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Brazill eyeing Bridgestone prize in Mullingar

​​​Sherry Fitzgerald Davitt & Davitt​ sponsored Mullingar Scratch Trophy (10-11 August) final event on Bridgestone Order of Merit

  • 10 August 2019
Picture: Robert Brazill (Naas) aiming to top the Bridgestone Order of Merit | Golffile

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Naas number one Rob Brazill will win the Bridgestone Order of Merit with a top 16 finish at the Mullingar Scratch Trophy, sponsored by Sherry Fitzgerald Davitt & Davitt, on Sunday (11 August).

Brazill, 22, trails AIG Irish Close Champion, Ronan Mullarney, going into the final Bridgestone event of the season but only Brazill can catch the Galway man. Mullarney is an absentee for Mullingar, which means his rival can take the title by finishing within the first 16.
 
By winning the AIG Irish Close, Mullarney went clear on the Bridgestone table. Brazill, beaten finalist at the Close in Ballybunion, would gain more than consolation if he ends the season as leading man on the domestic scene.
 
"I'd love to go on and win the Order of Merit," said Brazill. "It would be nice to get my name on that and get my place for the Home Internationals."
 
Already, Brazill is guaranteed an Ireland call up. By virtue of his run at the Close, he will finish no worse than second on the Bridgestone Order of Merit. The prize for the first three is an automatic pick for the Home Internationals at Lahinch in September (11-13).
 
Massereene's Tiarnán McLarnon is defending champion at Mullingar. McLarnon, who was Ireland's leading performer at last year's Home Internationals, is drawn alongside Kinsale's John Murphy and Colm Campbell of Warrenpoint in the first round.
 
Campbell occupies third place on the Bridgestone table as he seeks to secure his return to the Ireland team after a year out injured. Should Campbell stall in Mullingar, a number of players could yet beat him to third spot.
 
All those players inside the top 10 have live chances although only a win will suffice for Eanna Griffin (Waterford), Marc Boucher (Carton House), Peter O'Keeffe (Douglas) and Peter McKeever (Castle). A runner-up finish may propel Keith Egan (Carton House), Sean Flanagan (Portmarnock) or Matthew McClean (Malone) inside the top three.
 
Since JB Carr won the first staging of the Mullingar Scratch Trophy in 1963, the tournament has produced a who's who of champions. Following Shane Lowry's victory at The Open last month, four major winners adorn the Mullingar roll of honour: Darren Clarke (1989), Padraig Harrington (1994), Rory McIlroy (2006) and Lowry (2008),
 
Play begins at 6:30am on Saturday (10 August) at Mullingar for the first of two rounds on the opening day. The top 51 progress after 36 holes and the title contenders play two more rounds on Sunday.