Niall Kearney has slipped snugly into the favourites’ seat for the Cassidy Golf PGA Irish Region Championship title this week at Roganstown GC, near Dublin.
The Royal Dublin attaché clinched the HBE Risk Management Ulster Championship title at The Hilton Templepatrick with a course record 65, just a week after leapfrogging the overnight leaders at the two-day Connemara pro-am event.
On a broader scale, Kearney cleared the first hurdle in Germany, at the European Tour Qualifying School and, at home, he also won the charity tournament at St Margaret’s.
With that sort of record, he will be at short odds this week, however, he’s sure to face some stiff opposition at Roganstown with quite a number of players producing good results in recent months. John Kelly has been very consistent all season and leads the Irish Order of Merit from Brian McElhinney who won the PGA Irish Club pros’ tournament at Dundalk and also the Irish Assistants’ Championship at Nuremore.
Colm Moriarty, who appears to have regained his appetite for the game, is another player capable of competing. He carded a course record 61, lowest score of the season, when winning the Newcastle West STL Logistics 75th Anniversary Tournament.
One of the most consistent players in the championship, over the years, has been Brendan McGovern who was beaten by Pádraig Harrington for the title in a play-off, at The European Club.
The 72-holes championship will be staged at Roganstown from Thursday until Sunday with the usual curtain-raising pro-am today.