Bridgestone chase moves to Royal Co Down

​​Dun Laoghaire’s Alan Fahy was the big mover on the Bridgestone Order of Merit following his victory at the Munster Stroke Play while Robert Brazill increased his lead at the top in his quest for a place in the Ireland team at this year’s Home Internationals.

  • 16 May 2018

​PHOTO: Brazill who extended his lead in the Bridgestone Order of Merit in Cork. Photo by Golffile/Fran Caffrey

Brazill can win his first Irish cap by finishing in the top two on the Bridgestone Order of Merit and the Naas bomber picked up 35 merit points for finishing tied 14th at Cork Golf Club on Sunday where Fahy claimed a two-shot victory on six under. Fahy’s third round 66 moved him into contention and he made two birdies in the last three holes of his final round to take the trophy.

Fahy, who represented Ireland at boys level in 2015 and 2016, collected 150 order of merit points for his efforts and is now third overall, just 10 points behind Alex Gleeson. The Castle international was competing at the Lytham Trophy so did not have the chance to close the gap on Brazill at the top, who now has a lead of 125 points.

Portmarnock’s Jack Pierse was tied for eighth at the Munster Stroke Play, collecting 55 points, and moved up to fourth in the Bridgestone table. Warrenpoint’s Ryan Gribben is now seventh overall having finished second to Fahy in Cork. Gribben’s closing 66, the best of the final round, pushed him ahead of Waterford’s Eanna Griffin on countback.

The Bridgestone series moves to Royal County Down for the showpiece event of the domestic season, the Flogas Irish Amateur Open (17-20 May). With 425 points on offer to the winner, there is a lot to play for.

The five other events in this year’s series are: East of Ireland (2-4 June), Connacht Stroke Play (9-10 June), North of Ireland (9-13 July), South of Ireland (25-29 July) and AIG Irish Close (4-8 August). The top two players at the end of the series will earn automatic selection on the Ireland team for the Home Internationals. Ireland are seeking a fifth successive title in 2018.

1 Robert Brazill (Naas) 285
2 Alex Gleeson (Castle) 160
3 Alan Fahy (Dun Laoghaire) 150
4 Jack Pierse (Portmarnock) 133
T5 James Fox (Portmarnock), Jack Madden (Royal Portrush) 115
7 Ryan Gribben (Warrenpoint) 100
8 Peter O'Keeffe (Douglas) 86
9 Eanna Griffin (Waterford) 80
T10 Thomas O'Connor (Athlone), Jack McDonnell (Forrest Little), Robin Dawson (Tramore) 78
13 Robert Cannon (Balbriggan) 75
14 Andrew McCormack (Castletroy) 70
T15 Kyle McCarron (North West), Reece Black (Hilton Templepatrick), Shane McDermott (Co Cavan), Mark Power (Kilkenny), Barry Anderson (Royal Dublin), Paraic Connolly (Killeen Castle), Sean Flanagan (Co Sligo), Rory Williamson (Holywood), James Sugrue (Mallow) 58
24 Dylan Brophy (Castleknock) 57
25 Mark Collins (Killeen Castle) 42
26 Ian O'Rourke (Royal Dublin) 41
27 Aaron Grant (Dundalk) 39
28 Gary O'Flaherty (Cork) 38
29 Darragh Coghlan (Portmarnock) 37
30 John Hickey (Cork) 36
T31 Tiarnán McLarnon (Massereene), Robert Moran (Castle), Conor Ryan (Dun Laoghaire), Eddie McCormack (Galway Bay), TJ Ford (Co Sligo), Robbie Hynes (The Royal Dublin), Charlie Denvir (Elm Park), Allan Hill (Athenry), Michael Ryan (New Ross), Niall Hearns (Mountrath), Fergal Kennedy (The Island), Cian Geraghty (Laytown & Bettystown), David McAleenon (Edenmore), Peter O'Keeffe (Douglas), Gary Collins (Rosslare), William Small (Tandragee), William Russell (Clandeboye), John McCarthy (Stackstown), Gerard Dunne (Co Louth), Jack Doherty (Carton House), Thomas Neenan (Lahinch), Paul Coughlan (Castleknock), Anthony McDaid (Palmerstown Stud), Peter McKeever (Castle), Andrew McCormack (Castletroy), Richard Knightly (The Royal Dublin), Gary McDermott (Carton House), Paul O'Hanlon (Carton House), Jack Walsh (Castle), Aaron Marshall (Lisburn), Ryan McKinstry (Cairndhu), Jonathan Yates (Naas), Seamus Cullen (Slieve Russell), John Greene (Portmarnock), Jamie Fletcher (Warrenpoint), John Brady (Rosslare), Aaron Kearney (Castlerock), Keith Egan (Carton House), Dwayne Mallon (Dungannon), Marc Nolan (Dun Laoghaire), Fraser Carr (Kirkistown Castle), Alex Maguire (Laytown & Bettystown), Gavin Smyth (Clonmel), Sean Ryan (The Royal Dublin), Luke O'Neill (Connemara), Jake Whelan (Newlands), Michael Sinclair (Knock) 30