Niall Kearney and Graeme McDowell make moves at Dutch Open

On the amateur front, Ireland won the Home Internationals after a singles comeback

Niall Kearney is firmly in contention in the Dutch Open. Photograph: Octavio Passos/Getty

Niall Kearney is firmly in contention in the Dutch Open. Photograph: Octavio Passos/Getty

 

Out of necessity, Graeme McDowell spent much of the summer, as he put it, “on the couch” following surgery to his right forearm to repair muscle tears.

But the 42-year-old Northern Irishman, in just his second tournament back since the procedure, has shown little signs of rust and got back into the swing of things with an impressive second round 66 to reach the midway stage of the Dutch Open at Bernardus Golf Club in Cromvoirt on six-under-par 137, five shots behind pacesetter Kristoffer Broberg of Sweden.

In general, it was a very good day for the Irish players in the field: apart from McDowell making an upward move to tied-12th, overnight leader Niall Kearney hung tough to claim three birdies on his inward stretch of holes to sign for a 69 for 134 (10-under) to lie just two shots adrift of Broberg, while former British amateur champion James Sugrue birdied his final two holes for a 67 for 141 to make his first cut as a professional on the European Tour.

Cormac Sharvin, too, showed some grit of his own to complete a bogey-free 69 for 142 to survive the cut on the mark. However, Gavin Moynihan (74 for 146) and Paul Dunne (72 for 148) failed to make it into the weekend.

For McDowell, a round of seven birdies and one bogey enabled him to move up 44 places into a share of 12th: “I improved in the two areas that I needed to, which were getting the ball into play off the tee and feeling better on the greens. I drove the ball much better. There’s still some room for improvement and I think I left a few out there, which is always pleasing when you shoot six-under and still feel like you have left a few.”

McDowell added: “After a couple of months on the couch, I am obviously pleased with a lot of the things I am doing. My swing and iron play feels particularly good and this is a key iron play golf course.”

On the amateur front, Ireland secured the men’s Home Internationals with a fantastic singles fightback in the decisive match against England at Hankley Common Golf Club.

Having beaten both Scotland and Wales over the opening two days, Ireland were in pole position heading into the final day’s action but were put on the back foot in the match with England after losing the morning foursomes 1-4.

In a remarkable singles performance, Ireland claimed six and a half points from the 10 matches to recoup the deficit and ensure the overall match finished 7 ½ to 7 ½ and, in the grand scheme of things, left Ireland on top of the table. Scotland beat Wales 11-4 to leapfrog England and take the runners-up position.

Ireland’s first win in the Home Internationals since 2017 came with some impressive performances, not least from former Walker Cup player Caolan Rafferty who won the opening nine holes of his match with Laird Sheppard before eventually securing an 8 and 7 win.

There were also singles wins for Matt McClean, Jack McDonnell, Liam Nolan, TJ Ford and Hugh Foley but, the importance of the half point secured by Rob Moran in his match with John Gough, a singles that produced no fewer than 17 birdies between the pair, was ultimately as important as any winning point.

Dutch Open scores after round two (British unless stated, Par 72)

132 Kristoffer Broberg (Swe) 68 64

133 Thomas Detry (Bel) 67 66, Marcus Helligkilde (Den) 67 66

134 Maximilian Kieffer (Ger) 66 68, Niall Kearney (Irl) 65 69

135 Richard Mansell 71 64, Alejandro Canizares (Spa) 68 67, Ondrej Lieser (Cze) 68 67

136 Justin Harding (Rsa) 68 68, Shubhankar Sharma (Ind) 70 66, Martin Leth Simonsen (Den) 66 70

137 Johannes Veerman (USA) 70 67, Matthias Schmid (Ger) 68 69, Graeme McDowell (NIrl) 71 66, Sven Maurits (Ned) 68 69, David Drysdale 72 65, Marcel Siem (Ger) 68 69

138 Chris Wood 69 69, Romain Langasque (Fra) 69 69, Sam Horsfield 67 71, David Horsey 68 70, Julien Guerrier (Fra) 71 67, Ricardo Santos (Por) 67 71, Darius van Driel (Ned) 72 66, Aaron Cockerill (Can) 67 71, Benjamin Poke (Den) 72 66, Adrien Saddier (Fra) 70 68, Ben Stow 71 67, Ajeetesh Sandhu (Ind) 69 69

139 Joachim B. Hansen (Den) 71 68, Philip Bootsma (Ned) 69 70, Jazz Janewattananond (Tha) 71 68, Peter Hanson (Swe) 70 69, Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (Fra) 69 70, Daan Huizing (Ned) 71 68, Louis de Jager (Rsa) 69 70, Euan Walker 67 72, Berry Henson (USA) 69 70

140 Branden Grace (Rsa) 72 68, Thomas Pieters (Bel) 69 71, Ryan Fox (Nzl) 72 68, Rory Sabbatini (Svk) 70 70, Rowin Caron (Ned) 71 69, Mike Toorop (Ned) 70 70, Jack Senior 73 67, Robin Roussel (Fra) 70 70, Maverick Antcliff (Aus) 73 67, Rhys Enoch 67 73, Santiago Tarrio (Spa) 67 73, Wilco Nienaber (Rsa) 68 72, Jordan Wrisdale 70 70

141 Brandon Stone (Rsa) 68 73, Steven Brown 70 71, George Coetzee (Rsa) 69 72, David Law 72 69, James Sugrue (Irl) 74 67, Nordin van Tilburg (Ned) 71 70, Robin Sciot-Siegrist (Fra) 72 69, Lars van Meijel (Ned) 73 68, Clement Sordet (Fra) 70 71, Anton Karlsson (Swe) 69 72, Ben Evans 67 74, Ricardo Gouveia (Por) 70 71, Emilio Cuartero (Spa) 73 68, Nicolai von Dellingshausen (Ger) 70 71

142 Matt Ford 70 72, Cormac Sharvin (NIrl) 73 69, Oliver Farr 71 71, Rikard Karlberg (Swe) 72 70, Shiv Chawrasia (Ind) 75 67, Bryce Easton (Rsa) 75 67, Lee Slattery 71 71, Max Schmitt (Ger) 69 73, Jens Fahrbring (Swe) 70 72, Chase Hanna (USA) 70 72, Koen Kouwenaar (Ned) 73 69, Angus Flanagan 71 71

The following players missed the cut

143 Dean Burmester (Rsa) 69 74, Daniel van Tonder (Rsa) 73 70, Freddy Schott (Ger) 70 73, Ashley Chesters 73 70, Oliver Fisher 73 70, David Coupland 72 71, Suradit Yongcharoenchai (Tha) 72 71, Joel Sjoeholm (Swe) 72 71, Jacques Kruyswijk (Rsa) 71 72, Matthew Baldwin 74 69

144 Joost Luiten (Ned) 72 72, Renato Paratore (Ita) 72 72, Andrew Johnston 70 74, Pedro Figueiredo (Por) 73 71, Jake McLeod (Aus) 70 74, Craig Howie 72 72, Daniel Young 71 73, Paul Peterson (USA) 68 76

145 Zander Lombard (Rsa) 74 71, Joakim Lagergren (Swe) 73 72, Garrick Porteous 72 73, Toby Tree 72 73, Josh Geary (Nzl) 71 74, Alexander Knappe (Ger) 71 74, Robin Petersson (Swe) 77 68

146 Jorge Campillo (Spa) 76 70, Lucas Bjerregaard (Den) 73 73, Elvis Smylie (Aus) 77 69, Niklas Lemke (Swe) 73 73, Gavin Moynihan (Irl) 72 74, Gary Stal (Fra) 70 76

147 Dario Antonisse (Ned) 72 75, Alfredo Garcia-Heredia (Spa) 72 75, Janne Kaske (Fin) 75 72, Stan Kraai (Ned) 76 71

148 Wouter Ger Vries (Ned) 76 72, Raphael Jacquelin (Fra) 76 72, Sebastian Garcia (Spa) 73 75, Paul Dunne (Irl) 76 72, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Spa) 78 70, Kristoffer Reitan (Nor) 73 75, Steven Tiley 70 78, Damien Perrier (Fra) 75 73, Philip Eriksson (Swe) 76 72, Deyen Lawson (Aus) 74 74, Davey Porsius (Ned) 74 74

149 Ralph Miller (Ned) 72 77, Haydn Porteous (Rsa) 79 70, Wil Besseling (Ned) 74 75, Pep Angles (Spa) 75 74

150 Lars van der Vight (Ned) 76 74, Max Albertus (Ned) 77 73, Romain Wattel (Fra) 74 76, Eduardo de la Riva (Spa) 75 75

151 Carlos Pigem (Spa) 75 76, Tyler Koivisto (USA) 75 76, Tom Gandy 74 77, Jesper Sandborg (Swe) 75 76

154 Lorenzo Gagli (Ita) 73 81, Liam Johnston 78 76, Aaron Zemmer (Ita) 77 77

155 Kiet van der Weele (Ned) 78 77, Gavin Green (Mal) 85 70

156 Felix van Dijk (Ned) 76 80

157 Maarten Lafeber (Ned) 75 82

158 Lars Keunen (Ned) 79 79

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.