Paul McBride leads way in South of Ireland Amateur Open

At four-under the 19-year-old has been lifted by immaculate condition of Lahinch

Paul McBride is four under par after the second round of the South of Ireland Amateur Open in Lahinch. Photograph: Getty

Paul McBride is four under par after the second round of the South of Ireland Amateur Open in Lahinch. Photograph: Getty


Paul McBride hails from a links course that takes some beating but he confessed that it was love at first sight when he arrived in Lahinch and it was no surprise to see him lead the qualifiers for Friday’s first matchplay round of the South of Ireland Amateur Open.

The 19-year-old interprovincial from The Island added a four-under-par 68 to his opening 72 to edge out Laytown and Bettystown’s Cian Geraghty by virtue of his better second round for the leading qualifier’s medal on four-under 140.

It’s a result that edges McBride closer to a full cap when Ireland defend the Home Internationals at Royal Portrush next month. But the fair-haired, Dubliner – recently returned from a successful freshman year at Wake Forest University – knows that anything can happen on the manicured Co Clare links on Friday, especially if the wind blows.

“I love the course,” said McBride. “It is probably the best conditioned we have played this year. The greens are really good and really fast and my putting is really good, probably because I am used to the fast greens being in the States. I’m very happy.”

McBride said he hopes to give the Irish selectors food for thought this week but inspired after watching fellow Irish panellist Paul Dunne play in the final group on the final day of The Open at St Andrews, his confidence is sky high.

“It was great for Dunners,” he said on a day when Lahinch played far easier than on Wednesday with tees moved up some 198 yards and pins cut in more accessible positions.

“You can say you are not surprised but in reality you are surprised because what he did was unbelievable. I think it is only looking back that you realise he was in the last group at The Open on the last day playing against the best players in the world. It’s unbelievable.

“It makes us realise that the gap between the pros and the top amateurs is not that wide. As Justin Spieth said, an amateur might win a major in the next 10 years. Shane Lowry winning the Irish Open a few years ago is another example of that as well.”


Geraghty was delighted to card a second successive 70, even if it did require a holed bunker shot for eagle at the last to pull it off.


“I wasn’t disappointed being level playing 18 but I felt I should have done better and it was nice to get the eagle,” said Geraghty, who also had three birdies and three bogeys on his card. “I am just happy to put two good scores together and qualify well because I’ve been struggling to put two good score together and missing cuts on the mark. It’s just good to put two steady rounds together.”

McBride and Geraghty finished two strokes ahead of Royal Dublin’s Jeff Hopkins (70), Knock’s Colin Fairweather (68) and Warrenpoint’s Colm Campbell (68), last year’s East of Ireland champion.

Like McBride, international Campbell is making his first trip to Lahinch and he confessed he was blown away by the quality of the course.

“The golf course is just amazing,” said Campbell. “You hear the stories but until you actually see it yourself, you don’t realise how good it is. The greens are the best I’ve putted on this year and the most consistent.”

The cut for the top 64 fell at nine-over-par 153, which meant an early exit for former winners John Greene and Stephen Walsh and international Richard Bridges.

South of Ireland Amateur Open – Scores after Day Two, Lahinch GC (Par 72)


140 Paul McBride (Island) 72 68, Cian Geraghty (Laytown & Bettystown) 70 70

142 Colm Campbell Jnr (Warrenpoint Golf Club) 74 68, Colin Fairweather (Knock) 74 68, Jeff Hopkins (The Royal Dublin) 72 70

144 Andrew McCormack (Newcastle West Golf Club) 71 73

145 Paul McCarthy (Mallow Golf Club) 74 71, Mark Morrissey (Mount Wolseley Golf Club) 73 72, Tiarnan McLarnon (Massereene Golf Club) 72 73, Keith Egan (Carton House Golf Club) 71 74

146 Gary Collins (Rosslare Golf Club) 76 70

147 Stuart Grehan (Tullamore Golf Club) 77 70, Mark MacGrath (Limerick Golf Club) 74 73, Geoff Lenehan (Portmarnock) 74 73, Des Morgan (New Forest) 70 77

148 Thomas Neenan (Lahinch Golf Club) 79 69, Rob Brazill (Naas Golf Club) 77 71, Gary O’Flaherty (Cork Golf Club) 76 72, Gerard Dunne (Co. Louth Golf Club) 75 73, Robert Cannon (Balbriggan Golf Club) 73 75, Eddie Power (Kilkenny Golf Club) 72 76, Shaun Carter (The Royal Dublin) 71 77

149 Joe Lyons (Galway Golf Club) 78 71, Stephen Barker (Mourne) 77 72, Jack Pierse (Portmarnock) 77 72, Michael Buggy (Castlecomer Golf Club) 75 74, Richard Knightly (The Royal Dublin) 75 74, Simon Bryan (Delgany Golf Club) 74 75, William Hanna (Warrenpoint Golf Club) 73 76

150 Daniel Holland (Castle) 81 69, Niall Gorey (Palmerstown Stud) 80 70, Gary McDermott (Carton House Golf Club) 79 71, Barry Anderson (The Royal Dublin) 79 71, Alan Lowry (Esker Hills) 79 71, Rowan Lester (Hermitage Golf Club) 78 72, Brian Doran (Palmerstown Stud) 78 72, Ed Stack (Ballybunion Golf Club) 78 72, Michael Reid (Galgorm Castle Golf Club) 76 74, Thomas O’Connor (Athlone Golf Club) 76 74, Declan McInerney (Lahinch Golf Club) 75 75, Sean Ryan (The Royal Dublin) 75 75, Eanna Griffin (Waterford) 74 76

151 John Conroy (Bray) 79 72, Tony O’Leary (Wexford Golf Club) 77 74, Sean Walsh (Carton House Golf Club) 77 74, Stephen Healy (Carton House Golf Club) 75 76, Steffan O’Hara (Co. Sligo Golf Club) 74 77, Michael O’Kelly (Limerick Golf Club) 74 77

152 Adam Doran (Ardee) 82 70, Liam Grehan (Mullingar Golf Club) 81 71, Declan King (Tramore Golf Club) 79 73, Daniel Brennan (Shannon) 78 74, Ally Purdy (Ballyclare Golf Club) 77 75, Jonathan Breen (Kirkistown Castle Golf Club) 77 75, Marc Nolan (Delgany Golf Club) 76 76, Stuart Bleakley (Shandon Park Golf Club) 75 77, Pat Murray (Limerick Golf Club) 75 77, Neil McKinstry (Cairndhu Golf Club) 74 78, Barry Daly (Edmondstown Golf Club) 73 79

153 Karl Purcell (Dun Laoghaire Golf Club) 81 72, Dan Murphy (Portarlington Golf Club) 80 73, Conor Coyne (Youghal Golf Club) 78 75, Ted Collins (Dun Laoghaire Golf Club) 78 75, Shane Whooley (Muskerry Golf Club) 77 76,


153 Justin Kehoe (Limerick Golf Club) 76 77

154 Jake Whelan (Newlands) 82 72, Peter Kane (Ashbourne) 80 74, Jack Walsh (Castle) 80 74, Eoghan Long (Monkstown Golf Club) 78 76, Stephen Watts (Cairndhu Golf Club) 78 76, Colm Crowley (Woodbrook Golf Club) 78 76, David Finn (Doneraile Golf Club) 77 77, Gareth Lappin (Belvoir Park Golf Club) 77 77, Darragh Hogan (Killeen Castle) 77 77, Paul Murphy (Rosslare Golf Club) 76 78, Evan Farrell (Ardee) 76 78, Robert Farrell (New Ross Golf Club) 74 80

155 Paul O’Sullivan (Bray) 82 73, Colin Woodroofe (Blainroe Golf Club) 81 74, David Foy (Laytown & Bettystown) 81 74, James Sugrue (Mallow Golf Club) 80 75, Shane McGlynn (Carton House Golf Club) 80 75, Ryan O’Doherty (Enniscrone Golf Club) 80 75, Richard Bridges (Stackstown Golf Club) 79 76, Gary McGrane (The Royal Dublin) 78 77, Ben Corfee (USA) 78 77

156 Sean Alley (Co. Tipperary Golf Club) 81 75, Matthew McClean (Balmoral Golf Club) 81 75, Alan Purcell (Adare Manor Golf Club) 80 76, Seamus Cullen (Slieve Russell Golf Club) 79 77, Michael Reddan (Limerick Golf Club) 78 78, Tommy O’Driscoll (Killarney Golf Club) 78 78, John Greene (Portmarnock) 77 79, Greg Mungovan (Headfort Golf Club) 77 79, Owen O’Brien (Limerick Golf Club) 77 79, Kevin Power (Kilkenny Golf Club) 75 81

157 Jamie Fletcher (Warrenpoint Golf Club) 84 73, Mathew Kane (Whitehead Golf Club) 82 75, Tony Cleary (Woodstock Golf Club) 80 77, Tristan O’Rourke (Nenagh Golf Club) 79 78, John Hickey (Cork Golf Club) 78 79, Jamie Sutherland (Galgorm Castle Golf Club) 77 80, Mark Mullen (Rosslare Golf Club) 75 82

158 Pat Fitzpatrick (Kanturk Golf Club) 81 77, Peter Sheehan (Ballybunion Golf Club) 81 77, Conor O’Rourke (Naas Golf Club) 81 77, James Monaghan (The Royal Dublin) 79 79, Ian Spillane (Mallow Golf Club) 77 81, Robbie Pierse (Grange) 77 81

159 Keith Daniels (Loughrea Golf Club) 85 74, Jack McDonnell (Forrest Little.) 84 75, Philip Spratt (West Waterford Golf Club) 82 77, Ryan Long (Cairndhu Golf Club) 82 77, Liam Hutchinson (The Royal Dublin) 80 79, Gavin Smyth (Clonmel Golf Club) 79 80, Eoin O’Connor (Ballybunion Golf Club) 78 81, Mark Timmins (Coollattin Golf Club) 77 82

160 Paul Behan (St. Anne’s) 83 77, Karl McCormack (Portarlington Golf Club) 83 77, Shane Hogan (Nenagh Golf Club) 82 78, David Reddan (Nenagh Golf Club) 80 80, Dylan Brophy (Castleknock) 79 81

161 Kelan McDonagh (The Royal Dublin) 85 76, Stephen Walsh (Portmarnock) 84 77, John Reynolds (Dungarvan Golf Club) 83 78, Jason O’Leary (Dromoland Golf Club) 82 79, Jamie O’Shea (Shannon) 79 82, Graham Nugent (Kilkenny Golf Club) 79 82

162 Paul Buckley (Kanturk Golf Club) 81 81

163 Eoghan O’ Loughlin (Spanish Point Golf Club) 82 81

164 Scott Campbell (Ballyclare Golf Club) 85 79, Ronan O’Grady (Tullamore Golf Club) 85 79, Gavin McKenna (Fortwilliam Golf Club) 84 80, David McMahon (Tralee Golf Club) 82 82, Daniel Hallissey (Muskerry Golf Club) 82 82, Keith Murphy (Charlesland Golf Club) 82 82

165 Tom Griffin (Crews Hill Golf Club) 86 79, Dale Jackson (Massereene Golf Club) 82 83

166 Bob Loftus (Lahinch Golf Club) 88 78, Dean McMahon (Castletroy Golf Club) 85 81, Ruairi O’Connor (Co. Sligo Golf Club) 83 83, Peter Meaney (Cahir Park Golf Club) 83 83

167 Aaron Moore (Adare Manor Golf Club) 83 84, Nicky Duggan (Dromoland Golf Club) 79 88

168 Brian Gilligan (Woodstock Golf Club) 88 80

169 Sean Doyle (Athlone Golf Club) 82 87

172 Paul O’Neill (Shannon) 87 85

177 Ronan Mullane (Dromoland Golf Club) 95 82

180 John Richard (France) 93 87

NR Sean Poucher (Limerick Golf Club) 83 NR

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