John Brady (Rosslare) and Mark Power (Kilkenny), two of the brightest prospects on the golfing scene for many years, are waging a great battle at the top of the leader board after 36 holes of the Irish Boys Open Championship at Castletroy.
Defending champion Power opened up a one shot lead over Brady with a spectacular first round of five under par 67 on Tuesday but the balance of power switched yesterday. Brady dipped under 70 once again with a 69 while Power lost ground over the homeward journey and finished on 72, leaving the Rosslare boy on seven under par 137 and enjoying a two shot lead.
Brady mixed two bogeys with two birdies over the first five holes of the back nine before staging a grandstand finish with an eagle at the long 16th and a birdie at the 18th. It was a surge which Power couldn’t match even if he did offset a bogey at the 11th with birdies at the next two.
The Kilkenny boy enjoyed a six stroke margin when winning the title at the Castle 12 months ago but this time there is every promise of a thrilling climax to the championship between Brady and Power, the pair who will spearhead Ireland’s challenge for the European Boys Championship at La Manga, Spain, on July 11-15.
However, the tournament is far from a two horse race with several of the formidable overseas contingent moving into contention going into today’s third round after which the event will be reduced to 50 and ties for tomorrow’s final 18 holes.
England’s Danny Daniels moved to within three strokes of Brady with a splendid round of 68 for a total of 140, one ahead of his compatriot Jack Cope (71, 70) and Lisburn’s Aaron Marshall (70, 71). Charlie Denvir of Elm Park equalled Daniels’ best of the day 68 to finish on 143.
Paul McGinley’s 16 year-old son Killian helped his prospects of surviving tonight’s cut when he hit his approach to the 18th to within two feet of the flag for a birdie and a second round of 76.
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