The pre-tournament favourites in the Harcourt Hotel Narin & Portnoo Pro-Am still entertained high hopes going into day two. From left: John Molloy, Conal Keeney (event organiser), Barry Keeney, John Dwyer (professional).
John Dwyer, representing Ashbourne Golf Club, unleashes a huge drive down the thirteenth hole during the Harcourt Hotel Narin & Portnoo Pro-Am last weekend.
The winning Strabane team in the Harcourt Hotel Pro-Am were relaxed enough on the seventh tee on day two to pose for this photograph. From left: Eugene Corry, Kevin Patton, Barry Hamill and Mark Patton.
The top three receive their well-earned rewards at the Harcourt Hotel Narin & PortnooGolf Club Pro-Am last Sunday night. From left: Michael Collins, (www.foreireland.com, 3rd), Christopher McVitty (Bundoran, 2nd), John Kelly (St. Margaret’s, winner), Brian McGill of the main event sponsor, The Harcourt Hotel and Michael Glynn, club captain. (photo: Stephen Byrne)
John Kelly, representing St. Margaret’s Golf Club in Dublin, won a hugely enjoyable Narin & Portnoo Pro-Am (sponsored by The Harcourt Hotel) on a sun-kissed golf course at the weekend.
The Dubliner shot a magnificent six under par second round of 67 to overtake all of the first-day leaders and stake his honoured place in the long history of this popular event.
A steady opening round of 72 had left him one of sixteen players to break par on day one, testament to both the excellent condition of the course and the quality of professional golfer attracted to this lucrative annual celebration of golf.
He started Sunday with a flourish, firing birdies at the second and third, before a lost ball on six threatened to derail his assault. A re-load resulted in a double-bogey six, but he responded in true style, sinking a slippery putt on seven to repair some of the damage.
The hard work was accomplished over what many regarded as the tougher nine, so he opened the shoulders and launched a huge drive down the long tenth to set up a short iron approach, which was followed by a timely putt for eagle. Birdies rattled the cup at both twelve and thirteen and having negotiated the tricky fourteenth and fifteenth, he stuck a mid-iron close at seventeen to capture the outright lead on seven under par. A safe par at eighteen was secured and all was well with the world. The re-build of his swing over the past few months has borne fruit at last and with this win under his belt, surely more success is to follow.
David Mortimer had entertained high hopes as he held the overnight lead following a sparkling 68. The Connemara golfer recorded six birdies and just the solitary bogey in a round which matched the previous best scores on the course, achieved back in 2007 by Damian Mooney and Simon Thornton. He would stumble on day two but still did enough to finish in a tie for fourth.
Damian Mooney had to settle for a disappointing opening 76, but a second round of 72 was evidence of a noble defence of his title.
Engaging as ever, Philip Walton threatened for long stretches, but errors crept into his game on Sunday and he ended in a tie for twelfth.
The club’s own professional, Connor Mallon enjoyed a fruitful weekend, enjoying the success of the tournament and shooting a respectable total of level par, 146.
The leading team at the halfway point on 99 points was led by Barry Hamill and included Kevin Patton, Mark Patton and Eugene Corry. They closed out the team event on Sunday by shooting an excellent 93 points for a 192 total.
Connor Mallon finished in a tie for second place behind Gary Wardlow at the Shell Carne Links Pro-Am last week. The genial club professional shot a three under par round of 69, which could have been a lot better but for a few slip-ups. The result moved him into the top twenty on the moneylist, despite having only played in five events. There’s more to come from Connor, one suspects!
Pat Connaghan’s over-50’s team won 4-1 in the home leg of the encounter with Buncrana and one hopes they can finish the job in the return. A place in the semi-final awaits the winners.
Joseph McLoone warmed up for the Pro-Am with a fine victory in the Wednesday Open. If he maintains this form, he will be a force to be reckoned with at the Captain’s Prize weekend in August.
June 24: 1. Joe McLoone (12) 38; 2. Anthony Thompson (19) 36; 3. Gerard McCabe (13) 35 b.o.t.; 4. P.A. Gallagher (16) 35 b.o.t.; C.S.S. 73; Twos: 3 balls
June 27/28: Harcourt Hotel Narin & Portnoo Pro-Am; Professionals: 1. John Kelly (St. Margaret’s) 72,67 139; 2. Christopher McVitty (Bundoran) 70,70 140; 3. Michael Collins (www.foreireland.com) 72,69 141; Teams: 1. Barry Hamill (Barry Hamill Golf Academy), Kevin Patton, Mark Patton and Eugene Corry 192;