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
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
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
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
"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)
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
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)
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)
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.
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;
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;
R Kilpatrick (Banbridge) bt N Fox (Portmarnock) 2/1;
M Staunton (Ballinasloe) bt J Rafferty (Stadium of San Diego)
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;
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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