O’Hanlon targets end of 24-year wait for back-to-back winner; Woodroofe leads

Paul O'Hanlon (Carton House) plays from the rough at County Louth Golf last year. Picture by Pat Cashman

Paul O’Hanlon (Carton House) plays from the rough at County Louth Golf last year. Picture by Pat Cashman

Carton House’s Paul O’Hanlon believes he has the experience and the game to become the first man to win back-to-back East of Ireland titles since Raymie Burns 24 years ago.

The 32-year old Kildare man completed a wire-to-wire win 12 months ago in his first Championship start since he regained his amateur status after four years on the mini tours.

Now he’s hoping to become the first man since Burns in 1993 to successfully defend the title and he has a great chance after a superb, third round 69 left him alone in second place on three-under par, just two strokes behind Dun Laoghaire’s Colin Woodroofe.

“My experience will be a factor but Colin is obviously playing well so I will just play my own game and try and hit nine greens and give myself nine chances and see where I stand with nine to go and whether or not I need to push,” said O’Hanlon,  who lost to Rory McIlroy in the 2006 West of Ireland final but won the Close in 2008.

With a 15-20 mph south-west wind making a firm County Louth a tricky test — the field averaged 75.75 yesterday — O’Hanlon followed a bogey at the 11th with three birdies in a row from the 13th to turn in two-under-par.

Paul O'Hanlon en route to victory 12 months ago. Picture by Pat Cashman

Paul O’Hanlon en route to victory 12 months ago. Picture by Pat Cashman

He then rolled in a 60 footer for eagle at the third when his attempted lay-up snuck through the gap and rolled down to the edge of the green, before following a birdie at the sixth with a bogey at the seventh.

“That really got me going,” he said. “I putted it much better this round having putted really poorly on Saturday. I was getting worried from 18 inches but this round it was good. 

“Having won this before it’s not like I’m feeling, ‘Wow, this is my only chance.’ But I’d love to go back-to-back. That would be cool.

“I play golf now just to have good experiences and to do something that hasn’t been done for while would be special.”

Woodroofe (22) birdied the par-five third and sixth going out and then bogeyed the 10th and 16th coming home as he carded a level par 72 for a two-shot lead on five under par.

And he’s hoping that he continues to put as well having holed a string of crucial par putts including a six-footer at the eighth, a 10-footer at the ninth, a 20-footer at the 12th and 10-footers at both the 14th and 15th.

“I hit it better on the front nine and turned in two under, but my putter was really saving me on the back nine,” the former Blainroe man confessed.

“I texted my coach Karl Holmes last night because I was spraying it a bit, but I am happy enough with how I am playing.

“Once I got started today the nerves went away so hopefully, I can do it tomorrow. 

“I will just try to stick to my pre-shot routine, and if I can keep my putting going, that will be key.”

As Jack Pierse putted poorly, shooting 76 alongside Woodroofe to fall back to two over, fellow Portmarnock’ man Geoff Lenehan got to four under for the day with three to play but bogeyed the 16th and 18th for a 70 to sit alone in third on level par.

Pierse’s brother Robbie (71) shares fourth on one-over with Kinsale’s John Murphy (71) and Hilton Templepatrick’s Reece Black (70).

Woodroofe was in control early on, pitching close on the third to set up his first birdie of the day before saving par with a sensational pitch after overshooting the par-three fifth.

He moved to seven-under with a two-putt birdie from just short of the downwind sixth, then holed a six footer for par at the eighth after going long and a 10 footer for another clutch par at the ninth, where he was 15 yards short of the green in two.

With Gary O’Flaherty stuck on one under after a level par front nine and Pierse slipping back to level after mixing two birdies with two bogeys and a double at the fifth, it fell to Lenehan to do the chasing.

The former Mullingar Scratch Cup winner birdied the second, sixth, seventh and eighth to turn in four under and get within five of the leader at two under par.

But having followed a bogey at the 10th with a nice birdie at the 12th, he missed a four-footer for par at the 16th, saved par from 10 feet at the 17th but then tugged his three-wood approach to the 18th into deep rough and took four more to get down, three-putting from just off the green.

The slow pace of play in his group didn’t help the Dubliner who appeared to have little enthusiasm for a predicted bad weather on the final day, no doubt preferring a birdie battle in brilliant sunshine to a cloudy or rain-soaked slog as he attempts to come from five behind.

East of Ireland Amateur Open, County Louth Golf Club (Par 72) 

Detailed scoreboard

Final round tee times

  1. 07:30 Fitzmaurice, Kelly;
  2. 07:41 McLarnon, Sweeney;
  3. 07:52 Dutton, Norton, M McKinstry;
  4. 08:03 Boucher, Geraghty, Denvir;
  5. 08:14 McDonnell, Donnelly, Greene;
  6. 08:25 Kerr, Farrell, Healy;
  7. 08:36 Williamson, Raymond, Foley;
  8. 08:47 Holland, Morgan, Hickey;
  9. 08:58 Brazill, Lappin, Rafferty;
  10. 09:09 Hill, Lowry, Power;
  11. 09:20 Murray, McCarron, Moran;
  12. 09:31 Collins, J Pierse, O’Flaherty;
  13. 09:42 Whelan, Bleakley, Sugrue;
  14. 09:53 Black, Murphy, R Pierse;
  15. 10:04 Lenehan, O’Hanlon, Woodroofe.

After 54 holes

Qualifiers

211 C Woodroofe (Dun Laoghaire) 69 70 72;

213 P O’Hanlon (Carton House ) 71 73 69;

216 G Lenehan (Portmarnock) 75 71 70;

217 R Pierse (Grange) 72 74 71, J Murphy (Kinsale) 72 74 71, R Black (Hilton Templepatrick) 71 76 70;

218 J Sugrue (Mallow) 74 75 69, S Bleakley (Shandon Park) 73 73 72, J Whelan (Newlands) 72 77 69, G O’Flaherty (Cork) 71 72 75, J Pierse (Portmarnock) 69 73 76;

219 G Collins (Rosslare) 72 76 71, R Moran (Castle) 71 73 75;

220 K McCarron (North West) 75 70 75, P Murray (Clontarf) 71 75 74, M Power (Kilkenny) 71 74 75, A Lowry (Esker Hills) 69 76 75;

221 A Hill (Athenry) 74 75 72, C Rafferty (Dundalk) 74 72 75, G Lappin (Belvoir Park) 72 78 71, R Brazill (Naas) 72 74 75, J Hickey (Cork) 70 77 74, D Morgan (Carton House) 70 75 76, D Holland (Castle) 70 73, 78;

222 H Foley (The Royal Dublin) 78 72 72, C Raymond (Newlands) 77 73 72, R Williamson (Holywood) 75 73 74, S Healy (The Royal Dublin) 75 71 76, E Farrell (Ardee) 73 75 74, P Kerr (Royal Portrush) 72 79 71, J Greene (Portmarnock) 72 76 74, L Donnelly (Kilkenny) 72 74 76, J McDonnell (Forrest Little) 72 73 77, C Denvir (Elm Park) 71 77 74, C Geraghty (Laytown & Bettystown) 70 73 79;  

223 M Boucher (Carton House) 76 74 73, M McKinstry (Cairndhu) 75 74 74, M Norton (Belvoir Park) 74 75 74, R Dutton (Tandragee) 74 74 75, S Sweeney (USA) 74 72 77, T McLarnon (Massereene) 73 75 75, R Kelly (Tuam) 72 78 73, G Fitzmaurice (Balcarrick) 71 75 77; 

Non-qualifiers

224 D Brennan (Shannon) 74 79 71, C Butler (Kinsale) 74 75 75, D Coghlan (Portmarnock) 72 80 72, S Cullen (Slieve Russell) 72 78 74, J Carvill (Banbridge) 71 75 78;

225 W Russell (Clandeboye) 79 72 74, G Bohill (Co. Louth) 77 77 71, T Collins (Dun Laoghaire) 76 76 73, C Ryan (Dun Laoghaire) 76 76 73, J Walsh (Castle) 74 80 71, T Ford (Co. Sligo) 74 74 77, G Ward (Kinsale) 73 76 76, J Knipe (Royal Portrush) 73 74 78, G Mungovan (Headfort) 73 74 78, M Nolan (Delgany) 72 78 75, B Murray (Waterford Castle) 71 76 78;

226 G Smyth (Clonmel) 76 79 71, R Neville (The Links Portmarnock) 75 75 76, M Looby (Greystones) 73 77 76, M O’Rourke (Royal Tara) 73 77 76, B Anderson (The Royal Dublin) 73 76 77, S Flanagan (Co. Sligo) 72 76 78, G Carr (Mullingar) 71 77 78;

227 D Coyle (Portmarnock) 81 73 73, A Grant (Dundalk) 78 73 76, J McVicker (Knock Golf Club ) 77 72 78, A Maguire (Laytown & Bettystown) 77 72 78, N Grant (Shandon Park) 76 78 73, W Small (Tandragee) 75 75 77, C O’Connor (Corrstown) 74 78 75, E Leonard (Wentworth/Killiney) 74 75 78, M Morrissey (Co. Sligo) 74 74 79;  

228 I Lynch (Rosslare) 79 77 72, M Kane (Larne) 78 76 74, G McDermott (Carton House) 76 75 77, D Reddan Jnr (Nenagh) 76 73 79

229 J Fox (Portmarnock) 82 73 74, E Smith (Laytown & Bettystown) 80 76 73, P Carey (Nenagh) 80 73 76, C Nolan (Galway) 78 76 75, G Dunne (Co. Louth) 77 76 76, J Fletcher (Warrenpoint) 75 76 78, E Griffin (Waterford) 75 75 79, P O’Brien (Co. Louth) 74 75 80;

230 D Reidy (Co. Sligo) 77 80 73, R Hynes (The Royal Dublin) 76 77 77, Z Glynn (Bray) 74 78 78, R Knightly (The Royal Dublin) 74 74 82, K Murphy (Charlesland) 73 80 77, A Hickey (Ballyhaunis) 72 82 76

231 S Desmond (Monkstown) 79 77 75, M Fitzsimons (Ardglass) 77 77 77, P Murphy (Rosslare) 77 77 77, D Morley (Oughterard) 76 79 76, S Garrett (Portstewart) 74 79 78, S Doyle (The Island) 74 74 83, P Coughlan (Moate) 71 76 84;

232 G McGrane (The Royal Dublin) 82 75 75, E Murphy (Dundalk) 80 78 74, S McGlynn (Portmarnock) 78 79 75, J Brady (Rosslare) 77 75 80, K LeBlanc (Island) 75 74 83, A McDaid (Palmerstown Stud) 71 84 77, D Foy (Laytown & Bettystown) 69 77 86;  

233 D Brady (Co. Sligo) 82 78 73, J Doherty (Carton House) 78 80 75, J McGinn (Laytown & Bettystown) 78 79 76, D Brophy (Castleknock) 75 78 80;

234 M Kennelly (Athenry) 73 79 82, S O’Connor (Luttrellstown Castle ) 71 80 83;

235 T Hackett (The Royal Dublin) 78 78 79, D Crawford (Bundoran) 78 77 80, A Dowling (Hermitage) 77 79 79;

236 L Grehan (Mullingar) 75 82 79; 

237 A Doran (Ardee) 84 76 77; 

240 D Smith (Castle) 82 82 76; 

241 D O’Neill (Carton House) 81 82 78; 

244 P O’Sullivan (Old Conna) 82 80 82; 

249 C Kelly (USA) 78 84 87; 

DQ R Berkeley (Dun Laoghaire) 73 78, S Greenberg (Tandragee) 76 78; 

RTD S Kinch (Hollystown) 79 78, M Shanahan (Castlemartyr) 79 82; 

WD R Cannon (Balbriggan); 

RTD A Myles (Newlands), S Carter (The Royal Dublin), R McKinstry (Cairndhu).

from News – Irish Golf Desk http://ift.tt/2rH4tNC

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