GOLF: North of Ireland reaches last 16

Reeve Whitson
Reeve Whitson

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 teamChampionship on Saturday, received byes into the match-play stages of this week’s event and made the most of the opportunity on Wednesday.

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 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) on Thursday 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.”

Cathedral Eye Clinic North of Ireland Amateur Open Championship

Round three draw

William Hanna v Reeve Whitson 7.45am

David Mulholland v Jordan Hood 8am

Simon Bryan v Daragh Coghlan 8.15am

Matthew McClean v Chris Selfridge 8.30am

Cormac Sharvin v Tom Harris 8.45am

Robin Dawson v Alexander Wilson 9am

Dermot McElroy v Richard Bridges 9.15am

Tom Gandy v Colm Campbell 9.30am


First Round Matchplay: E Farrell (Ardee) bt S Carter (Stackstown) 1 hole; W Hanna (Warrenpoint)bt B Anderson (Royal Dublin) 4&3; D Vaughan (Ardglass) bt G McDowell (Rathmore) 2 holes; RWhitson (Mourne) bt R Pierse (Grange) 5&4; D Mulholland (Castlerock) bt G Collins (Rosslare) at 19th; R O’Donovan (Lucan) bt A Grant (Dundalk) 1 hole; J Hood (Galgorm Castle) bt J Yates (Naas) 1 hole; J Tisdale (USA) bt R McNamara (Headfort) 2&1; S Bryan (Delgany) bt J Timlin (Dungannon) 3&1; G McDermott (Carton House) bt T McLarnon (Massereene) 1 hole; D Coughlan (Portmarnock) bt E Smith (Ardee) 1 hole; D Holland (Castle) bt R Williamson (Holywood) 4&3; M McClean (Balmoral) bt M Sinclair (Knock) 3&2; W Russell (Clandeboye) bt P McCrudden (Royal Portrush) 3&2; J McDonnell (Forest Little) bt K Murray (Delgany) 1 hole; C Selfridge (Moyola Pk) bt S McClean (Foyle) 4&3; C Sharvin (Ardglass) bt D Sutton (Lurgan) at 20th; P Reavey (Warrenpoint) bt S McConnell (Ballyclare) 3&2; M Fitzsimons (Ardglass) bt G Lenehan (Portmarnock) 1 hole; T Harris (Castletown) bt R Gribben (Warrenpoint) 7&6; R Dawson (Faithlegg) bt K McCarron (North West) 6&4; R Leonard (Banbridge) w.o G Mungovan (Headford)

DQ; A Wilson (Portmarnock) bt S Grehan (Tullamore) 1 hole; M Morrissey (Mt Wolseley) 5&4; D McElroy (Ballymena) bt C Geraghty (Laytown & Bettystown) 2&1; G Laird (Clandeboye) bt M Reid (Galgorm Castle) 2&1; R Bridges (Stackstown) bt R Knightly (Royal Dublin) 3&1; K Egan (Carton House) bt B Best (Rathmore) at 22nd; JR Galbraith (Whitehead) bt A Mulhall (Ardglass) at 22nd; T Gandy (Castletown) bt A Clegg (Donaghadee) 6&5; C Campbell (Warrenpoint) bt J Whelan (Newlands) 5&4; G Lappin (Belvoir Pk) bt A Purdy (Ballyclare) 3&2.

Second Round Matchplay: Hanna bt Farrell 3&1; Whitson bt Vaughan 5&4; Mulholland bt O’Donovan 3&2; Hood bt Tisdale 4&3; Bryan bt McDermott 3&2; Coughlan bt Holland at 19th; McClean bt Russell 5&4; Selfridge bt McDonnell 6&5; Sharvin bt Reavey 3&2; Harris bt Fitzsimons 2&1; Dawson bt Leonard 6&4; Wilson bt Morrissey 1 hole; McElroy bt Laird 5&4; Bridges bt Egan; Gandy bt Galbraith 1 hole; Campbell bt Lappin.