Enniscorthy’s Jason Rackard wins Mullingar Scratch Trophy

Wexford left-hander (31) produces memorable display to win enthralling battle

Jason Rackard (Enniscorthy), winner  of the 2020 Mullingar Scratch Trophy. Photograph: Pat Cashman

Jason Rackard (Enniscorthy), winner of the 2020 Mullingar Scratch Trophy. Photograph: Pat Cashman

 

Enniscorthy left-hander Jason Rackard produced some of the best golf of his life to record a memorable two-stroke win in the Mullingar Scratch Trophy and etch his name alongside the greats.

The 31-year-old, at 6ft 5in, stood head and shoulders above the rest in the Sherry Fitzgerald Davitt & Davitt and Pinergy sponsored strokeplay classic, which was reduced to 54 holes after early morning fog on Saturday forced organisers to cancel the second round.

Tied for third overnight, three shots behind Carton House’s Marc Boucher after an opening 70, the Wexford talent fired eight birdies in a magnificent, seven-under par 65 to lead by four shots on nine-under par from Amateur champion James Sugrue, Portmarnock’s James Temple and Kilkenny’s Mark Power.

In the end, he closed with a one-under 71 to win by two strokes on 10-under 206 from Castle’s Robert Moran after an enthralling back nine battle.

Moran birdied the first, sixth, eighth and ninth to turn in 31 and snatch a share of the lead, then eagled the 16th after Rackard recovered from bogeys at the second and eight with timely birdies at the 12th and 14th.

A bogey at the 17th proved costly for the Dubliner, however, and after saving par at the 15th, Rackard hit a 194-yard eight iron to 8ft at the downwind 16th and two-putted for birdie to go two clear before closing out victory with two solid pars.

“It’s unbelievable,” said the winner, a grandnephew of the great Wexford hurling triumvirate of Nicky, Bobby and Billy Rackard. “I am still in shock but I played lovely golf.

“This morning was probably the best round of golf that I have ever played. Then this afternoon I played lovely again.

“I was a little cautious at times, perhaps, but when Rob joined me on seven under, I said, ‘Right, time to put the foot down again’. I am thrilled.”

Amateur champion Sugrue was third on six-under after closing rounds of 69 and 71 with fellow Walker Cup player Caolan Rafferty tied fourth with Kilkenny’s Mark Power, a shot further back.

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