Posts Tagged ‘Tyrone Clarke’

Matt McClean and Adam Mulhall carry Ulster hopes at North of Ireland Championship

July 13, 2018

Matthew McClean (Malone)
Tos Caffrey / Golffile

The ‘home’ challenge ran into trouble on day four of the North of Ireland Championship at Royal Portrush.
Four players from the host club were in action on Thursday raising hopes of a first win for the club since Patrick McCrudden in 2011 but, one by one, they all bowed out.
At the end of the day, Ulster hopes were left in the hands of leading qualifier Matthew McClean (Malone) and Adam Mulhall (Ardglass).
This is uncharted territory for McClean who reached the last 16 in 2014 before losing to eventual winner, Chris Selfridge.
“I felt happy enough today, surprisingly, I had minimal nerves,” said the 25-year-old optometrist who beat Barry Cashman (Belvoir Park) in the quarter-finals yesterday afternoon.
“Overall today I made a lot of good pars but missed some birdie chances.
“I didn’t miss a huge amount of greens and that will be hard to beat if you can do that for hopefully two rounds tomorrow.”
With seven visits to the ‘North’ under his belt, McClean is by far the most experienced of the four semi-finalists. In contrast to today’s opponent, Ian Lynch (Rosslare), conceded that two rounds in a day was ‘the most golf I have played in a long time’.
The 29-year-old software engineer is enjoying his best championship run and managed to beat Eanna Griffin (Waterford) on the 19th to reach the last four.
“Everything now is a bonus, I love it here,” said Lynch who has never qualified for the match-play stages in four visits to the North.

“I like to be attacking and hit driver everywhere. If it comes off, it comes off. I don’t do laying up.”

In the other semi-final Adam Mulhall (Ardglass) will play English visitor Kieran Babbage (The Players Club). Mulhall will become a trainee professional at Ardglass GC in October and would love to bow out of amateur golf with a win.
“It’s a bit of a surprise to get this far,” said the 22-year-old who recently graduated from Stirling University with a degree in Sports Science.
“I knew I was capable but it was a just a matter of putting it all together.”
Mulhall knocked out Tyrone Clarke, son of Open Champion, Darren, in the last eight yesterday while today’s opponent, Babbage, knocked out another home favourite Matt McAlpin.
“This is my first visit to play in the North of Ireland. I have never played in any events here,” said the 21-year-old.
“It’s pot luck that I am here at all. I was with my mate Dan Sheehan and he encouraged me to enter.
“I didn’t even know the tournament existed but when he said it was at Portrush, I was like definitely, I will come and play!”

Quarter-final results
Ian Lynch (Rosslare) bt Eanna Griffin (Waterford) 19th
Matthew McClean (Malone) bt Barry Cashman (Belvoir Park) 4&3
Kieran Babbage (The Players Club) bt Matthew McAlpin (Royal Portrush) 1hle
Adam Mulhall (Ardglass) bt Tyrone Clarke (Royal Portrush) 3&1
Today
8.15am – Lynch v McClean
8.30am – Babbage v Mulhall

Final
1.30pm

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Rafferty stays on course to claim North of Ireland title

July 13, 2017


Leading qualifier, Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk GC), eased into the last 16 of the Cathedral Eye Clinic North of Ireland Championship at Royal Portrush yesterday (Wednesday).
The 24-year-old beat John McCarthy (Stackstown) 3&2 and then Dwayne Mallon (Dungannon) 6&4 to set up a meeting with Ross Dutton (Tandragee GC) this morning (Thursday).
Rafferty wasn’t particularly happy with his play in beating McCarthy yesterday morning but composed himself to take care of Mallon in the afternoon.
“I made a good start and was three up after nine. I was pretty steady, did nothing too fantastic,” he said.
“I was brutal in the morning match but I didn’t think about it this afternoon. That is something I am trying to get better at. That’s the thing about match-play, everything is up for grabs on the first tee.”
Irish international Colin Fairweather (Knock) will face Belvoir Park’s Gareth Lappin this morning in the only all-Ulster clash of the last 16.
Lappin, a student at Michigan State University, was relatively untroubled in seeing off Englishman Henry Young-Alls yesterday afternoon by 4&3. Two up after nine, Gareth halved the 10th, 11th and 12th before birdies at the 13th and 14th set up the win with a par on 15.
“The form is alright considering I’ve played very little,” said the 22-year-old.

“I played in the East of Ireland and the Interprovincials for Ulster. I think this is the furthest I have got in this event. I’ve been knocked out in the second round a couple of times.”

Fairweather, meanwhile, just about managed to beat England’s Alex Fitzpatrick to set up the clash with Lappin.Trailing by two holes at the turn, he edged ahead for the first time on 16th courtesy of a 30 foot birdie putt and hung on to win one-up.
“That putt on the 16th was the turning point. I have been a bit up and down this season,” said the 26-year-old who is nursing a knee problem.
“I had a good result at the Brabazon Trophy and made the cut at both the Spanish Amateur and the Irish Amateur Open at Royal County Down.”
Late in the day, home favourite, Tyrone Clarke, was beaten 2&1 by Rowan Lester (Hermitage).

Cathedral Eye Clinic North of Ireland Amateur Championship scoring