McIlroy cruises into last 16

Defending champion Rory McIlroy cruised into the last 16 of the Golfsure Irish Amateur Close at The European Club.

Defending champion Rory McIlroy cruised into the last 16 of the Golfsure Irish Amateur Close at The European Club.

But the Holywood ace faces a massive task today when he takes on leading qualifier Andrew Pitcher in the third round.

Pitcher, 19, crushed McIlroy by 4 and 3 at the same stage of the North of Ireland Championship at Royal Portrush last year.

And he's in the kind of form that could see him do it again after two comfortable wins at the windswept Brittas Bay Links.

Pitcher said: "It’ll be a bit of a showdown alright. But it should also be a bit of fun. I beat Rory in the North last year and we halved a foursomes match in the Boys Interpros a few years ago, so he

hasn’t beaten me yet!

“Seriously though, I won’t be intimidated by Rory because I know him so well. But to be honest, even though I beat him last year, all the pressure will be on him.”

McIlroy beat veteran Adrian Morrow by 2 and 1 before seeing off former Shamrock Rovers and Shelbourne striker Stephen Grant by 5 and 4 in his second round match.

McIlroy said: "I think I am getting used to the conditions and that’s why the numbers are better. And I'm looking forward to the match with Andrew. He's a big hitter but it should be a great game."

Dunmurry's Darren Crowe could face McIlroy in the quarter-finals after beating Robert McCarthy 2 and 1 and Cian Daly by one hole.

Crowe said: “Conditions are slightly windier that yesterday but they’ve moved eight tees forward, compared to five yesterday, which was a help.”

To get there Crowe must overcome Laytown's Robert Cannon, the conqueror of East of Ireland champion Brendan McCarroll in the first round.

Golfsure Irish Amateur Close Championship, The European Club (Par 71)

1st rd

1st Quarter

J Caldwell (Clandeboye) bt S Dwyer (Newlands) 4/3; G Lawlor (Citywest) bt D Lewis (Woodbrook) 2 holes; D Coyne (Tuam) bt R Boal (Scrabo) 2/1; N Turner (Muskerry) bt J Somers (L’town & B ’town)

19th; C Doran (Banbridge) bt H Diamond (Holywood) 3/2; A McCloy (Ballymena) bt J P Hughes (Douglas) 5/4; N Gorey (Killeen) bt K O’Neill (Strandhill) 4/2; C McNamara (Limerick) bt J Turner (Royal Portrush) 3/2.

2nd Quarter

R Cannon (L’town & B’town) bt B McCarroll (Ballyliffin) 2 holes; K Stack (Dungarvan/UCC) bt D O’Brien (L’town & B’town) 3/1; C Daly (Castletroy) bt D Moran (The Island) 1 hole; D Crowe (Dunmurry) bt R McCarthy (The Island) 2/1; A Pitcher (The Island) bt S Crowe (Dunmurry) 2/1; P Sheehy (Limerick) bt M Campbell (Stackstown) 4/3; S Grant (Birr) bt A McKinley (Shandon Park) 1 hole; R McIlroy (Holywood) bt A Morrow (Portmarnock) 2/1.

3d Quarter

N Grant (Knock) bt S Power (West Waterford) 3/2; R O’Connor (The Island) bt C McAleavey (Banbridge) 2 holes; D McInerney (Lahinch) bt S Loftus (Ennis) 3/2; S Ward (Co. Louth) bt K Lewis (Skerries) 7/6; D Finn (Mallow) bt A McAllister (Portmarnock) 5/4; M King (Athenry) bt B O’Connor (Hermitage) 2 holes; M Sinclair (Knock) bt E McCormack (Galway) 4/3; J Toner (Woodbrook) bt S Lowry (Esker Hills) 19th.

4th Quarter

R Leonard (Banbridge) bt G Bowden (Hermitage) 3/2; P O’Kane (Moyola Park) bt C Curley (Newlands) 2 holes; A Glynn (Porter’s Park) bt P Sheehan (Ballybunion) 2/1; D Morgan (Mullingar) bt A O’Callaghan (Douglas) 1 hole; P O’Hanlon (Curragh) bt A McCormick (Scrabo) 2/1; N O Briain (Royal Dublin) bt E O’Sullivan (The Island) 1 hole; F Rafferty (Dungannon) bt W McCully (Donaghadee) 6/4; D Rawluk (The Island) bt P Murray (Limerick) 20th.

2nd rd

1st Quarter

J Caldwell (Clandeboye) bt G Lawlor (Citywest) 4/3; D Coyne (Tuam) bt N Turner (Muskerry) 1 hole; C Doran (Banbridge) bt A McCloy (Ballymena) 5/4; C McNamara (Limerick) bt N Gorey (Killeen) 2/1.

2nd Quarter

R Cannon (L’town & B’town) bt K Stack (Dungarvan/UCC) 2/1; D Crowe (Dunmurry) bt C Daly (Castletroy) 1 hole; A Pitcher (The Island) bt P Sheehy (Limerick) 5/4; R McIlroy (Holywood) bt S Grant (Birr) 5/4.

3rd Quarter

N Grant (Knock) bt R O’Connor (The Island) 1 hole; S Ward (Co Louth) bt D McInerney (Lahinch) 1hole; D Finn (Mallow) bt M King (Athenry) 1 hole; M Sinclair (Knock) bt J Toner (Woodbrook) 3/1.

4th Quarter

P O’Kane (Moyola Park) bt R Leonard (Banbridge) 4/3; D Morgan (Mullingar) bt A Glynn (Porter’s Park) 5/3; P O’Hanlon (Curragh) bt N O Briain (Royal Dublin) 2 holes; F Rafferty (Dungannon) v D Rawluk (The Island) 3/2.

3rd round draw

(08.30) J Caldwell (Clandeboye) v D Coyne (Tuam);

(08.40) C Doran (Banbridge) v C McNamara (Limerick);

(08.50) R Cannon (Laytown & Bettystown) v D Crowe (Dunmurry);

(09.00) A Pitcher (The Island) v R McIlroy (Holywood);

(09.10) N Grant (Knock) v S Ward (Co Louth);

(09.20) D Finn (Mallow) v M Sinclair (Knock);

(09.30) P O’Kane (Moyola Park) v D Morgan (Mullingar);

(09.40) P O’Hanlon (Curragh) v F Rafferty (Dungannon).

More in this section

CourtsGolfHeathrowPlace: European ClubPlace: Royal PortrushPlace: Brittas Bay LinksPlace: east of IrelandPlace: NewlandsPlace: CitywestPlace: WoodbrookPlace: MuskerryPlace: L’town & B ’townPlace: BanbridgePlace: HolywoodPlace: BallymenaPlace: StrandhillPlace: LimerickPlace: L’town & B’townPlace: BallyliffinPlace: DunmurryPlace: Shandon ParkPlace: WaterfordPlace: LahinchPlace: Co. LouthPlace: PortmarnockPlace: AthenryPlace: HermitagePlace: GalwayPlace: Esker HillsPlace: Moyola ParkPlace: Porter’s ParkPlace: BallybunionPlace: L’townPlace: DungarvanPlace: Co LouthPerson: McIlroyPerson: Rory McIlroyPerson: Andrew PitcherPerson: PitcherPerson: RoryPerson: Adrian MorrowPerson: Stephen GrantPerson: AndrewPerson: Darren CrowePerson: Robert McCarthyPerson: Cian DalyPerson: CrowePerson: Robert CannonPerson: Brendan McCarrollPerson: J CaldwellPerson: SPerson: G LawlorPerson: DPerson: D CoynePerson: TuamPerson: R BoalPerson: ScraboPerson: N TurnerPerson: J SomersPerson: C DoranPerson: H DiamondPerson: A McCloyPerson: P HughesPerson: N GoreyPerson: KilleenPerson: K O’NeillPerson: J TurnerPerson: K StackPerson: C DalyPerson: D MoranPerson: D CrowePerson: R McCarthyPerson: A PitcherPerson: S CrowePerson: P SheehyPerson: M CampbellPerson: S GrantPerson: BirrPerson: A McKinleyPerson: N GrantPerson: S PowerPerson: R O’ConnorPerson: C McAleaveyPerson: D McInerneyPerson: S LoftusPerson: EnnisPerson: S WardPerson: K LewisPerson: D FinnPerson: MallowPerson: McAllisterPerson: M KingPerson: O’ConnorPerson: M SinclairPerson: KnockPerson: J TonerPerson: S LowryPerson: R LeonardPerson: BowdenPerson: P O’KanePerson: CurleyPerson: GlynnPerson: SheehanPerson: D MorganPerson: MullingarPerson: O’CallaghanPerson: P O’HanlonPerson: CurraghPerson: McCormickPerson: BriainPerson: E O’SullivanPerson: RaffertyPerson: DonaghadeePerson: D RawlukPerson: MurrayPerson: MuskerryPerson: McCloyPerson: C McNamaraPerson: GoreyPerson: R McIlroyPerson: LahinchPerson: O’KanePerson: PPerson: O’HanlonPerson: OPerson: RawlukEvent: North of Ireland ChampionshipEvent: Golfsure Irish Amateur Close ChampionshipOrganisation: Shamrock RoversOrganisation: ShelbourneOrganisation: DunmurryOrganisation: LaytownOrganisation: Royal PortrushOrganisation: DungarvanOrganisation: UCCOrganisation: TheOrganisation: DungannonOrganisation: The IslandOrganisation: Clandeboye

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