Bridgestone series moves west for Connacht Stroke Play

​​The race for the Bridgestone Order of Merit moves west this weekend as Portumna hosts the Connacht Stroke Play Championship (9-10 June).​

  • 08 June 2018

Picture: Waterford's Eanna Griffin is defending champion at the Connacht Stroke Play in Portumna | Golffile

Defending champion Eanna Griffin could climb as high as fourth in the Bridgestone Order of Merit with a win at the Connacht Stroke Play this weekend. There are 150 order of merit points on offer for the winner in Portumna

Griffin is on an upward trend again and he produced his best golf of the season when posting a 10-under total to finish sixth at the East of Ireland last week. The 25-year-old from Waterford was tied second at the Munster Stroke Play in May. Those performances have seen Griffin move into the top 10 on the Bridgestone Order of Merit.

West of Ireland champion Robert Brazill is currently third in the table but with Robin Dawson and Alex Gleeson competing at the St Andrews Links Trophy, Brazill has the chance to gain ground. If Brazill finishes fourth or better in Portumna, he will overtake Gleeson and crucially reclaim a place in top two, which guarantees a place on the Ireland team for Home Internationals.

The top two players on Bridgestone Order of Merit at the end of the season will secure selection on the Ireland team and with just four events remaining, including this weekend's event, time is running out. Ireland international Peter O'Keeffe is the highest ranked player in a field that also contains 2016 Connacht Stroke Play champion Thomas O'Connor.

The Connacht Stroke Play is a 72-hole tournament with the top 30 and ties progressing after round two. 

1 Robin Dawson (Tramore) 503
2 Alex Gleeson (Castle) 410
3 Robert Brazill (Naas) 345
4 Mark Power (Kilkenny) 278
5 James Sugrue (Mallow) 233
6 James Fox (Portmarnock) 205
7 Eanna Griffin (Waterford) 160
8 Alan Fahy (Dun Laoghaire) 150
9 Jack Madden (Royal Portrush) 145
10 Jack Pierse (Portmarnock) 133
T11 Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk), Tiarnán McLarnon (Massereene) 130
13 Ronan Mullarney (Galway) 118
14 Dylan Brophy (Castleknock) 117
15 Stephen Watts (Cairndhu) 114
T16 Jack McDonnell (Forrest Little), Gary O'Flaherty (Cork) 108
18 TJ Ford (Co Sligo) 105
19 Ryan Gribben (Warrenpoint) 100
20 John Hickey (Cork) 92
T21 Allan Hill (Athenry), Jonathan Yates (Naas), Devin Morley (Oughterard) 90
24 Peter O'Keeffe (Douglas) 86
25 Michael Ryan (New Ross) 80
26 Thomas O'Connor (Athlone), 78
27 Robert Cannon (Balbriggan) 75
28 Andrew McCormack (Castletroy) 70
29 Rowan Lester (Hermitage) 63
30 Marc McKinstry (Cairndhu) 62
T31 Gerard Dunne (Co Louth), Paul Coughlan (Castleknock), Peter McKeever (Castle), Richard Knightly (Royal Dublin), Keith Egan (Carton House), Fraser Carr (Kirkistown Castle) 60
T37 Kyle McCarron (North West), Reece Black (Hilton Templepatrick), Shane McDermott (Co Cavan), Barry Anderson (Royal Dublin), Paraic Connolly (Killeen Castle), Sean Flanagan (Co Sligo), Rory Williamson (Holywood) 58 
44 Mark Collins (Killeen Castle) 42 
45 Ian O'Rourke (Royal Dublin) 41 
46 Aaron Grant (Dundalk) 39 
47 Darragh Coghlan (Portmarnock) 37
T48 Robert Moran (Castle), Conor Ryan (Dun Laoghaire), Eddie McCormack (Galway Bay), Robbie Hynes (Royal Dublin), Charlie Denvir (Elm Park), Niall Hearns (Mountrath), Fergal Kennedy (The Island), Cian Geraghty (Laytown & Bettystown), David McAleenon (Edenmore), Gary Collins (Rosslare), William Small (Tandragee), William Russell (Clandeboye), John McCarthy (Stackstown), Jack Doherty (Carton House), Thomas Neenan (Lahinch), Anthony McDaid (Palmerstown Stud), Gary McDermott (Carton House), Paul O'Hanlon (Carton House), Jack Walsh (Castle), Aaron Marshall (Lisburn), Ryan McKinstry (Cairndhu), Seamus Cullen (Slieve Russell), John Greene (Portmarnock), Jamie Fletcher (Warrenpoint), John Brady (Rosslare), Aaron Kearney (Castlerock), Dwayne Mallon (Dungannon), Marc Nolan (Dun Laoghaire), Alex Maguire (Laytown & Bettystown), Gavin Smyth (Clonmel), Sean Ryan (Royal Dublin), Luke O'Neill (Connemara), Jake Whelan (Newlands), Michael Sinclair (Knock), Conor Purcell (Portmarnock),  Matthew McClean (Malone),  Geoff Lenehan (Portmarnock),  Colin Woodroofe (Dun Laoghaire),  Gary Cullen (Beaverstown),  Eugene Smith (Laytown & Bettystown),  John Murphy (Kinsale),  Padraic O'Brien (Co. Louth),  Hugh O'Hare (Fortwilliam),  David Foy (Laytown & Bettystown),  Sean Doyle (Black Bush),  Alan Lowry (Esker Hills),  Stephen Healy (Royal Dublin),  Alan Dowling (Hermitage) 30