Sheridan leads Captain’s Prize after birdie blitz

Seven birdies helped propel Ciaran Sheridan (5) to the top of the leaderboard after Round One of Brendan Keane’s Captain’s Prize.

Sheridan will now play in the final group in Round 2 on Sunday week along with Barry Grennan and Paul O’Callaghan who are among a group of five players on 67.

Included in that group is another five handicapper, Clem Walshe, whose 67 led home the field in Saturday’s qualifiers with Sheridan taking Sunday’s accolade.

After a steady start, Walshe kick-started his Saturday round into life on the par three fifth with a birdie two and then birdied eight to turn in 35, one under par gross and four under par nett. Back to back bogeys at 12 and 13 could have proved fatal but he steadied the ship with four consecutive pars before birdieing the last for an inward nine of 37 and a nett total of 67, five under par.

While Barry Grennan (13), Paul O’Callaghan (13), Denis Ryan (8) and Michael Gill (8) all matched that total only Sheridan, who was an early starter on Sunday, managed to beat it and he did so in some style despite opening with a bogey five at the first.

He birdied the second and then, after bogeying the fifth, he reeled off three consecutive birdies from the sixth to turn in 34 which was five under par nett. Another bogey at 10 was followed by more birdies at 11 and 12. He carded five successive pars, included one at the index four 16th, before finishing his round with his seventh birdie of the day at the 18th to finish with a gross 68 and a nine under par nett score of 63.

Players scoring 78 nett or better qualified to play in the Second Round and the time sheet will be available for booking from Thursday at 11am. The 39 players on the leaderboard will be given designated tee times. Handicaps from Round One will apply to Round Two while those participating in the non-qualifiers event on the Saturday will play off current handicaps.

Sheridan and the leading contenders now have to wait until on Sunday, August 2, for the second round as all eyes switch this weekend to Portarlington, and the Leinster Finals of the AIG Junior Cup, as the Dundalk team, managed by Clem Walshe and Terry Conlon, go in search of a Leinster pennant. Eight teams from across the province have qualified for the finals and Dundalk will face Hermitage in the quarter-finals on Saturday morning. combined to comfortably win the Thursday’s Team Competition with 95pts.

Captain’s Prize Round 1 Leaderboard: 63 – Ciaran Sheridan (5). 67 – Barry Grennan (13), Paul O’Callaghan (13), Denis Ryan (8), Michael Gill (8), Clem Walshe (5). 68 – John Cooney (13), G Duffy (5). 69 – George Rogers (19). 70 – Ultan Gaughran (10), Gerard O’Keefe (13), Eugene Hanratty (18), Frank Byrne (11), Donal Sheridan (11), Conor Hackett (17), Gerry Brennan (3). 71- Charlie Sheppard (20), EJ Hanratty (10), David Staunton (10), L Steen (25), Derek Murdock (12), Dan Prenty (16), Mark Gorham (5), Martin Crosby (11), Paul Morrison (10), Kevin Barry (11), M O’Keefe (16), Jimmy Connolly (22), Phil Holland (10). 72 –Tom Lanigan (20),Oliver McGinnity (21), Neal MacKell (4), Neil Mulloly (8), Dairmuid McAdam (22), Fergus O’Callaghan (14), Ultan Herr (15), Adrian Kenny (20). 73 – Conor McCaughey (6), Seamus Bailey (13). CSS 72 (Sat & Sun)