Shay’s Short Game: No joy for Kearney in Thailand

Three Irish players will travel to Argentina and McDermott top again in Portmarnock

Castle’s Alex Gleeson, competes in this week’s South American Amateur Championships at Martindale in Buenos Aires.

No Joy for Kearney on Asian Tour qualifying

Niall Kearney’s bid to win his Asian Tour card ended in disappointment as a final round 73 left him seven shots outside the top 35 and ties at Suvarnabhumi Golf & Country Club in Bangkok.

Kearney went into the final rounds of the Final Stage needing a round in the 60s to have any chance of earning a full card for 2017. As it turned out, he would have needed a six under par 66 but he signed for one over par effort that leaves him with decisions to make about where he plays in 2017.

Needing a fast start, he went the other way instead. A birdie at the ninth was the only bright spot of the day and he finished with nine pars to share 93rd place on seven under 281 after rounds of 71, 67, 70 and 73.


Australia’s Richard Green closed with a nine under 63 to finish tied for first with compatriot Todd Sinnot (62) on 28 under par before beating him with a birdie in a play-off to take the top card.

Three Irish in South American Championships

Alex Gleeson, Jessica Ross and Paula Grant will be part of a top-class field for this week’s South American Amateur Championships at Martindale in Buenos Aires. Gleeson travels to Argentina looking to emulate his victory at the AIG Irish Close Championship at Ballyliffin in August. Some 30 competitors from Ireland, Britain, Canada, Finland, Portugal and New Zealand supported by The R&A will take part.

First played in 2006, the South American Amateur Championships are open to men and women and were won last year by Juan Alvarez of Uruguay and Sofia Garcia from Paraguay – who lifted the golf title for the second year running in Lima, Peru in 2016.

India Clyburn is the highest ranked player in the World Amateur Golf Rankings from England competing in the championships. Hailing from the home of England Golf, Woodhall Spa, Clyburn, and who plays her collegiate golf in the US, will target a top performance in Buenos Aires.

Former professional and reinstated amateur Barry Hume returns to the event having played in 2016. Hume played in The Open at Royal Troon in 2004 and at Royal Birkdale in 2008. He will be joined by his fellow reinstated Scot, Euan Mcintosh, who capped his impressive comeback year by winning the Scottish Golf Order of Merit.

McDermott and O’Rourke tops again

Pure Golf Leopardstown professional Michael McDermott and Irish amateur international Conor O’Rourke were the prize winners for the second week running in the weekly Tuesday Winter Series outing at Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links.

Just 50 players subjected themselves to testing January conditions but McDermott was superb once more, firing a one under 70 to edge out former European Tour winner Damien McGrane by virtue of his superior back nine.

Headfort assistant professional Joe Dillon took the third nett prize with a two over 73 while in the gross, St Andrews Links Trophy winner O’Rourke warmed up for his forthcoming trip to Argentina with another win.

A one under par 70 was good enough to edge out Edmondstown professional Andrew Hogan by a shot with Balcarrick’s Gavin Fitzmaurice third with a 74.

Sharvin finishes six behind

Cormac Sharvin shot rounds of 70 and 71 for a 141 total to finish six shots behind the winner Portugal’s Ricardo Santos in the Algarve Pro Tour’s 36-hole Duvalay Classic over the testing Quinta do Lago South Course last week. Santos with rounds of 67 and 68 for nine-under 135 to win by two from Englands Billy Spooner (67 70) and Portugal’s Tiago Cruiz (67 70) with Jimmy Mullen next on 138 (66 72).

Wire-to-wire in for Martin

Despite heavy rain in the final round TCU junior Emmy Martin was able to finish off a wire-to-wire victory at the Harder Hall Invitational in Florida. Martin closed with a one-under-par 35 back nine to finish two-under and comfortably ahead of runner-up Annabell Fuller after four days of play at Harder Hall Golf Club.

Martin, the 2016 Harder Hall runner-up, struggled heading out on Saturday with a three-over 38 but recovered to close with a two birdie, one bogey back nine. The back nine birdies for Martin came on Nos. 13 and 16. For the week Martin combined rounds of 72-71-69-74.

Annabell Fuller of England finished second with a three-over total. Her best round came during the second round when she shot a one-under-par 71.

Mid-amateur and former Florida State Golf Association Player of the Year Tara Joy-Connelly ended up third at four-over, second round co-leader Michaela Williams (Tennessee) was fourth at seven-over while first round co-leader Latanna Stone, Amanda Doherty and Ariadna Fonseca (Kansas) shared fifth at eight-over-par.

Yates seventh in Marbella

Naas’ Jonathan Yates closed with a three under 69 to finish tied for seventh in the Copa de Andalucía in Marbella. The West of Ireland champion opened with an eagle two at the first, holed out a pitching wedge from 130 yards, and added three birdies and just two bogeys on the final day to finish on level par 288.

He ended up seven strokes behind Malaga based Swede, Marcus Svensson, who won by three shots on seven under 281 after a closing 74 at Real Club de Golf Guadalmina. Fellow Naas man Robert Brazill was on course for a top finish with three holes to play but bogeyed the 16th and then racked up a quadruple bogey nine at the 17th en route to a 74.

He still finished in 18th place on five over par with Kilkenny’s Mark Power, the Irish Boys champion, tied for 23rd on 10 over after a disappointing final round of 79. Power’s Kilkenny club mate Luke Donnelly shot a 74 to share 35th spot on 14 over 302 while Rosslare’s John Brady was joint 40th on 303, also after a 74.

Plus five handicapper Svensson, who is attached to the Andalucian Federation, finished three ahead of Seville’s Pablo Rodríguez-Tabernero and Barcelona’s Adriá Arnaus after rounds of 70, 68, 69 and 74.