Posts Tagged ‘Cathedral Eye Clinic’

Lester on top after opening day of North of Ireland Championship

July 11, 2017

Rowan Lester (Hermitage) Picture by Pat Cashman

Irish international Rowan Lester (Hermitage) leads the way after the opening round of qualifying at the Cathedral Eye Clinic North of Ireland Amateur Open Championship at Royal Portrush.
A quarter-finalist in 2015, Lester, playing The Valley Links, carded a bogey-free seven under par 64 on the revamped course.
He leads Jordan Hood (Galgorm Castle), Robert Brazill (Naas) and Ronan Mullarney (Galway) by a shot heading into Tuesday’s second round at the Dunluce Links.
“I struggled a bit at the start but adjusted on the eighth tee and from that point on I was really good,” said 22-year-old Hood who will play The Dunluce today (Tuesday).
“I was seeing the lines better on the greens and rolled in a few putts.

“The two new holes [on the Dunluce] are really good. The par five (seventh) isn’t as daunting as I first thought when I saw it and the eighth is a really good par four. It forces you to be aggressive off the tee.”

Kirkistown GC vice-captain, Neill Simpson, turned in the leading opening day score on the new Dunluce layout, a three-under par round of 69.
Simpson quit golf for almost 20 years but has returned to competitive action after rebuilding his swing under with PGA professional, Charle Bell at Blackwood GC.
His tactic of leaving the driver in the bag paid dividends as he was one of only two players – the other being Galway’s Colm Hughes (-1) – to finish the day under par on the new Open Championship layout.
Defending champion, Sean Flanagan (Co Sligo), is well placed to make the cut after an opening round of two-under par 70 on The Valley.
The leading 64 players after Tuesday’s second round of qualifying will progress to the match-play stages.

Cathedral Eye Clinic North of Ireland Amateur Championship leaderboard

The Cathedral Eye Clinic North of Ireland Amateur Championship
At Royal Portrush
Leading scores after 18 holes.
1 Rowan Lester (Hermitage) 64 -7
2 Jordan Hood (Galgorm Castle) 65 -6
3 Robert Brazill (Naas) 65
4 Ronan Mullarney (Galway) 65
5 Gregory Royston (Cotswold Downs) 66 -5
6 Hugh O’Hare (Fortwilliam) 66
7 Cathal Butler (Kinsale) 66
8 Paul Murphy (Rosslare) 66
9 Gavin Fitzmaurice (Balcarrick) 66
10 Colin Fairweather (Knock) 66

North of Ireland competitors to test Open lay-out at Royal Portrush

June 1, 2017

Stephen Ferris, Brand Ambassador Cathedral Eye with Andrew Spence Cathedral Eye, Eamon O’Connor Chair GUI Ulster Branch and  John Bamber, Chair of the Open Championship Committee launching the Cathedral Eye North of Ireland Amateur Open Championship 
Picture: Golffile | Fran Caffrey

Fancy a taste of the Open Championship?
The revamped Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush will host this year’s Cathedral Eye Clinic North of Ireland Amateur Championship (July 10-14) and the GUI is still accepting entries.
The famous North Coast links has been upgraded ahead of the Open Championship in 2019 and club officials are keen to see how the new lay-out performs in Championship conditions.
The new seventh named Curran Point and eighth hole named Dunluce will be put into play and competitors will finish their rounds at the current 16th hole
“We have no evidence how the new seventh and eighth holes will play other than what professional architects have told us will happen,” said John Bamber, Chairman of the Open Championship Committee.

“The North of Ireland gives us the opportunity to get 300 top class golfers out there giving us data which will allow us to decide how we play those holes in the coming months.

“It is the perfect opportunity, a field of category one golfers, championship golfers, playing the course. What better way to assess the two new holes. I just hope we get relatively fair links conditions during the tournament.”
The new holes, designed by MacKenzie & Ebert, will actually open for play on June 24th to host Mr David McMullan’s Captain’s Day competition. For the members, it will be the first time they get to sample the course as it will be configured for the Open Championship.
“In many ways it is an historic occasion,” added Bamber.
“The last time two new holes were added to the Dunluce, people like Harry Colt were involved.
“I know that in previous years we have revamped a number of tee boxes but this is completely new. It really is something very special.”
The current 17th and 18th holes will be removed from play towards the end of the summer as work continues to create the infrastructure to host the Open Championship.
The closing date for entries into the Cathedral Eye Clinic North of Ireland Championship is June 12. For more details visit

Flanagan putts McLarnon to the sword in North of Ireland Amateur Championship final

July 17, 2016
Sean Flanagan (Co. Sligo) winner of the North of Ireland Amateur Open Championship with Eamonn O'Connor (Chairman Ulster Branch GUI) at Portrush Golf Club, Portrush on Friday 15th July 2016. Picture: Thos Caffrey /

Sean Flanagan (Co. Sligo) winner of the North of Ireland Amateur Open Championship with Eamonn O’Connor (Chairman Ulster Branch GUI) at Portrush Golf Club, Picture: Thos Caffrey /

There’s still something in the old golfing adage that you ‘drive for show and putt for dough’.
Maynooth University student Sean Flanagan (Co Sligo) put on a putting masterclass to beat Tiarnan McLarnon (Massereene) 3&1 in the final of the Cathedral Eye Clinic North of Ireland Championship at Royal Portrush.
Two up with seven to play the 20-year-old came under pressure from McLarnon, the reiging Irish Close Champion, but kept him at bay by holing vital putts at the 14th, 15th and 16th to earn his first major amateur title.
“If I missed those three putts, I was one down playing 17. It would have been a different story then,” said Sean.
“If I play well I’d like to think I’m confident with the putter and definitely that is the reason I won this week – it saved me.
“When I saw it was wet and breezy today it didn’t phase me. It played into my hands a bit.
“It reminded me of playing in the West [of Ireland Championship]. I knew I didn’t have to play flashy golf and par golf would be good enough. It was a bit different in the final, par wasn’t
“It’s a massive victory and a huge stepping stone for me. Hopefully I will be in the mix for the Home International team.”

McLarnon grabbed an early lead, winning the second with a birdie after Flanagan found a bunker off the tee but the Co Sligo man rolled in a 20 footer on the third for birdie to level things.
Both golfers missed the green at the sixth but while McLarnon failed to get up and down, Flanagan holed from 15 feet for a winning par.
Tiernan levelled matters at the seventh after Flanagan lost a ball off the tee but he fell behind again on the eighth, losing the hole to par.
Another missed par putt from McLarnon on the ninth saw Flanagan take a two hole lead at the turn and a McLarnon concession extended it to three holes at the 10th.
The Irish Champion fought back by winning the 11th but that was as good as it got. Flanagan holed crucial putts – all from outside 10 feet – at 14, 15 and 16 to stay out of reach.
“The reading of the greens as well was massive. I had Dec (Declan Reidy) on the bag and when we agreed on a point, it made it a lot easier to commit and see the ball go into the hole,” added Sean.
“I was seeing the break but just to have it confirmed to me makes it easier to commit to the line.”

When McLarnon’s tee shot at the 17th plugged in the face of the famous ‘Big Nellie’ bunker it signalled the end. Forced to come out sideways he finally reached the green in four and when his par putt from 18 feet missed, he conceded the match.
“I just didn’t get the putts, he putted better than me,” said McLarnon.
“He holed three 12 footers in a row. I could easily have been one up with a couple to play.
“It was a tough day but I will come back again.”
In the morning semi-finals Flanagan beat fellow Maynooth University student, Jordan Hood (Galgorm Castle) 4&3 while McLarnon saw off Dermot McElroy (Ballymena) 3&2.
The winner was celebrating on the double as he became the first Co Sligo player to succeed at a championship since the great Cecil Ewing.

Tiarnan McLarnon bt Dermot McElroy 3&2
Sean Flanagan bt Jordan Hood 4&2
Sean Flanagan bt Tiarnan McLarnon 3&1.

Galbraith last man standing after battle for survival at Royal Portrush

July 18, 2015
Andrew Spence, Principal Optometrist at Cathedral Eye Clinic, presents the trophy to Whitehead's John Ross Galbraith, winner of the North of Ireland Amateur Open Championship 2015

Andrew Spence, Principal Optometrist at Cathedral Eye Clinic, presents the trophy to Whitehead’s John Ross Galbraith, winner of the North of Ireland Amateur Open Championship 2015

Whitehead’s John Ross Galbraith edged out Rosslare’s Gary Collins on the 20th hole to win the Cathedral Eye sponsored North of Ireland Championship at Royal Portrush on Friday.
Played in demanding conditions with winds gusting to almost 50mph, Galbraith trailed by two at the 12th but clawed his way back into contention and actually lead by one playing the 18th only to lose out to a par from Collins.
The duo went down the 19th and Collins had a short par putt to win but the ball somehow stayed above ground and Galbraith, the reigning Irish Close Champion, finally closed the match out with a birdie on the 20th – the only one made by either player in the final.
“It’s the same every time in tournaments here. They send you out in horrific conditions. If it was a pro event you wouldn’t be near the course. You’re thinking to yourself, ‘what are we doing out here?,” said Galbraith who saw his ball and his opponent’s ball blown off the green at the fifth.
Ulster branch officials made the decision to water the greens as the final progressed, a move that went a long way to getting the tournament completed. A number of rain showers also helped to slow the greens down, preventing the balls from blowing around.
“The long game was tough, but it was playable. On the greens it was so difficult. Trying to get putts on-line was practically impossible,” added Galbraith.
“The watering stopped the balls oscillating which made a difference but it was still difficult keeping your balance over your putts. It really got to me, I felt like going crazy on the some of the greens but I reminded myself that he [Collins] was in the same boat as myself and I dug deep to try and grind it out.
“When I went two down at the 12th I thought to myself, ‘I’m not going to hole anything in this wind’!

“I was relying on Gary gifting me a hole or I was going to have to hit an approach really close. I just kept telling myself to hang in and something will happen and it did. I played pretty steady over those closing holes.

“I’m delighted to win it, it’s such a big tournament, especially for players from Northern Ireland. This is one trophy I always wanted to win.”
Earlier in the day Galbraith had seen off Lurgan’s David Sutton but only after an almighty fright. Sutton was out of the blocks early and was four up after five holes before Galbraith finally shock himself awake with a birdie at the sixth. Seemingly inspired he won the next three holes to turn for home all square.
Sutton won the 10th but JR fought back again rolling in a birdie putt at the 11th. The 12th and 13th were halved before the match turned in Galbraith’s favour at ‘Calamity’ when he fired in a brilliant three wood to 10 feet for another birdie. A par at the 15th put him two up and he halved the 16th and 17th to wrap up a 2&1 victory.
Collins beat Dundalk’s Caolan Rafferty on the 20th in the second semi-final, fighting back from two down with two to play to prevail courtesy of a birdie.

Sutton strikes blow for working amateurs at North of Ireland Championship

July 17, 2015

Royal Portrush GC

Lurgan’s David Sutton struck a blow for the working amateur by reaching the semi-finals of the Cathedral Eye sponsored North of Ireland Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush yesterday.
The 34-year-old father of two held off 19-year-old Rowan Lester (The Hermitage) to set up an all-Ulster meeting with reigning Irish Close Champion, John Ross Galbraith (Whitehead).
In weather conditions that worsened throughout the day, Sutton’s experience and relaxed approach helped him stem an early onslaught before gradually working his way back into the tie.
“I played good in the rain. Sometimes I don’t play so well in the rain but I managed to hole a couple of decent putts. I knew I had to, he was doing nothing wrong, he is a class wee player,” said Sutton, an export sales manager for local golf firm MD Golf.
The Lockerbie native, a North of Ireland semi-finalist in 2011, was two down after six but won the seventh and ninth in regulation pars to turn for home all square.
Lester, beaten in the final of the British Boys Amateur last year, responded immediately with birdies at the 10th and 11th but once again Sutton showed no signs of panic.
He clawed another hole back at the 12th, lost the 13th but birdied the 14th and 15th to level matters with three holes remaining.
The 16th and 17th were halved in par and then, with both players in trouble off the tee, Sutton somehow managed to salvage a par to win the tie, rolling in a par putt from 15 feet on the last.
A former Scottish international, Sutton’s work and family commitments keep his championship appearances to a minimum these days. The North of Ireland tournament doubles as a family holiday and he admits it is a hard balancing act.
“I love coming up to the ‘North’ because if the golf doesn’t work out it is a great wee holiday. My mum and dad are here. My Dad – Brian – always caddies for me as well,” said David.

“We have been very busy in work this last few months and then when you get home you spend time with the kids so I don’t get to practise or play that much.”

On a day which saw a number of the favourites lose out, amongst them Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint), Robin Dawson (Faithlegg) and Dermot McElroy (Ballymena), Sutton had earlier edged out leading qualifier Geoff Lenehan (Portmarnock) in the last 16 by a single shot.
Galbraith also found things more taxing yesterday and was forced to dig deep to see off Knock’s Colin Fairweather in the last 16. One down through 16, John Ross, chipped in for eagle at the par five 17 and then birdied the 18th to eventually edge home by a single hole.
His quarter-final against Ronan Mullarney (Galway) was nip and tuck over the opening nines holes before he took charge around the turn, eagling the 10th to go one up and chipping in at the 11th to extend that lead.
Mullarney dragged one back on the 12th, the 13th was halved in pars before Galbraith bagged a two at the 14th firing a four iron in 10 feet. The 15th was halved in par fours and then Mullarney found trouble at the 16th and eventually conceded the hole.
Today’s second semi-final pitts Gary Collins (Rosslare) against Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk) who claimed the biggest scalp of his career in beating McElroy by one hole in the last eight.
“I was two down after five. I had been hitting it well all week and then I started off by hitting it sideways!” said the 22-year-old.
“I’m delighted to get as far as I did. To take out Dermy, he wasn’t at his best, neither of us played great but I just dug in a bit better. To take out someone like that is big, sure I’m a nobody.”

North of Ireland Amateur Championship
Sponsored by Cathedral Eye Clinic
At Royal Portrush
JR Galbraith v D Sutton
G Collins v C Rafferty
Final – 12.30pm

Round Three
S Coulter lost to R Dawson 19th; G Collins bt C Campbell 2&1; C Rafferty bt F Mason 5&3; D McElroy bt W Hanna 3&2; JR Galbraith bt C Fairweather 1hole; R Mullarney bt P McBride 19th; D Sutton bt G Lenehan 1hole; R Lester bt D Holland 3&2
G Collins bt Dawson 3&2; C Rafferty bt D McElroy 1hole; JR Galbraith bt R Mullarney 3&2; D Sutton by R Lester 1hole

Few shocks in early rounds of match-play at North of Ireland Amateur Championship

July 15, 2015
Colm Campbell Pic by Pat Cashman

Colm Campbell
Pic by Pat Cashman

The leading contenders moved smoothly through the opening rounds of the match-play stages at the Cathedral Eye sponsored North of Ireland Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush on Wednesday.
Ulster hopefuls Dermot McElroy (Ballymena), Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint) and John Ross Galbraith (Whitehead) encountered few problems enroute to the last 16.
Campbell got the chance to put his feet up early by racking up two 6&5 victories – beating Colin Woodroofe (Blainroe) in the morning and Jonathan Breen (Kirkistown) in the afternoon.
“It was two good rounds,” said the 28-year-old who will face Gary Collins (Rosslare) on Thursday morning.
“I gave myself a lot of chances and didn’t put myself in any major trouble which is the big thing out there; don’t make it hard for yourself.”
Reigning Irish Close champion Galbraith was also content with a solid performance as he saw off Lester Moore (City of Derry) in the morning and Ryan Gribben (Warrenpoint) in the afternoon.
“I didn’t play great in qualifying, I did just did enough to get through but I played really well today,” said John Ross.

“I had eight birdies in 14 holes this morning and was steady this afternoon with four birdies. I feel like each round I can get better and better.”

Ballymena’s Dermot McElroy showed no signs of tiredness after returning from Ireland duty in Sweden on Sunday. The West of Ireland Champion was handed a bye into the match-play stages and made quick work of Alastair McQuillan (Cushendall) and Rory Williamson (Holywood).
The 22-year-old who struggled a bit off the tee, will face fellow Ulster representative, William Hanna (Kilkeel) this morning. Leading qualifier Geoff Lenehan (Portmarnock) continued to play ‘uncomplicated’ golf and will face Lurgan’s David Sutton in the last 16 this morning, however Richard Bridges (Stackstown), a semi-finalist last year, was beaten by Daniel Holland (Castle) 3&2.

Cathedral Eye North of Ireland Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush
Round Three
Stephen Coulter v Robin Dawson; Gary Collins v Colm Campbell; Caolan Rafferty v Finlay Mason; William Hanna v Dermot McElroy; John-Ross Galbraith v Colin Fairweather; paul McBride v Ronan Mullarney; Geoff Lenehan v David Sutton; Daniel Holland v Rowan Lester
Matchplay D1 Results:
Round One:S Coulter (Warrenpoint) bt A Mulholland (Castlerock) 7&6; M McClean (Balmoral) bt J Owens (Bangor) 2&1; A Clegg (Donaghadee) bt N Crawford (Mourne) 2&1; R Dawson (Faithlegg) bt D Jackson (Massereene) 4&3; G Lappin (Belvoir Pk) bt T Harris (Castletown) at 19th; G Collins (Rosslare) bt C Wilton (Banbridge) 2 holes; J Breen (Kirkistown Castle) bt S Carter (Royal Dublin) 6&5; K Egan (Carton House) bt G Arthur (Carrickfergus) 1 hole; C Rafferty (Dundalk) bt C Doran (Banbridge) at 19th; F Mason (Moor Hall) bt W Russell (Clandeboye) 2 holes; E Griffin (Waterford) bt S Bleakley 4&3; W Hanna (Kilkeel) bt B Cashman (Belvoir Pk) 3&1; I Moore (Dunmurry) bt S Magee (Lurgan) 1 hole; A McQuillan (Cushendall) bt M Mullen (Rosslare) 4&2; D McElroy (Ballymena) bt R Williamson (Holywood) 7&5; JR Galbraith (Whitehead) bt L Moore (City of Derry) 6&4; R Gribben (Warrenpoint) bt O Crooks (Bushfoot) 3&2; C Fairweather (Knock) bt A Morris (Belvoir Pk) 4&2; J Yates (Naas) bt M McKinstry (Cairndhu) at 20th; P McBride (The Island) bt J McDonnell (Forrest Little) 7&6; J Corke (Castletown) bt R Pierse (Grange) 3&1; R Mullarney (Galway) bt K McCarron (North West) 4&3; G Lernehan (Portmarnock) bt E Smith (Ardee) 5&4; C Melvin (Corrstown) bt S McConnell (Ballyclare) 1 hole; F Kennedy (The Island) bt A Doran (Ardee) at 19th; D Sutton (Lurgan) bt N Simpson (Kirkistown Castle) 1 hole; R Bridges (Stackstown) bt R Knightly (Royal Dublin) 2 holes; D Holland (Castle) bt R Dutton (Tandragee) 1 hole; R Lester (Hermitage) bt R Long (Cairndhu) 1 hole; T Coffey (Slieve Russell) bt J Sunderland (Galgorm Castle) 2&1.
Round Two: Coulter bt McClean 2 holes; Dawson bt Clegg 2 holes; Collins bt Lappin 3&1; Campbell bt Breen 6&5; Rafferty bt Egan 1 hole; Mason bt Griffin at 19th; Hanna bt Moore 5&3; McElroy bt McQuillan 3&2; Galbraith bt Gribben 5&3; Fairweather bt Yates at 19th; McBride bt Corke 2&1; Mullarney bt Hopkins 2&1; Lenehan bt Melvin 3&2; Sutton bt Kennedy 3&2; Holland bt Bridges 3&2; Lester bt Coffey 1 hole.

Unbeaten interprovincial series lifts Galbraith confidence ahead of North of Ireland bid

July 12, 2015
John Ross Galbraith pictured during the recent Interprovincial Championship at Rosapenna  Pic Pat Cashman

John Ross Galbraith pictured during the recent Interprovincial Championship at Rosapenna
Pic Pat Cashman

An unbeaten run in the Interprovincial Championship has given John Ross Galbraith a huge shot in the arm ahead of this week’s North of Ireland Amateur Championship sponsored by Cathedral Eye Clinic.
While Ulster struggled as team, eventually finishing third behind winners Leinster, the reigning Irish Close champion ended the tournament with 5½ points out of six.
“It certainly helps with the confidence,” said the 21-year-old Whitehead golfer.
“I felt that I was playing well going into the week. Hopefully if I make it through qualifying I will be hard to beat in the matchplay.”
Galbraith is still a relative novice in terms of North of Ireland appearances – this will only be his fourth championship – but he is a regular at the north coast venue playing social golf.
“I love the place and I get up to play there quite a bit, just for a day out,” he said.
“It’s one of my favourite courses but it’s even better when you are playing it in a Championship.

“I usually play decently enough but I’ve only played three times and made it through qualifying twice. Even then, the furthest I got in the match-play was the second round.”

Galbraith’s win in the Close last year lifted his profile and also raised the expectation levels. As part of the Irish panel he spent a good part of the early season playing around the world in the likes of Spain and Argentina but he was struggling with his game.
“I was trying different things with my swing but couldn’t get it to click,” added John-Ross.
“I had a bad Lytham Trophy, but after that I found a wee thing and I have been playing really solidly since then.
“I’m still looking for that first win of the season but I still have a few events left and the Irish Close Championship title to defend later in the year.”
The 300 strong North of Ireland field will play two rounds of qualifying today and tomorrow over the Dunluce and Valley courses. The leading 62 players will progress to the match-play rounds where they will be joined by Dermot McElroy (Ballymena) and Cormac Sharvin (Ardglass) who have received a bye into that stage of the event.
Last year’s champion, Chris Selfridge will not be back to defend his title, having turned professional but the 2014 beaten finalist Robin Dawson (Faithlegg) is back hoping to go one step further this time around.

North of Ireland Championship draw –

Hoey issues call to enter North of Ireland Amateur Championship

June 19, 2015
Michael Hoey joins Andrew Spence from Cathedral Eye Clinic and Kevin Stevens from of the Golfing Union of Ireland (Ulster Branch)

Michael Hoey joins Andrew Spence from Cathedral Eye Clinic and Kevin Stevens from of the Golfing Union of Ireland (Ulster Branch)

Michael Hoey has joined up with the Golfing Union of Ireland (Ulster Branch) to launch the Cathedral Eye Clinic 2015 North of Ireland Amateur Open Championship.
The 2015 tournament played over the Dunluce and Valley links will take place from July 13th-17th. Hoey, a former winner of the Championship in 2000 is calling on amateur golfers across Northern Ireland to enter the tournament.
Michael said: “Growing up, The North of Ireland was always a big thing. We had a caravan at Castlerock golf club so I grew up playing in the area. Winning the tournament in 2000 was a huge boost to my career. I’d strongly encourage all amateur players to enter the Championship – getting the opportunity to play in a tournament of this calibre at Royal Portrush is such a boost to any amateur’s game.”
Golfers can enter the Cathedral Eye Clinic North of Ireland Championship at – entries close at 00.30 on Saturday 20 June 2015, with the draw for rounds 1 & 2 due to be issued on Tuesday 23 June.
The 2014 champion, Chris Selfridge, has turned professional and will not be defending his title but already entered this year are East of Ireland Champion, Stuart Grehan (Tullamore), West of Ireland Champion, Dermot McElroy (Ballymena) and reigning South of Ireland Champion, Stuart Bleakley (Shandon Park).
This is the third year that Cathedral Eye Clinic will sponsor the North of Ireland Amateur Open Championship. There’s a natural synergy to the partnership, as Cathedral Eye Clinic has helped many elite athletes and sportspeople to rediscover amazing vision, with bespoke eye care solutions, including the very latest technology in laser eye surgery. Golfers in particular can see a big benefit from these procedures, helping them to get back on the fairways within days of a procedure.
As part of the partnership, Cathedral Eye Clinic will provide preferential rates to Golfing Union of Ireland members. For further information, or to enquire about bespoke eye care solutions, contact Cathedral Eye Clinic on 028 9032 2020 or by email to

Selfridge on course to defend North of Ireland title

July 18, 2014
Flashback - Chris Selfridge celebrates success in 2013

Flashback – Chris Selfridge celebrates success in 2013

Chris Selfridge (Moyola Park) remains on course for back-to back North of Ireland Amateur Championship wins after booking his place in today’s last four at Royal Portrush.
The 21-year-old saw off Matthew McClean (Balmoral) and Darragh Coghlan (Portmarnock) yesterday to set up an all-Ulster semi-final clash against David Mulholland (Castlerock GC) at the Cathedral Eye Clinic sponsored event.
In yesterday’s quarter-final meeting against Coghlan he raced into a six hole lead after nine but was pegged back by his opponent, eventually winning 3&2.
“I was cruising but then I made it a bit harder for myself,” said the University of Toledo student who has been working closely with performance coach Fergie Wallace this week.

“I lost a few holes and the pressure was back on me but I was ok with that; it resembled a final. I responded well to losing those holes and played the next four in regulation pars.”

Selfridge is something of a course specialist at Royal Portrush. He won the Irish Close at the famous links in 2012 and followed that up with last year’s win at the North but he will need to call on all that big match experience this morning against Mulholland.
The 48-year-old eye surgeon at Altnagelvin Hospital shocked everyone including himself by seeing off the highly fancied Reeve Whitson (Mourne) in the last eight.
A regular competitor at the event, Mulholland has never got any further than the quarter-finals of this tournament. His best Championship finish was back in 1988 when he lost out in the final of the Irish Close to Garth McGimpsey.
“I can’t believe it, I never thought I would get to the semi-finals,” he said.
“I’ve been playing very little golf this year, in fact, I’ve only marked seven cards.”
Whitson, who is pondering a move into the paid ranks, struggled with his rhythm against Mulholland and felt that the long gap between his morning (he beat Warrenpoint’s William Hanna 7&6) and afternoon matches contributed to a lack-lustre display.
“I had a few opportunities to get back into the tie but couldn’t take them,” added Reeve.
“Fair play to David, I don’t think he missed a shot until the 15th.”
The other semi-final will feature former Irish Boys champion Robin Dawson (Faithlegg) and Richard Bridges (Stackstown). Dawson made a strong statement of intent by cruising past Alex Wilson (Portmarnock) 4&3 and Irish international Cormac Sharvin 5&3 in some style yesterday.
The 18-year-old made a slow start against former Close champion Sharvin but a brilliant up and down from 100 yards out at the eighth kick-started his round and he never looked back as Sharvin wilted.
His opponent this morning, Richard Bridges, picked up two notable Ulster scalps yesterday in Dermot McElroy (Ballymena) and Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint). The 27-year-old Leinster representative trailed early in both matches but showed great resilience to fight back winning both ties by a single hole.

North of Ireland Championship sponsored by Cathedral Eye Clinic
Round three: R Whitson (Mourne) bt W Hanna (Warrenpoint) 7&6; D Mulholland (Castlerock) bt J Hood (Galgorm Castle) 1 hole; D Coughlan (Portmarnock) bt S Bryan (Delgany) 3&1; C Selfridge (Moyola Pk) bt M McClean (Balmoral) 3&2; C Sharvin (Ardglass) bt T Harris (Castletown) 1 hole; R Dawson (Faithlegg) bt A Wilson (Portmarnock) 4&3; R Bridges (Stackstown) bt D McElroy (Ballymena) 1 hole; C Campbell (Warrenpoint) bt T Gandy (Castletown).
Round Four:Mulholland bt Whitson 2&1; Selfridge bt Coughlan 3&2; Dawson bt Sharvin 5&3; Bridges bt Campbell at 19th.
8am – Mulholland v Selfridge
8.40am – Dawson v Bridges.

Ireland’s Euro stars on the march at Royal Portrush

July 18, 2014

Cormac Sharvin (Ardglass) and Dermot McElroy (Ballymena) showed no signs of fatigue as they booked their places in the last 16 of the Cathedral Eye Clinic sponsored North of Ireland Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush.
The duo, who were members of the Ireland team beaten in the final of the European Amateur team Championship on Saturday, received byes into the match-play stages of this week’s event at Royal Portrush and made the most of the opportunity.
Sharvin was taken to the 20th in the morning by Lurgan’s David Sutton, but found something like his best form in the afternoon beating Warrenpoint’s Paul Reavey 3&2.
“The match against David was really good this morning, it was a tough draw,” said the 21-year-old student at Stirling University.
“In the afternoon game I really didn’t do too much wrong. I was six up after 10, lost 11, 13 and 14 to slip back but I wasn’t overly concerned as I still had a good lead.”
McElroy claimed his golf was still not 100 per cent after seeing off Cian Geraghty (Laytown & Bettystown) and Graeme Laird (Clandeboye).
“I’m not feeling too bad at the minute, but we will see how things go at the week progresses,” said the beaten 2010 finalist.
“I was a lot better this afternoon than the morning round. I still felt it was tricky out there because of the wind.”
The 21-year-old was always in control against Laird. Two up at the turn he won 10 and 11 to go four ahead before closing out the match on the 13th.
“Graeme made a few mistakes this afternoon and I was getting up and down for pars and holing my birdie chances,” added McElroy.
Reeve Whitson, the 2013 Spanish Amateur champion, made smooth progress into today’s last 16 with 5&4 wins over both Daniel Vaughan (Ardglass) and Robbie Pierse (Grange).
The 22-year-old has been offered a spot in the field at next week’s Challenge Tour event in France and is still considering a move into the paid ranks.
Whitson took command of his game against Vaughan early this afternoon and found himself five up after seven holes. He lost the 9th and 10th and realised he needed to find some way of wrestling the initiative back from his opponent.
“I had eight feet for par at the 12th and it was one of those ones I knew was important. If I could hole it the pressure would be back on Daniel,” said Whitson who managed to find the bottom of the cup while Vaughan missed to effectively end his hopes of staging a fightback.
Reeve will play Warrenpoint’s William Hanna this morning, who beat Barry Anderson (Royal Dublin) and Evan Farrell (Ardee) on his way to the last 16.
Defending champion Chris Selfridge is still in the hunt to win back to back titles and replicate the feat last achieved by Warrenpoint’s Paddy Gribben back in 1998/1999.
The Moyola Park golfer will face Matthew McClean (Balmoral) this morning after beating Shane McClean (Foyle) 4&3 and Jack McDonnell (Forrest Little) 6&5.
“This morning was steady. I was one or two over, safe golf with pars were winning holes,” said the University of Toledo student.

“This afternoon I played a bit better. I turned in approximately three under with no bogeys and hit nearly all my greens in regulation. I’m playing steady golf and trying to be sensible.

“I was level with Jack after four this afternoon but then won six in a row.”
Selfridge is loathe to change a winning formula and is replicating the same approach that took him to the title last year.
“I have been playing well for about a month,” said Chris who has the benefit of staying at home in in Castledawson.
“I just have to keep doing the same things and see what happens.”
Round One –
ound Two –