Ward leading at West of Ireland Open

Defending champion Rory McIlroy struggled to a four-over par 75 as Co Louth's Simon Ward led the qualifiers in the Radisson-SAS West of Ireland Amateur Open.

Defending champion Rory McIlroy struggled to a four-over par 75 as Co Louth's Simon Ward led the qualifiers in the Radisson-SAS West of Ireland Amateur Open.

Bidding for a hat-trick of titles at Rosses Point, McIlroy carded two birdies, two bogeys and two doubles bogeys but qualified for the matchplay stages with three shots to spare as the cut for the top 64 fell at five over-par 147.

Reigning South of Ireland champion Ward, 20, birdied the last for a 70 and a 36-hole total of five under-par 137 that left him one stroke clear of 18-year-old English Boys International Andrew Johnston and Esker Hills' Shane Lowry.

"Tomorrow it will be okay because it is matchplay," McIlroy said. "It would be nice to be the leading qualifier but as they say, the leading qualifier never wins."

Overnight leader Stephen Grant followed his course record 64 with a 75 to qualify with eight shots to spare as Ward carded two birdies and three birdies, including one at the last, on a day when the best score of the day was a 68 by Galway's Eddie McCormack.

Radisson-SAS West of Ireland Amateur Championship

Qualifiers

137 S Ward (Co Louth) 67 70

138 A Johnston (North Middlesex, UK) 68 70, S Lowry (UCD/Esker Hills)

68 70

139 S Grant (Birr) 64 75

140 L Lennox (Moyola Park) 71 69, N Kearney (Royal Dublin) 70 70, A

McCloy (Ballymena) 70 70, R Leonard (Banbridge) 68 72

141 R Kilpatrick (Banbridge) 71 70, C O'Connor (UCD/Athlone) 71 70, T

McGowan (Strandhill) 71 70, R Boal (Scrabo) 70 71, R McNamara

(Headfort) 69 72, P Sheehy (Limerick) 66 75

142 D Crowe (Dunmurry) 73 69, A Condren (Greystones) 73 69, D

Kelleher (Portmarnock) 71 71, G McDermott (Co Sligo) 71 71, B Cashman

(Belvoir Pk.) 70 72

143 K O'Neill (Strandhill) 73 70, C Curley (Newlands) 73 70, P Errity

(Delgany) 72 71, J Hurst (Shaw Hill, UK) 72 71, D Downie (Sutton) 71

72, P Murray (Limerick) 68 75

144 E McCormack (Galway) 76 68, C Doran (Banbridge) 75 69, M Crowe

(Elm Park) 75 69, D Sutton (Lockerbie, UK) 75 69, D Lernihan (UCD/

Castle) 73 71, H Diamond (Holywood) 72 72, J Lyons (Galway) 72 72, D

Vaughan (Ardglass) 71 73, D Scully (Galway) 71 73, W McCully

(Donaghadee) 70 74, R McIlroy (Holywood) 69 75, A Hogan (Newlands/

UCD) 69 75, P McGrath (Dromoland) 69 75

145 E O'Sullivan (The Island) 76 69, A Dunbar (Rathmore) 74 71, M

Hammond (Moyola Park) 74 71, P Cutler (Portstewart) 74 71, P Connolly

(Clontarf) 74 71, G Boyd (Donaghadee) 74 71, D Coyle (Co Louth) 70 75 146 D Kneafsey (Sudbury, UK) 77 69, P Killeen (Claremorris) 76 70, C

Hughes (Royal Portrush) 75 71, N Gorey (Lee Valley) 75 71, E Saxel

(Petersfield, UK) 74 72, D Morgan (Mullingar) 73 73, D Finn (Mallow)

73 73, G O'Flaherty (Cork) 72 74, R McCarthy (Island) 72 74, G

O'Connor (Malahide) 72 74, G Hall (Edenderry) 70 76, N Grant (Knock)

69 77

147 E Kennedy (Strabane) 76 71, M Lavelle (K Club) 76 71, D Coyne

(Tuam) 75 72, J Hughes (Douglas) 75 72, T Walsh (Claremoris) 75 72, J

Moore (Laytown & Bettystown) 75 72, B Walton (UCD/Island) 75 72

Non-qualifiers

147 C Cannon (East Sussex National, UK) 74 73, P Higgins (Mullingar)

74 73, R Durnin (Laytown & Bettystown) 73 74, S Crowe (Dunmurry) 73

74, S Doherty (Malone) 72 75, K McCarthy (Kinsale) 72 75, B Reddan

(Co Louth) 71 76

148 M Thistleton (Hayling, UK) 78 70, G Carew (Edenderry) 74 74, A

McCormick (Scrabo) 74 74, D McNeill (Ballybofey) 72 76, P O'Hanlon

(Curragh) 72 76

149 D Carroll (Grange) 78 71, D McInerney (Lahinch) 75 74, R Branigan

(Co Louth) 75 74, J Toner (Woodbrook) 74 75, S Loftus (Ennis) 74 75,

D Lally (Tuam) 73 76, A Wilson (Cairndhu) 73 76, A Dowling

(Hermitage) 72 77

150 D O'Brien (Laytown & Bettystown) 77 73, M Sinclair (Knock) 76 74,

S Healy (Claremorris) 74 76, D Boyle (Cruit Island) 74 76, S Paul

(Tandragee) 74 76, S Courtney (The Chase, UK) 72 78

151 P O'Kane (Moyola Park) 82 69, M Buggy (Castlecomer) 79 72, I

Keane (Malahide) 78 73, G Managh (Knock) 78 73, S Dwyer (Newlands) 77

74, G Nugent (Kilkenny) 77 74, P Graham (Galgorm Castle) 75 76, R

McGee (Spain) 73 78, M Rowe (Glasson) 73 78

152 N O'Connor (Elm Park) 78 74, M McGinley Jnr (Grange) 78 74, R

Maher (Nenagh) 75 77, D McNamara (Connemara) 75 77, T Burden

(Hayling, UK) 75 77, J Waldron (Muskerry) 74 78, D Leathem (Lisburn)

72 80

153 D King (Tramore) 80 73, J Patterson (Knock) 79 74, A Dooley (NUIG/

Glasson) 79 74, M Horan (Birr) 78 75, E Arthurs (Forrest Little) 78

75, J Mulready (Castle) 77 76, J McIntyre (City of Derry) 75 78, M

Poucher (Limerick) 75 78, J McGinn (Laytown & Bettystown) 74 79, K

Condren (Greystones) 73 80

154 J Turner (Royal Portrush) 78 76, R Cannon (Laytown & Bettystown)

78 76, G Hamill (Ardglass) 75 79, J Gannon (Seapoint) 75 79

155 T O'Neill (Rathsallagh) 80 75, L Butler (West Waterford) 77 78, K

Kennedy (Co Tipperary) 77 78, J Timony (Headfort) 77 78, D Cantrell

(Woodbrook) 77 78, D Ruddy (Thurles) 77 78, S Miskelly (Knock) 75 80,

R Williams (Baltinglass) 75 80

156 T Cleary (East Clare) 81 75, J Coey (Clandeboye) 80 76, M Kemmy

(Limerick) 77 79, B Galway (Cairndhu) 74 82

157 C Martin (Kilkenny) 83 74, G Mallon (North West) 80 77, T

McClements (Holywood) 75 82

158 B Christie (Skerries) 83 75

159 D Branigan (Seapoint) 80 79, À Meharg (Scrabo) 78 81

161 D Hogan (Killeen) 79 82

162 A Wynne (Strandhill) 81 81, J McNicholas (Ballyhaunis) 80 82

RT E McAnoy (Knock) 82 RT, N Lavin (Royal Dublin) 76 RT

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