McLarnon triumphs at Lee Valley

Massereene's Tiarnan McLarnon accepts the Lee Valley Scratch Cup from Chris O'Sullivan, Captain. Also included are Pat Mullins, President and Peter Tuite from sponsors Boylesports. Picture: Niall O'Shea

Tiarnan McLarnon won the Lee Valley Scratch Cup in style yesterday. Building on his 36 hole lead, he shot a three under par 69 to win the event by seven strokes.

The Irish international has travelled to the event for the past six years and this year he took top spot, improving on his second-place finish last year.

It was a weekend to remember for McLarnon who also shot a course record 66 in his second round. Although high winds and strong gusts from Storm Hannah caused trouble for many during the first two rounds on Saturday, the Massereene golfer went around in 73 and 66. The course record on Saturday afternoon was capped by an eagle on the first hole (his 18th) when he holed out with a wedge from 94 yards.

McLarnon had a four-stroke overnight lead over Galway’s Ronan Mullarney, and going into the final round his aim was to play steady golf. After turning on one under, he found himself five clear of the field and cruising as none of the chasers could narrow the lead.

A birdie on the 11th increased his lead and a chip-in on the 16th effectively sealed the win for him. Two regulation pars followed and he finished seven strokes ahead of Mullarney.

The Galway man had a level par final round and couldn’t put the winner under pressure. Gerard Dunne had a closing 69 to take third while two-time winner Kieran McCarthy finished in 4th, thanks in part to his first-round hole in one on the 6th.

Emerging Irish international Mark Power closed out his first visit to Lee Valley with a 69. The Kilkenny golfer, who’s mother Eileen Rose McDaid played in the opening fourball in Lee Valley 26 years ago, was three over in his final round when he stood on the 8th tee. A drive wedge and putt gave him an eagle, and a birdie on the 9th got him back to level. He covered the back nine in three under to finish in fifth place.

It was another top class event for Lee Valley and the winner was keen to compliment everyone involved in what he described as one of the best events on the calendar.

McLarnon, Power and Colm Campbell all head to England’s north west for the prestigious Lytham Trophy next weekend as part of a strong Irish delegation, while many more of the weekend competitors will turn their sights on Cork next weekend for the Munster Strokeplay.

Results: 1 Tiarnan McLarnon 73 66 69 208; 2 Ronan Mullarney 74 69 72 215; 3 Gerard Dunne 77 76 69 222; 4 Kieran McCarthy 75 73 74 222; 5 Mark Power 76 78 69 223; 6 Eoghan Long 75 74 74 223; 7 Joe Lyons 74 79 71 224; 8 Geoffrey Lenehan 76 75 73 224; 9 Ben Murray 79 72 73 224; 10 Colm Campbell Jr 76 74 74 224; 11 Robert Moran 75 78 73 226; 12 Sean Desmond 76 71 79 226; 13 Stephen Brady 76 78 73 227; 14 Pat Power 76 76 76 228; 15 Stephen Walsh 80 70 78 228; 16 Paul Tobin 75 81 73 229; 17 David Reddan Jnr 74 80 75 229; 18 Aaron Grant 76 76 77 229; 19 Robert Walsh Jr 73 77 79 229; 20 Ian Bermingham 78 79 73 230.

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