Shay’s Short Game: Robin Dawson wins silver in European Amateur
Golfing Union of Ireland name six players for European Boys Team Championship
Tramore’s Robin Dawson won the silver medal at the European Amateur Championship in the Netherlands when finishing second to Denmark’s Nicolai Hojgaard.
Dawson second in European Amateur
Robin Dawson, the runner-up in last week’s Amateur Championship at Royal Aberdeen, finished tied for second place in the European Amateur Championship in the Netherlands with Conor Purcell sixth and Rowan Lester tied seventh.
Dawson carded rounds of 71, 72, 71 and closed with a four-under 68 to finish just a shot behind Denmark’s Nicolai Hojgaard on six-under-par 282 at Royal Hague Golf and Country Club, claiming the silver medal.
Tied for 15th with Purcell and Lester overnight, six shots behind Hojaard on two-under par, Dawson made an eagle, two birdies and two bogeys to be out in 34 before picking up two more shots on the back nine to shoot 68 and set the target at six-under 282 with Hojaard two ahead with five to go.
With Portmarnock’s Purcell posting 74, 69, 71 and a 69 to finish just two shots behind the winner on five-under and Hermitage’s Lester left to rue bogeys in the last three holes as he shot 70 to finish three behind on four-under, it was an excellent week for the Irish.
Hojgaard, who led by a shot overnight from England’s Mitch Waite, made three birdies and three bogeys in his first 14 holes to keep nose in front.
After a birdie at the 16th, he had a three-shot lead going to the par-five 18th and while he took seven, he still won by a shot from Dawson, Waite (72, 69, 68, 73), the Netherlands’ Jerry Ji (69, 74, 70, 69) and Norway’s Viktor Hovland (71, 71, 73, 67) to claim his place in The Open at Carnoustie.
Boys team named for Europeans
The Golfing Union of Ireland have named the six players who will make up the Ireland team for the European Boys Team Championship at Kaskada Brno in Czech Republic from July 10th-14th.
Kilkenny’s Mark Power and Rosslare’s John Brady will make their third appearance at European level while Lisburn’s Aaron Marshall, who currently leads the Bridgestone Boys International Order of Merit, will represent Ireland at the Europeans for the first time having been capped at the Boys Home Internationals in 2017. The three new caps are: David Kitt (Athenry), Tom McKibbin (Holywood) and Odhran Maguire (Slieve Russell).
Ireland made their return to the top flight in Europe last year at La Manga, where they placed sixth. In 2016, Ireland clinched the European Division 2 title at another Czech venue, Mlada Boleslav.
Ireland Boys Captain Alasdair Gibson (Knock) will accompany the side along with team manager Jimmy Duggan (Galway).
Ireland: John Brady (Rosslare), David Kitt (Athenry), Tom McKibbin (Holywood), Odhran Maguire (Slieve Russell), Aaron Marshall (Lisburn), Mark Power (Kilkenny).
O’Briain chalks up third Slieve Russell success
Neil O’Briain joined David Higgins and Ryder Cup star Eamonn Darcy as a three-time winner of the Slieve Russell Masters Pro-Am last week. The Old Conna professional fired rounds of 69 and 68 to win the event for the third time in four years, finishing a shot ahead of Higgins and Michael McGeady on seven-under-par.
He opened his campaign with a three-under-par 69 that left him four shots behind first round leader Higgins, who fired a brilliant, seven-under 65 on day one.
But O’Briain shot out of the blocks on day two and birdied his opening hole, the par-four 10th before adding two more birdies to reach the turn in three under 33. The Dubliner picked off three more birdies on his back nine but also dropped shots at the fifth and seventh to come home in one under 35 and finish the tournament on seven-under.
Overnight leader Higgins couldn’t match his superb play of day one and a second round 73 saw him drop out of the lead and ultimately finish in a tie for second alongside McGeady, who shot rounds of 70 and 68.
The team prize was won by Tulfarris Golf Resort’s Simon Thornton and amateur partners Bill Hanley, Barra O’Dwyer and Pat Barrett, who finished the 36 holes with 186 points.
Windebank wins Connacht Seniors
When Mark Windebank signed for a two under 68 in his second and final round to go with his opening 71 little did he contemplate that it would see him win the championship.
At that time the overnight leader, Adrian Morrow was battling it out with Michael Quirke (Doneraile) for top spot with both players four under for the tournament with five holes to play.
For Morrow it was a pair of triple bogey sevens that proved his undoing at the par four 11th and 13th between which he had a birdie three on 12, but he finished any remaining chances of a win with a six on the 16th.
Quirke was coasting along nicely until three dropped shots on holes 14, 17 and 18 saw him drop back to one under and a closing round of 71 which would see the title go to Windebank on the countback.
The Connacht Veterans Over 65’s Fred Perry Cup went to the evergreen Muarice Kelly (Naas) finishing fourth in the championship following a pair of 71s.
Harm makes history at Hillside
Leonie Harm made history at Hillside last week as she became the first German to lift the Ladies Amateur Championship trophy. Harm defeated American Stephanie Lau 3 and 2 to win the 18-hole final in hot and sunny conditions at Southport and book a spot in the starting field of the RICOH Women’s British Open at Royal Lytham and St Annes in August.
As a result of her victory she also gains exemptions into the 2018 Evian Championship, next year’s US Women’s Open, and the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship in 2019.
Ireland’s challenge for the Championship ended when Clandebye’s Jessica Ross, Royal County Down Ladies’ Olivia Mehaffey and Lurgan’s Annabel Wilson bowed out on the first day of matchplay.
Ross lost 2 and 1 to England’s Caitlin Whitehead in the first round before Mehaffey and Wilson exited in the last 32. Mehaffey beat Jessica Hall by two holes in the first round but fell by one hole to Italy’s Alessia Nobilio in round two. Wilson beat Yuka Saso of the Philippines by one hole before losing 4 and 3 to Finland’s Anna Backman.
Wales star Davies takes Boys title
Archie Davies from Wales overcame a two-stroke deficit to win the Irish Boys Championship at Belvoir Park with rounds of 69, 70, 68 and a closing round of 69 for an eighth under par total of 276.
Davies began the final round trailing Theo Boulet from France but the Welsh 17-year-old benefitted from Boulet’s errors on the back nine to take the title. Boulet (71 67 74 for 279) had to settle for second while Joseph Byrne from Baltinglass shot 70, 72, 69, 69 to finish third on four under 280.
Cassidy’s day on countback
Kinsale’s Eoghan Cassidy won the Connacht Under-14 Boys Open Championship at Loughrea. On a day of blistering sunshine with temperatures exceeding 30C at times three players tied on four-over-par 75 at the end of play and in accordance with the event’s tournament conditions it was to be Cassidy’s day as he pipped Conor Scullion (Moyola Park) on the back six with Patrick Keeling (Roganstown) taking third.