IT was a tight finish in the 2015 National Boys Strokeplay Championships with little more than three shots separating the first six players but St Annes’ Ryan Towler was victorious for the second week-in-a-row adding the Eugene McCarthy Cup to his Munster Strokeplay success the previous week in Rocklodge with a 36 hole total of eight under par good enough for a one stroke victory.
Ryan was second after the first 18 holes with a score of five under par, two behind the leader, Eoin Keating of Douglas, who had seven under for his First Round but Keating eventually ended the tournament on four under par. Iain Aherne of Ballinlough and Sean Courtney of Deerpark emerged as the main challengers to Ryan in the Second Round but a three under par score for his second round was good enough to finish just ahead of Sean and Iain in the end. Ryan is only the second player from St Annes to win the Boys Strokeplay following in the footsteps of club-mate Michael O’Connell back in 1991.
Sean Courtney claimed second on countback by virtue of a better closing nine holes of three under par as opposed to two under for Iain. Rounds of two and four under par were enough to give Adam Buckley of Larkspur Park the 10-13 prize on six under par. Last year’s runner-up Ciaran Gregan of Portmarnock also finished on six under par but missed out on a prize as Longmeadows’ Craig Hennessy finished on five under par.
The Girls Championship saw Lucan’s Aoife Mahon do the Provincial and National double after coming from two shots behind after the first 18 to win by 11 from Lakeside’s Sive Shelley with a score of 123. A second round of 59 was key to her success as she becomes the first Dubliner to win this event since Claire Keatinge of Old County won her second title back in 2011. Sive’s total of 134 was well clear of Ballinlough’s Lucy Aherne in third on 159.
(Tipperary Hills, Co Tipperary)
Boys: 1st R Towler (St Annes) 100, 2nd S Courtney (Deerpark) 101 (B9), 3rd I Aherne (Ballinlough) 101, 10-13 Prize: A Buckley (Larkspur Park) 102.
Girls: 1st A Mahon (Lucan) 123, 2nd S Shelley (Lakeside) 134, 3rd L Aherne (Ballinlough) 159.
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