Mick Byrne secures local success at the Connacht Seniors Open
With no local golfer in realistic contention for the Connacht Senior Open in Westport last week, it was hoped that Mayo might have some success in the nett category. In a sign of the quality of senior golf in Mayo, both positions on the podium for the nett prize were filled by two well known Mayo golfers.
Padraig McLoughlin (Westport) was considered to be the favourite to take the nett title at the start of play on Tuesday morning. Currently leading the Westport Golfer of the Year competition and a past winner of the Mayo Seniors title on the same course, he was in good form and living less than a five iron away from the third green, he was always going to be in contention. An opening 84 gross was certainly a solid start.
However, it was a Castlebar member who would eventually take the nett title, leading from pillar to post in Carrowholly. Mick Byrne, the stylish left-hander from Rocklands led the field after day one with a flawless 81. With a 3, 3, 3 start to his second round, the nett title was as good as in the bag.
The turning point in Mick’s round, from where he went on to secure a six shot winning margin was at the par three ninth. A poor tee shot saw him in the lip of a green side bunker, staring a big number in the face. With a stunning recovery, Mick secured a bogey and marched to his sweetest Connacht Title to date.
For the record, Tom Cleary (Cork) took the title on count back from Irish Senior International Maurice Kelly (Kileen.) This was a sweet victory for Tom who was returning to the scene of the crime – he had lost an Irish Amateur Close semi-final to fellow Corkonian & eventual winner Denis O’Sullivan back ’85.