Warrenpoint’s Colm Campbell produced a superb second round to win the 36 hole One Finance Dundalk Scratch Cup at Dundalk Golf Club.
The 30-year-old Irish international shot a five under par 67 to pip Masserene’s Tiarnan McLarnon on countback after the two Ulster players were tied on 138, six under par, with the defending champion, Dundalk’s Caolan Rafferty, two shots further back in third.
The three internationals had played together in the marquee group and were very much in contention after the opening round when Rafferty and McLarnon had shot two under par 70s and Campbell was a shot further back.
Slieve Russell’s Seamus Cullen led after the round following his excellent four under par 68 which included five birdies and he led by one shot from Boys International Eoin Murphy of Dundalk who had also shot five birdies in compiling his three under par round of 69.
Cullen was unable to keep the momentum going and dropped out of contention after a second round 76 while a lost ball off the 15th tee saw the end of Murphy’s challenge as he faded to a 77.
It was another Dundalk player, former winner and course record holder Aaron Grant, who set the early club house lead as he added a three under par 69 to his opening 73 for a two under par total of 142.
Cairndhu’s Ryan McKinstry, who started the second round at level par, got to six under with three to play but he then double-bogeyed 16 and bogeyed 17 to finish on three-under.
He held the clubhouse lead momentarily as the top three were in the group behind and were producing fireworks of their own with McLarnon eagling the par five sixth to go to four under and a back to back birdies on the ninth and tenth plus a birdie three on the 14th got him to seven under while Campbell was on six under at that points after five birdies of his own.
Not to be outdone, Rafferty had thrown in four successive birdies from the sixth but back to back double bogeys at the 11th and 12th ended his charge.
A bogey at 16th saw McLarnon drop back to six under while a birdie two at 17th got Campbell to six under and in the end it proved decisive as Campbell’s second round 67 was enough for him to pip McLarnon’s 68 on countback as they both tied on 138.
“It was a good battle coming down the last few holes with Tiarnan and I just pipped him,” said Campbell afterwards. “I feel I have robbed Tiarnan a couple of times in Scratch Cups at this stage.”