Rafferty beaten in Irish Close quarter-final

Caolan Rafferty’s search for one of the major Irish amateur championships continues after he was beaten in the quarter-finals of the Irish Close at Galway Golf Club last week.

Rafferty headed into the Close on the back of his best ever season and having finished as top points scorer in Ireland’s historic fourth successive win in the Home Internationals the previous week.

He eased to the matchplay stages with a third place finish in the two round strokeplay qualifiers, just missing out on a third leading qualifier medal of the year by a single shot after rounds of 71 and 68.

In the opening matchplay round he beat Palmerstown Stud’s Anthony McDaid 3&2 and then defeated former West of Ireland championship and Irish international Jonathon Yates of Naas by one hole to reach the last 16 where he met local favourite Ronan Mullarney who had knocked out the defending champion Alex Gleeson.

Undeterred by the large home support for Mullarney, Rafferty eased to a solid 3&2 victory to reach the last eight but his run came to an end when he was beaten 2&1 by Belvoir Park’s Marc Norton.

Next up for Caolan is the South American Championship in Colombia.

Josh Mackin finished tied ninth at the Irish U16 Boys Championship in Rockmount. Mackin produced rounds for 74, 76 and 76 for a total of ten under par and finished ten behind the eventual winner Adam Smith from Mullingar. Kyle Rafferty was the other Dundalk player in the championship and he missed the cut after two rounds by two shots.