Naas amateur Jack Hume might have missed the cut in his first professional event but he’s gained confidence for a crucial summer run that could earn him a Walker Cup call up.
The 21-year old won last year’s West of Ireland after a stellar underage career that saw him win all four provincial Boys titles in the same year.
And while he added a 73 to his opening 75 to miss the cut by a single shot on six over, he left Royal County Down feeling more positive than ever about his game and his future.
“I have really enjoyed it and I felt I could easily have been a good few shots lower. But it’s nice to know that you don’t play your best and still be around the cut mark.”
“I felt I should have shot 71 on Thursday and I was a bit annoyed but I hung in there well today, three over after five holes but kept going.”
The Kildare man will play the St Andrew’s Links Trophy next week before teeing it up in the British Amateur and the Brabazon Trophy as the countdown to Walker Cup selection begins.
“I need to play well and get in the mix,” he said. “I have been playing pretty solid. I just want to kick on over the next month but I can take a lot of confidence from the week overall.
“A couple of the players were really nice. Pádraig (Harrington) came over on the range for a minute or two. Rory (McIlroy) had a quick chat with us on Monday which was nice. Playing in front of these crowds is cool.
All three Irish amateurs missed the cut with Gavin Moynihan (74-76) and Gary Hurley (73-77) finishing three shots outside the cut mark on eight over.
Irish Amateur Open winner Moynihan was left to rue a quadruple bogey eight at the second, where he “pulled it literally a yard into the heather”.
He said: “I had a decent lie but it came out dead and ended up in a bunker. My next shot got stuck in the face; went back and dropped.
“The rain came down and the putt from just off the green hit an old pitch mark which I couldn’t repair because I was off the green.
“I hit the pitch mark and ended up about seven or eight feet away in the lashing rain and missed it.
“Apart from that I played pretty nice, made a mess of a few holes but overall I was happy. I certainly can’t be mad because it is that type of course where you can be heavily penalised if you miss by a yard or two.”
Hurley, who made the cut last year, admitted his iron play wasn’t quite up to scratch.
“I drove the ball very well but my iron play let me down big time,” said Hurley, who will play the St Andrews Links Trophy before heading to Chicago for the Palmer Cup at Olympia Fields.
“My short game was very good but sometimes you get some bad lies and it’s quite difficult to get up and down.”
All six Irish PGA professionals missed the cut with Monkstown’s Cian McNamara the best of the bunch on seven over after a 74.
Old Conna’s Neil O’Briain carded a second successive 76 to end the tournament on 10 over while Michael McDermott’s (Pure Golf Leopardstown) 78 left him on 18 over par.
Brendan McGovern followed up his opening round 78 with a four over 75 to end his tournament on 11 over par as Ballyliffin’s Damien Mooney closed with a fine level par 71 a huge improvement on his opening round 79, St Margaret’s John Kelly couldn’t match his opening round 74, dropping four shots in three holes from the 13th and another at the last in a six over 77 to miss the cut by four.
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