Irish Boys Amateur Open Championship 2017
The 18th hole at Castletroy may have to be re-named after Mark Power holed out for eagle to claim a stunning victory at the end of a three-hole playoff with England’s Jack Cope, retaining his Irish Boys title in the process.
Becoming the first player since Paul Dunne to win back-to-back Irish Boys Championships, Power wrote his name into the history books and left Limerick with the memory of a lifetime.
The circumstances were extraordinary. After closing with a final round 70, Power had moved level with England’s Jack Cope at the top of the leaderboard, meaning that a three-hole playoff was required to decide the destination of the trophy.
Returning to the 16th, Power struck the first blow with a birdie four. Cope found himself two behind having made bogey but immediately erased the deficit when he birdied 17. Power bogeyed and surrendered his advantage.
Deadlocked playing the last, Cope was 15 feet from the pin as Power stood over his approach shot. Power’s odds were drifting but then he produced a shot in a million, holing out from 129 yards to seize the title before setting foot on the final green.
Having begun his title defence with a superb round of 67, Power signalled his intentions but no one could have imagined how it would end three days later.
With Cope having to settle for second, England’s Danny Daniels was third on two. Rosslare’s John Brady claimed the under-17 title having finished fourth overall.
English duo Danny Daniels and Jack Cope share the lead on five under heading into the final round of the Irish Boys Amateur Open Championship at Castletroy.
Overnight leader John Brady surrendered his advantage, slipping back with a 77, while defending champion Mark Power is leading the home challenge, just two shots behind.
Brady began round three with a two-strokes lead and while he maintained that cushion with a level par front nine, the rot set in when he made three consecutive bogeys at the start of the back nine. A double bogey at 14 compounded his woes. Meanwhile Danny Daniels and Jack Cope were making steady progress.
Daniels began the day three back but he closed with a birdie to post 71. At five under, he shares the lead with compatriot Jack Cope, whose 70 was best of the day.
Mark Power’s bid for back-to-back titles suffered a setback with a third round 74 but he remains in the hunt on three under.
Co Louth’s Thomas Mulligan reminded everyone of his scoring power with six birdies on the card and he is well placed on three under. Cameron Raymond from Newlands is alongside Mulligan. Raymond shared the lead after the opening round at Tuam last year and he made another bright start with an impressive 67.
France’s Aymeric Laussot is the leading international player on two under and he is sharing fifth place alongside Belvoir Park’s Patrick Brennan, who also carded a 68.
Ireland’s premier boys’ event takes place at Castletroy GC on 27/06/2017 as 144 players strive to win the Irish Boys Amateur Open.
Mark Power was victorious at Castle in 2016, winning by six shots, and the Kilkenny international is bidding to win back-to-back championships. Should he retain his title, Power will be keeping company with Greystones’ Paul Dunne, who completed a unique double at Bangor in 2009. Dunne is the only two-time champion in the history of the Irish Boys, which dates back to 1983. Previous winners include Damien McGrane (1988), Michael Hoey (1997) and Rory McIlroy (2004).
Since the championship became an open event in 2012, there have been two international winners. England’s Bradley Moore won at Thurles in 2014 and Adrian Pendaries from France took the title at Tuam the following year. Eight visiting countries are represented in 2017: England (11), France (5), Turkey (4), Germany (3), Iceland (2), Netherlands (1), Portugal (1) and Slovakia (1).
Surviving the 54-hole cut will be the immediate goal for every player in the field. The top 50 and ties progress to the final day. If Power recaptures his 2016 form, he will be hard to catch but with Ireland teammates Reece Black (Hilton Templepatrick); John Brady (Rosslare); Jack Hearn (Tramore); Robert Moran (Castle) and Cameron Raymond (Newlands) in the field, potential winners abound.
Started in 1983, when Jim Carvill of Warrenpoint captured the inaugural event at Curragh Golf Club, the Irish Boys has produced its fair share of quality golfers. Names such as Ken Kearney, Damien McGrane, David Higgins, Michael Hoey, and Rory McIlroy have been added to the trophy since then.