This story courtesy of Golf Ireland
Jack Hearn (Golf Ireland)
Tramore golfer Jack Hearn believes he is falling in love with golf again as he continued his brilliant form of late to lead into the final day of the AIG Irish Men’s Amateur Close.
He was out in the worst of the morning conditions with the remnants of Storm Betty still lingering in Malone and battled hard to a brilliant 67 and 3-under overall.
Hearn, who reached the semi-finals in the South of Ireland and was runner-up in the Mullingar Scratch Cup, will have a one-shot lead going into Sunday’s action with 36 holes left to play.
Reigning champion, Quentin Carew, is just one shot behind and poised for another strong finish while Conor Murtagh birdied 16 and 17 to join him.
Rob Moran is on -1 with Adam Cromwell, Simon Ward, and Keith Egan are all even par.
“Hit it solid from start to finish, and I got off well; I was 2 under through five holes, and then I managed to hold onto that, I just made one bogey on 16 and then played the rest in 2 under, so pretty solid today,” said Hearn.
Hearn is rediscovering his love of the game.
“I’m just a bit more relaxed on the golf course. Just trying to enjoy it a bit more and start to love the game of golf a bit again. Halfway through this one, so another 36 holes to look forward to."
Hearn had four birdies on his card on Saturday with just one bogey on the 16th. Later in the afternoon, Carew, Moran, and Liam Nolan were the main group trending in the right direction.
Brabazon champion, Nolan, finished off on 2 over and he is still in contention with a long way to go and the weather set to worsen tomorrow afternoon.
13 players are at 2-over par or better, and Bridgestone Order of Merit leader David Shiel could have joined them, only to bogey the last after a tough break on the 18th when his tee shot landed behind a tree.
But he knows that with two rounds of action to come there is still plenty to play for, in a season that just gets better and better for the Enniscrone man.
“I’ve been really consistent, I guess a little bit disappointed to not get closer to a win,” said Shiel. “I’m chuffed, delighted overall. The goal this year was to get on that Connacht team and to be able to do that and then play Home Internationals last week was just phenomenal."
ABOUT THE Irish Amateur Close
The tournament is open to all Clubs affiliated
to the Golfing Union of Ireland. Format is 64-player
match play, preceded by a 36-hole stroke play
View Complete Tournament Information