By James O'Connor
Keelan McCarthy (Lee Valley) overcame a strong field in Muskerry Golf Club yesterday to win the famous Bruen Youths Trophy by one shot.
On what were testing conditions, the 17-year-old posted 68 (-3) in his first round followed by a second round of 73(+2) to claim the tournament, with Mitchelstown’s Sean Leonard finishing runner-up.
McCarthy was on fire for his first round, and despite double-bogeying the sixth hole, he carded six birdies to post the round of the day with three under, and led the tournament by three shots going into the second round.
Muskerry proved a tougher test in the afternoon as the wind picked up, and McCarthy’s lead looked to be in jeopardy as he walked onto the fifth tee two over for his round.
But the two handicapper didn’t panic, and two birdies on the 7th and the 10th gave McCarthy some breathing space coming into the daunting final four holes.
These birdies proved invaluable for the youngster, and although he bogey’d his final two holes, his afternoon 73 was enough to maintain the lead and take first prize.
Muskerry’s closet home challengers were Fionn Hickey and Jack Egan, who both finished the tournament on 147, six shots off the lead.
McCarthy follows the likes of Cathal Butler, Gary O’Flaherty, Cian MacNamara and Davey Barry to have his name etched on the trophy commemorating Cork’s greatest ever amateur golfer Jimmy Bruen.