Browne wins second County Team trial


Last Saturday we had our second trial for this year’s Senior County team. The trial was held in the host course for this year’s National Inter- County – namely Tullamore. 29 hopefuls teed-off  from 10.30 on, in this 54 hole trial. A blistering pace was set in the first round by trial one’s joint winner Alan Hanlon. Alan, fresh from his third place finish at the Irish Open the previous weekend, shot an incredible 44 in the opening round. This was made all the more impressive because of the swirling wind and difficult chipping conditions. The nearest anyone got to this was Sean Dennigan and Alan McCormack – both with 47s. Declan Hogan was next after this with an impressive 48 whilst John Browne and Michael Buckley were the only other players to break 50 with both on 49.

Alan continued his good form in the second round, adding a 48 to his opening 10 under giving him the lead after 36 holes on 16 under par. John Browne made a charge from the chasing pack with an excellent 45 which included being 7 under for the opening 8 holes of the round. John’s 14 under total was enough to leave him in second place and secure a place in the final 2-ball for the third round. Sean Dennigan added a 49 to his earlier 47 to finish on 12 under and Michael Buckley’s second round 47 also brought him to 12 under par. Next best after that was Gerry Coyne and Alan McCormack on 9 under par with quite a few players recording 100 to rest on the 8 under mark.

Alan McCormack was unable to compete in the final round due to a prior commitment and Sean Dennigan had some early misfortune with a bunker that resulted in an NR for him. This narrowed the field as to who could still possibly win the trial. In the end the only player to make a run at the two leaders was Declan Hogan with a brilliant final round 44 to shoot him up to 18 under total.

So the battle was between the two club-mates Alan Hanlon and John Browne. Alan had a very solid start going 3 under for the opening 7 holes while John was struggling and still on level par. But a raker of a putt from the edge of the green on 8 kicked Browne into action as he went 8 under par for 8 straight holes  -which did admittedly include a very fortunate hole-in- one (his second of the day) on the thirteenth.

So with 3 to play John had moved into the lead on 22 under to Alan’s 21 total at this stage. John hit a poor pitch to 16 though and was punished with a 4 – only his second dropped shot of the day. Pars were had by both men on 17 and they both approached the final hole tied on 21 under. The 18th had been causing unreal trouble for everyone all day as the wind was playing havoc with the tee-shot. Alan’s tee-shot here was once again destroyed by a gust of wind leaving him in a very troublesome place to the right of the green. Browne faired a little better getting to the front right of the green. Browne scrambled well to make his par but Alan wasn’t as lucky despite a fine par putt effort. So Browne was the victor on the day by a single shot on 21 under par. Hanlon’s 20 under though combined with his 21 under from the first trial puts him on top of the pile when we study the trial table in detail.

Click here for the latest trial table standings.

Thanks to Tullamore for their hospitality on the day. Special thanks to Mick, Una and crew – as always we were fed well and the friendly banter in the clubhouse added to the day’s enjoyment. The next trial is the Westmeath County Strokeplay this Sunday 25th May in Collinstown.

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