Tuam’s Alan Moran trails four-time winner Maurice Kelly by just two shots after Thursday’s (5th July) second round fo the Irish Seniors Close Championship in Enniscrone.
Moran matched the Naas man with two-under round of 71 after a par opening round to total two-under for the tournament. There is a further two-shot gap back to England’s Steve Graham (East Sussex Nat) and David Mulholland (Castlerock), who share third.
Moran partnered Kelly and Graham as he began his third round on Friday (6th July) but was the only Galway player to make the cut.
Next best was Galway’s Rory Timlin (164), followed by Tuam’s John Bodkin (168), Galway’s Stephen Helay (169) and his club mate Shane O’Mahoney (169).
Former West of Ireland champion Noel McGrane produced the round of the day, carding a glorious 66 (-7) which included a hole-in-one at the eighth.
McGrane holed a six iron from 170 yards for his ace to go five under for the day and he picked up two more shots on the back nine to make a giant leap up the leaderboard.
While his round two heroics may not be sufficient to win the title following a forgettable first round of 84, he will leave Enniscrone with fond memories.
“It’s nice to know it’s still in there,” said McGrane, whose class continues to shine through at the age of 55. “I holed a few putts, that was the big difference today. I put a new grip on the putter last night.”
At four over par, McGrane is eight shots off the lead.
Great score today from Noel McGrane from @Royaldublin1 course record 66 in the Senior Close. Including a hole in one. @IrlLinksGolf #wildatlanticway #linksgolf pic.twitter.com/FVoUzUd0Ex
— Enniscrone Golf Club (@EnniscroneGolf) July 5, 2018
Irish Seniors Close Championship
Round 2 Scores – Thursday, 5th July 2018 – Enniscrone (Par 73)
142 – Maurice Kelly (Naas) 71, 71
144 – Alan Moran (Tuam) 73, 71
146 – Steve Graham (East Sussex Nat) 76, 70; David Mulholland (Castlerock) 71, 75
150 – Noel McGrane (Royal Dublin) 84, 66
164 – Rory Timlin (Galway) 84, 80
168 – John Bodkin (Tuam) 84, 84
169 – Stephen Healy (Galway) 82, 87
184 – Shane O’Mahony (Galway) 90, 94
Friday, 6th July 2018 – Round 3 Draw
Round 3 Draw
08:00 (6th): David F Smith (Millicent), Colm Murphy (Clandeboye)
08:10 (6th): Joseph Hughes (Balcarrick), Michael Gaynor (Co. Meath)
08:20 (6th): Patrick Bevins (Carlow), Jack Dempsey (Royal Curragh), Declan O’Loughlin (Kingswood)
08:30 (6th): Michael Quirke (Doneraile), William Doggart (Clandeboye), Eddie Power (Kilkenny)
08:40 (6th): John Garvey (Seapoint), Noel Mannion (Dun Laoghaire), David Varian (Dun Laoghaire)
08:50 (6th): Frank Flynn (Laytown & Bettystown), Barry O’Leary (Greystones), Tony McClements (Clandeboye)
08:05 (1st): Peter Sheehan (Ballybunion), Mick Ahern (Skerries), Bert Burke (Moate)
08:15 (1st): Michael Chambers (Royal Dublin), Bill Donlon (Birr), Ian Smyth (Clandeboye)
08:25 (1st): Tony Hayes (Co. Louth), Sean Alley (Co. Tipperary), Ernie Heywood (City of Derry)
08:35 (1st): Peter Rogers (Dundalk), Liam Halpin (Westport), Anthony Brannock (Newlands)
08:45 (1st): Mark McMurray (Royal Portrush), Terry Kelly (Balcarrick), Peter Cowley (Cork)
08:55 (1st): John Mitchell (Tramore), Pat Lyons (Cork), Jim McVeigh (Carlow)
09:05 (1st): Karl Bornemann (Douglas), Richard McDowell (Royal Belfast), Alan Lilley (Ballyclare)
09:15 (1st): John O’Brien (Castlemartyr), Michael Coote (Tralee), Randal Cross (Enniscrone)
09:25 (1st): Eamon Haugh (Castletroy), Hugh B Smyth (Mourne), Shane Underwood (Co. Sligo)
09:35 (1st): Noel McGrane (Royal Dublin), Alan Egan (Royal Curragh), David Mulholland (Castlerock)
09:45 (1st): Steve Graham (East Sussex Nat), Alan Moran (Tuam), Maurice Kelly (Naas)