Tight at the top at Powerscourt


1107Irish Brian Mc Elhinney

Judging by yesterday’s results in the opening round of the Titleist/Footjoy PGA Southern Branch Championship, there should be a mighty scramble for the top of the leaderboard after today’s second and final round.

The challengers are spread over the East and West Courses at Powerscourt and today they switch tracks, after which the 2013 champion will be crowned.

Cahir Park head professional David Ryan defends the title he won last year when the tournament was reduced to 18 holes, after the first day’s play was washed out.

In fair form on the West Course, yesterday, were Brian McElhinney (pictured above) and Cian McNamara who shared an overnight lead of five-under-par 67. Best on the West was Eamonn Brady who handed in a two-under-70 from there.

Foyle pro McElhinney carded a fabulous finish to his round as he covered the last six holes in four-under-par for a back nine of four-under.

He birdied the par four 10th hole but gave the shot back at the short 11th. From 13, he went birdie three, par, birdie three, birdie four, par, birdie four.

McElhinney also opened his round with a birdie four but then had back-to-back bogey fives at three and four, before recovering the lost ground with birdie three at the fifth and birdie four at seven.

McNamara stormed off with a golden eagle at the long first hole but then went bogey-birdie-bogey-birdie from the fourth to the seventh holes to turn two-under-par 34. On the way home he pencilled in birdie threes at 10 and 15 and a four at the long 18th.

East Course leader Brady eased over the outward trip with nine straight pars but then made a hat-trick of birdies from the 10th. He dropped a shot at the short 13th, birdied the long 17th and bogeyed the par four 18th.

One stroke behind Clontarf Club pro Brady is Mark Staunton (Ballinasloe).

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