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.