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Irish Close win for Mark O'Sullivan

By Brian Keogh (Irish Sun)

The next time Mark O'Sullivan says he has a gut feeling about something, believe him.

The 22 year old Galway student was a man on a mission when he travelled to Tramore this week for the Golfsure Irish Amateur Close championship.

In the end he beat David Carroll of the Grange by one hole in a final he controlled brilliantly on a day when a stiff breeze made the course more testing than it had been all week.

"I said to my parents before I left and I said it to my coach David Kearney in Galway that I had a good feeling about this week," O'Sullivan revealed afterwards. "The golf course suited me down to the ground and I'm just delighted to win this title. I can't believe it and I'm just so happy."

In the end he had to battle hard to shake off a determined Carroll in a quality final in which he covered the 18 holes in an estimated 70 shots and was never behind at any stage.

Carroll has a wonderful short game, and he putted quite beautifully to beat a slightly jaded Michael Brett of Portmarnock to take his place in the final with a two and one victory.

O'Sullivan had a two and one win over Des Morgan of Mullingar in his semi-final match and his strategy of avoiding errors rather than going all out for birdies proved to be a winning one in the decider.

Every time Carroll got him back to all square, O'Sullivan produced a piece of magic to edge ahead again.

One up after seven, Carroll birdied the 12th to get back to all flat. They were still level playing the 13th when O'Sullivan drove into deep rough, hacked out sideway and then hit a seven iron to four feet for a winnign par.

Carroll squared the match again at the 14th with a great sand save for par but his luck ran out over the closing holes.

At the 547 yard 16th, O'Sullivan holed a testing 15 footer for birdie to go one up and parred his way to victory thanks to superb three iron to th hear tof the 17th and a majestic three-wood tee shot under pressure at the last.

At the 17th Carroll's approach came up just short fo the green but he chipped dead and O'Sullivan two-putted from 25 feet to stay one hol in front.

At the last O;Sullivan spolit the fairway with a three woo while Carroll caught he semi with a long iron.

After deliberating for some time over club selection, Carroll' smid iron approach ran through the green into deep grass.

O'Sullivan hit a sen-iron which stopp a yard short of the surface and chipped up to 10 feet, pin high of the back right pin position.

Carroll had a poor lie and although he came out to six feet, he missed the birdie putt and picked up O'Sullivan's marker, conceding the match.

Carroll said: "He just didn't give me a chance. I was delighted with the way I played today but he just played better. The putts I holed this morning didn't drop this afternoon."

O'Sullivan will almost certainly earn his first senior cap at the Home International matches in Ballybunion in September.

"I can't believe it. I'm so happy. I was in America for the last couple of years and my golf has improved so much with a lot of sacrifice and hard work.

"I've won the Leinster Boys and the Ulster youths which are big stepping stones towards big tournaments like this, but this is just the best.

"The three wood I hit at the 18th was the best shot I hit all week. I've come up through the ranks and played boys and youths but I've never won a senior cap.

"Matchplay is all about how few errors you make. I these conditions there were always going to be difficulties. I've played some pretty tough opponents but fair play to David he gave me the toughest match of all."

Golfsure Irish Amateur Close Championship, Tramore

136 G Maybin (Ballyclare) 69 67, N Fox (Portmarnock) 68 68
137 G Bowden (Hermitage) 71 66, M Murphy (Waterville) 66 71
138 D Ryan (Grange) 67 71
139 M McGeady (City of Derry) 70 69, C Martin (Nenagh) 69 70, D Morgan (Mullingar) 68 71
140 S McTernan (Co Sligo) 73 67, J Mulready (Castle) 69 71
141 C Moriarty (Athlone) 74 67, A O'Callaghan (Douglas) 70 71, M O'Sullivan (Galway) 69 72, N Turner (Muskerry) 69 72
142 R Kilpatrick (Banbridge) 72 70, G Forbes (Newtownstewart) 71 71, M Staunton (Ballinasloe) 71 71, L Owens (Royal Dublin) 71 71, P O'Keeffe (Douglas) 70 72, R Leonard (Banbridge) 69 73
143 M Owens (Mallow) 75 68, A McCormick (Scrabo) 73 70, T O'Mahony (Mallow) 71 72, D Crowe (Dunmurry) 70 73, B Trainor (Warrenpoint) 70 73, J Walsh (Mallow) 69 74
144 C McNamara (Limerick) 75 69, M Brett (Portmarnock) 73 71, J Foster (Ballyclare) 72 72, C Doran (Banbridge) 69 75
145 G Mallon (North West) 76 69, R Cannon (Balbriggan) 74 71, P O'Hara (Kilkenny) 73 72, D Rawluk (The Island) 73 72, S Power (West Waterford) 73 72, G Nugent (Kilkenny) 72 73
146 C McAleavey (Banbridge) 77 69, M Campbell (Stackstown) 76 70, E Power (Kilkenny) 75 71, J Kehoe (Birr) 74 72, M Poucher (Limerick) 73 73, D Kelleher (Portmarnock) 73 73, J McGinn (Greenore) 71 75, M McDermott (Stackstown) 71 75
147 A McKinley (Shandon Park) 75 72, B McElhinney (North West) 75 72, J Rafferty (Stadium San Diego) 75 72, G McKevitt (Greenore) 75 72, R McCarthy (The Island) 75 72, J Lyons (Galway) 74 73, M Horan (Birr) 73 74, S Moloney (Castletroy) 73 74, N Kavanagh (Westport) 73 74, E O'Sullivan (The Island) 72 75, M Morris (Portmarnock) 72 75
148 H Boch (Ballybunion) 77 71, E Haugh (Westmanstown) 76 72, B O'Connor (Hermitage) 76 72, S Galvin (Kilkenny) 75 73, B Keating (Clonmel) 75 73, P McGrath (Dromoland) 75 73, D Moran (The Island) 75 73, T Cleary (Cork) 74 74, D Carroll (Grange) 74 74

Non qualifiers
148 P Sheehan (Castletroy) 74 74, D McNamara (Connemara) 73 75, P Power (Tramore) 73 75, P McDonald (Woodbrook) 73 75, E Arthurs (Forrest Little) 72 76
149 K Bornemann (Douglas) 77 72, J Fox (Portmarnock) 76 73, R Williams (Baltinglass) 76 73, J McDermott (Stackstown) 75 74, J Mitchell (Tramore) 75 74, D Snow (Portmarnock) 75 74, R Walsh (Tralee) 74 75, M McGinley (Grange) 73 76, M McTernan (Co Sligo) 73 76
150 P McLaughlin (Ballyliffin) 79 71, J Flood (Woodbrook) 77 73, S Heavey (Co Sligo) 76 74, P O'Brien (Lucan) 74 76, D Coyle (Co Louth) 72 78
151 P Murray (Limerick) 80 71, C Clancy (Stackstown) 78 73, N Colfer (New Ross) 78 73, M Collins (Sutton) 77 74, D O'Brien (L'town & B'town) 76 75, D McInerney (Lahinch) 75 76, G Lynas (Shandon Park) 75 76, R Guilfoyle (Kilkenny) 74 77, L Ryan (Stackstown) 74 77, J Hughes (Woodbrook) 69 82
152 I Morrison (Cahir Park) 78 74, A Pierse (Tipperary) 76 76, M Rowe (Athlone) 75 77, M Ryan (Grange) 75 77, D Dunne (Royal Dublin) 73 79
153 D Burns (Tramore) 78 75, K Canty (Douglas) 77 76, K Kinsella (Waterford) 77 76, D McWilliams (Holywood) 77 76, N Cunningham (Tramore) 77 76, F Flynn (L'town & B'town) 77 76, D O'Sullivan (Youghal) 76 77, C Cassidy (Portmarnock) 75 78, E McCormack (Slieve Russell) 73 80, C Conaty (Royal Dublin) 73 80, H Hanley (Grange) 73 80, D Daly (Muskerry) 72 81
154 J Barton (Ballinasloe) 80 74, A Dowling (Hermitage) 78 76, E Coghlan (Luttrellstown) 78 76, S Crowe (Dunmurry) 77 77, I Moore (Dunmurry) 76 78, D O'Donovan (Muskerry) 74 80, E Barton (Grange) 73 81
155 D Quilligan (Elm Park) 78 77, G Massey (Hermitage) 78 77, B O'Neill (Waterford) 75 80
156 D Coyne (Tuam) 81 75, G O'Flaherty (Cork) 81 75, R Duggan (Kilkenny) 80 76, R Fitzgerald (Tramore) 76 80, M Reck (Lucan) 73 83
157 R Maher (Nenagh) 82 75, B Cashman (Belvoir Park) 79 78, P Higgins (Mullingar) 78 79, D Finn (Mallow) 77 80, D Deasy (Waterford) 77 80, P Davidson (Dungannon) 77 80, M Butler (Athlone) 76 81, M Kemmy (Limerick) 74 83
158 T Murphy (Lismore) 81 77, P McNamara (Youghal) 79 79, G Hall (Edenderry) 76 82, L Mulligan (Co Longford) 75 83
159 P O'Hagan (Charlesland) 81 78, L Hynes (Blainroe) 79 80
160 M Kelly (Killeen) 81 79
161 G Morgan (Donabate) 85 76, B Garvin (Castlerock) 78 83
162 K Maher (Limerick) 84 78
165 P Clifford (Waterford) 87 78, D Murphy (Abbeyleix) 77 88
168 M O'Brien (Charlesland) 85 83
174 S Eyres (Connemara) 86 88
DQ  D Logue (Letterkenny)1st rd.


1sr rd.

1st quarter
J Kehoe (Birr) bt P McGrath (Dromoland) 5/4;
E Haugh (Westmanstown) bt J Mulready (Castle) 1 hole;
G McKevitt (Greenore) bt T O'Mahony (Mallow) 3/2;
C Doran (Banbridge) bt J Lyons (Galway) 3/2;
J Foster (Ballyclare) bt D Rawluk (The Island) 2 holes;
A O'Callaghan (Douglas) v E Power (Kilkenny) 21st;
D Carroll (Grange) bt M Morris (Portmarnock) 3/2;
A McCormick (Scrabo) bt G Mallon (North West) 2/1;

2nd quarter
M McGeady (City of Derry) bt J Walsh (Mallow) 4/3;
G Nugent (Kilkenny) bt R Leonard (Banbridge) 3/1;
N Turner (Muskerry) bt L Owens (Royal Dublin) 1 hole;
G Bowden (Hermitage) bt C McAleavey (Banbridge) 4/3;
M Brett (Portmarnock) bt J McGinn (Greenore) 5/4;
R Cannon (Balbriggan) bt B O'Connor (Hermitage) 4/2;
C Martin (Nenagh) bt S Moloney (Castletroy) 3/2;
C Moriarty (Athlone) bt D Moran (The Island) 3/1;

3rd quarter
R Kilpatrick (Banbridge) bt N Fox (Portmarnock) 2/1;
M Staunton (Ballinasloe) bt J Rafferty (Stadium of San Diego) 3/2;
D Morgan (Mullingar) bt M Poucher (Limerick) 2/1;
R McCarthy (The Island) bt N Kavanagh (Westport) 2 holes;
M Murphy (Waterville) bt D Ryan (Grange) 2/1;
G Forbes (Newtownstewart) bt T Cleary (Cork) 3/2;
P O'Keeffe (Douglas) bt S Galvin (Kilkenny) 2 holes;
B McElhinney (North West) bt E O'Sullivan (The Island) 3/2;

4th quarter
D Crowe (Dunmurry) bt H Boch (Ballybunion) 20th;
P O'Hara (Kilkenny) bt S Power (West Waterford) 23rd;
M O'Sullivan (Galway) bt B Keating (Clonmel) 19th;
S McTernan (Co Sligo) bt A McKinley (Shandon Park) 2/1;
M McDermott (Stackstown) bt C McNamara (Limerick) 3/2;
M Owens (Mallow) bt B Trainor (Warrenpoint) 19th;
D Kelleher (Portmarnock) bt M Horan (Birr) 22nd;
G Maybin (Ballyclare) bt M Campbell (Stackstown) 7/6.

2nd rd.
1st quarter
J Kehoe bt E Haugh 1 hole;
C Doran bt G McKevitt 1 hole;
A O'Callaghan bt J Foster 2 holes;
D Carroll bt A McCormick 2/1.

2nd quarter
M McGeady bt G Nugent 6/5;
G Bowden bt N Turner 1 hole;
M Brett bt R Cannon 3/2;
C Moriarty bt C Martin 2/1.

3rd quarter
R Kilpatrick bt M Staunton 4/3;
D Morgan bt R McCarthy 2 holes;
M Murphy bt G Forbes 4/2;
P O'Keeffe bt B McElhinney 1 hole.

4th quarter
D Crowe bt P O'Hara 6/4;
M O'Sullivan bt S McTernan 5/3;
M Owens bt M McDermott 6/4;
G Maybin bt D Kelleher 1 hole.

3rd rd.
J Kehoe (Birr) bt C Doran (Banbridge) 19th;
D Carroll (Grange) bt A O'Callaghan (Douglas) 1 hole;

G Bowden (Hermitage) bt M McGeady (City of Derry) 3/1;
M Brett (Portmarnock) bt C Moriarty (Athlone) 4/3;

D Morgan (Mullingar) bt R Kilpatrick (Banbridge) 2/1;
P O'Keeffe (Douglas) bt M Murphy (Waterville) 2/1;

M O'Sullivan (Galway) bt D Crowe (Dunmurry) 19th;
G Maybin (Ballyclare) bt M Owens (Mallow) 3/2.

D Carroll bt J Kehoe 2/1;
M Brett bt G Bowden 24th;
D Morgan bt P O'Keeffe 5/4;
M O'Sullivan bt G Maybin 3/1.

M O'Sullivan (Galway) bt D Morgan (Mullingar) 2/1;
D Carroll (Grange) bt M Brett (Portmarnock) 2/1.

M O'Sullivan bt D Carroll 1 hole


© Brian Keogh 2003