O’Keeffe hits top gear but faces another big test in South quest


Douglas star Peter O’Keeffe is hoping it will be a situation of fifth time blessed soon after he played superbly on the 1st day of matchplay fight to relieve his way into the previous 16 in the Pierse Motors sponsored South of Eire Championship for the fifth 12 months jogging.

The reigning Irish Near champion had to defeat two present-day worldwide team mates to make the 3rd round, edging out Carton House’s Marc Boucher by two holes prior to enjoying superbly to defeat present-day East of Eire winner Alex Maguire from Laytown and Bettystown 3&2.

“We were both of those 3-under just after nine and hadn’t skipped a shot to be all sq.,” reported O’Keeffe, who hit a 6 iron to 15 ft at the 11th and built the putt to go just one-up, then doubled his gain when he two-putted for birdie on the par-five 12th.

He then went 3-underneath with a safe par at the 15th, exactly where he strike a 3-iron off the tee adopted by a seven-iron to the center of the inexperienced as Maguire buried his driver in the deep rough fringing the left fairway bunker and couldn’t salvage a par.

“I was continual all the way via and I designed confident I observed the 15th fairway due to the fact I was bunkered there this morning versus Marc Boucher,” additional O’Keeffe, who now faces Tramore’s Jack Hearn. “Let’s see if we can go all the way this calendar year.” 

O’Keeffe fell to eventual winner James Sugrue in the semi-finals in 2017 but he has lost on Saturday morning in his previous a few visits to Lahinch and will be keen to make amends.

He will once again be analyzed once again by Hearn, a winner on the US collegiate circuit this yr, who conquer Castletroy’s Andrew McCormack by two holes right before defeating debutant Harry Fanagan, a son of 1995 winner Jody, 4&3.

Hearn or O’Keeffe would experience Castleknock’s Paul Coughlan, who was three down immediately after 15 and admitted he “stole” his a single-up get in excess of Richard Knightly, or overwhelmed 2019 finalist Keith Egan from Carton Home.

There were being many shocks, starting up with primary qualifier Joshua Hill, who crashed again to earth next his 10-beneath 62 on Thursday and misplaced 3&2 to Westport’s Harry Gillivan in the initial round.

Gillivan now faces previous winner Robbie Cannon of Balbriggan in the very last 16 with the victor to face Galway international Liam Nolan or Carton House’s Jack Doherty, who beat Elm Park’s Charlie Denvir at the 20th.

Nolan experienced to eagle the 18th on Thursday to qualify but with the field back off the blue tees yesterday, he obtained revenge for his West of Ireland ultimate defeat with a 3&1 gain above Bray’s Alan Fahy just before defeating The Heritage’s Shane Hogan 4&2.

Reigning champion TJ Ford from Co Sligo also fell at the initially hurdle, dropping at the 20th to Malahide’s Gavin O’Neill.

Though the day commenced in scorching sunshine, it completed in misty rain as Portmarnock’s Sean Flanagan, the 2016 North of Ireland winner, beat Fermoy’s Dean O’Riordan with a birdie on the 22nd in gathering gloom.

The Rosses Stage gentleman acquired up and down from close to 90 yards at the 18th for birdie to get the match to added holes before beating the combative O’Riordan with a conceded birdie at the Klondyke.

Flanagan now faces reigning Irish Novice Open winner Colm Campbell for a location in the quarter-finals immediately after the Warrenpoint person edged out Ardee’s Evan Farrell by 1 hole, then cruised to a 7&6 win above young Alex King from Faithlegg.

The winner will deal with a difficult quarter-ultimate in opposition to Dundalk’s Eoin Murphy or North of Eire champion Hugh Foley from Royal Dublin, who arrived back from two-down to defeat Roganstown’s Joshua McCabe 2&1.

The base fifty percent of the draw seems to be solid with Royal Dublin’s Max Kennedy set to experience Nenagh’s David Reddan Jnr, who finished O’Neill’s operate with a 2-up win.

The winner of that just one will acquire on Connacht Stroke Enjoy winner Robert Brazill, a 2&1 winner in excess of David Kitt, or Lahinch’s Aaron McNulty.

A three-handicapper just two a long time ago and a Junior Cup player just previous calendar year, McNulty was four-beneath as he prompted a shock by beating 2018 champion Caolan Rafferty by two holes right before easing to a 4&3 acquire above Senior Cup team mate Stephen Loftus.


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