Posts Tagged ‘Sean Flanagan’

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

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.