Quirke survives Seniors play-off

Michael Quirke (Doneraile) is the Irish Seniors Amateur Open champion after winning a three-hole play-off with American Bev Hargraves, whose final round 72 closed what had began as a four-shot gap.

Quirke survives Seniors play-off

Both finished on nine-over 222, two shots clear of Tom Tyrell (The Heath).

Defending champion Adrian Morrow completed a creditable defence of his title with a final round 76 leaving him in the top 10.

* Richard O’Donovan led the Irish assault on the Scottish Open stroke-play championship at Southerness yesterday after a splendid one-under-par 68 let him two strokes off the pace.

O’Donovan is joint second with England international Garrick Porteous, just two adrift of England’s Nathan Kimnsey who leads the way after a 66.

Cormac Sharvin from Ardglass and 20-year-old former boys’ international Dermot McElroy both returned first round scores of 69 to stay well in contention.

* Scotland’s Peter Whiteford put himself firmly in contention with a dazzling display at the Nordea Masters before European golf’s man of the moment Matteo Manassero stole his thunder.

World No 268 Whiteford followed a steady opening 71 with a nine-under-par second round of 63 that briefly put him two shots clear of the field at Stockholm’s Bro Hof Slott course.

But the afternoon starters found a riposte to his morning heroics, and 20-year-old Italian Manassero surged to the front of the field with a 65, after Thursday’s 66, that put him on 13 under par.

Finland’s Mikka Ilonen matched Whiteford’s 63, and that nudged him one ahead of Whiteford into outright second place, two off Manassero’s sizzling pace.

The Italian landed the fourth title of his blossoming career on Sunday when he won the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, and there has been no holding him back in Sweden so far.

He reached the turn in a healthy two under par, but five birdies on the back nine sent him clear of Whiteford.

Low scoring was the order of the day, with the temperature warm and the sun out, and Whiteford relished the chance to set an early clubhouse target.

Whiteford, 32, has never won on the European Tour, although he had an impressive second place at the recent Ballantine’s Championship in South Korea where he lost out in a play-off to Australian Brett Rumford. Of some consolation, however, was the cheque of almost £165,000 he pocketed as a result.

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