Sports

No joy for Grehan in US Amateur Golf Championship and Walker Cup team

Thursday, 24 August 2017

No joy for Grehan in US Amateur Golf Championship and Walker Cup team thumbnailStuart Grehan's ambitions of making the Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup team ended when it was announced on Monday.

STUART Grehan's ambitions of a real run at one of amateur golf's biggest and most revered tournaments were ended when he failed to come through the strokeplay qualifiers at the US Amateur Championship in Los Angeles last week and on Monday his disappointment was compounded when he didn't make the Walker Cup team for next month's Ryder Cup style shootout with the USA in Los Angeles.

Grehan's ambitions of making the Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup team hinged on a good run at the championship but unfortunately it didn't happen for him as his 11 over total for the two rounds left him well short of the matchplay cut, which ended up at +3.

The Walker Cup team was announced on Monday and while Grehan will be disappointed, his omission was not a surprise as he didn't do quite enough this year and crucially, missed a couple of tournaments with a fracture to his arm at a critical stage of the season in May - which did not help his cause.

With a very high standard of golfers competing, the US Amateur provided a very testing two rounds of golf in the qualifiers and the Tullamore golfer was up against it after the first round when he shot a five over 75 - he had two birdies but a double bogey 5 on the 10th and five bogeys left him needing something special in the second round.

In the second round, he had a six over 76. Grehan, possibly in the final stages of his amateur career as he chases his goal of turning professional, dug deep and played some very good golf but he didn't get the run of birdies he needed. He had four bogeys, one birdie and a double bogey six as his dream ended but it was still a great experience for him.

Grehan had been named on a preliminary Walker Cup panel earlier in the year and has had a good 2017 but unfortunately, he hasn't amassed enough points for final selection.

For many amateurs in the USA and Great Britain and Ireland, the Walker Cup represents the pinnacle of unpaid golf and is a highly sought after prize.

21 year old Paul McBride of the Island Golf Club in Dublin is the only Irish man on the ten man team while Naas's Conor O'Rourke is one of the two reserves.

Incidentally Paul McBride has a very strong Tullamore connection as his father David grew up and went to school in the town, lived here for a number of years, was a member of Tullamore Golf Club and played hurling with Ballinamere, winning a Junior Hurling Championship medal in 1980.

David's father Peter was a native of Kilkenny and came to town to work in Offaly County Council and they were well known in the town for a number of years. They lived on the Charleville Road and David later moved to Malahide in Dublin and is a teacher there.

Stuart Grehan will now travel to the European Tour qualifying school in October as an amateur, where he will try and qualify for the professional tour and if he succeeds here, his amateur career will be over for the foreseeable future.

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