle  during the third round of the ISPS Handa World Invitational. Photograph: Philip Magowan/PressEye

Cormac Sharvin drives on the 18th hole at Galgorm Castle during the third round of the ISPS Handa World Invitational. Photograph: Philip Magowan/PressEye

 

Cormac Sharvin closed with a dramatic eagle on the par-five 18th to ensure his place in Sunday’s final round of the ISPS Handa World Invitational at Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort on Saturday.

It was a dogged performance in testing conditions and the 26-year-old lives to fight another day as the sole Irish male player to make it into the final round.

Play was suspended twice due to torrential downpours, while blustery afternoon conditions made club selection difficult. Sharvin struggled to find his A-game and despite a birdie at the 10th he dropped shots at the sixth, 15th and 17th and looked like missing the third-round cut where the top 35 men and top 35 women contest the final round in the new format.

“Yeah, that was a nice cheer at 18, I had a good few people following me,” said Sharvin of his timely eagle at the closing hole as he signed for a level-par 70 that left him on one-under 209.

“I thought if I made four, I’d have a decent chance [of making the cut]. I hit driver into the left rough, drew a decent lie and hit a bullet five-wood [from 277 yards] to 15 feet. It pitched short of the green, rolled up and I managed to make my first putt of the day.

“It was windy for the whole round. I flushed a six-iron into 17 and it only went 140 yards, it went nowhere. Every hole seemed to be a crosswind, which makes it difficult to know if it’s hurting or helping.

“Hopefully I can get something going tomorrow and I don’t have to grind my backside off for three straight days,” quipped the Ardglass professional as he headed to the sanctuary of the clubhouse.

There was disappointment for Dermot McElroy who signed for a 73 to finish on three over alongside Ruaidhri McGee (74).

Galgorm amateur Josh Hill gave it his all but dropped back with a third round 77 to finish four over. Much of the teenager’s undoing came on the front nine, his back nine, with two triple-bogeys at the fourth and ninth. Limerick’s Tim Rice carded 76 to finish on the same mark, while Malone amateur Matthew McLean (76) was six over.

In the women’s draw Stephanie Meadow continues to blaze a trail with a seven-birdie round of six-under 67 to lead by four shots from England’s Ellie Givens (70) heading into the final round.

“I played really nicely today, made a lot of birdies and managed to hole a few long putts which you need to when you shoot low,” said Meadow, who came off the 18th green in near darkness.

“It was great to see people out watching me, a lot of people from Ballyclare I grew up playing junior golf with. That was really nice.

“I don’t plan to do anything different tomorrow, just go out there and try and make as many birdies as I can. I want to try and enjoy it because I don’t get to do this [compete at home] very often,”

Leona Maguire carded a third consecutive 71 to be five off the lead on five under. The Cavan golfer picked up three birdies and just the one dropped shot. Castlewarden’s Lauren Walsh was three further back on two under after a 74.

The unpredictable conditions played havoc with many of the players. Ulster strokeplay champion Jessica Ross carded a creditable 73 to be six over, one better than Lisa Maguire (76).

Annabel Wilson had a day to forget after an 84 dropped the Lurgan golfer back to 11 over, one better than Lisburn’s Paula Grant (77). Rebecca Codd (76) was two further back, while Ballinrobe’s Shannon Burke closed with a 78.

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