Limerick golfer enjoys Irish Open experience

Limerick golfer Cian McNamara
LIMERICK golfer Cian McNamara will hope he can learn from his Irish Open experience after narrowly missing cut at Carton House.

LIMERICK golfer Cian McNamara will hope he can learn from his Irish Open experience after narrowly missing cut at Carton House.

The 27-year-old followed up on a scintillating 68 on Thursday with a 78 on Friday to miss out on playing in the last two rounds by two shots.

Ballyclough native McNamara was in exalted company in failing to make it through to the final 36 holes as the likes of Rory McIlroy, Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke also failed to progress to the weekend.

McNamara, now the professional at Monkstown Golf Club, Co Cork, shot a brilliant 68 on Thursday to lay equal seventh in the prestigious European Tour Event.

The Limerick man’s round included five birdies and just one bogey to lie inside the top 10 going into the second day.

However, a slow start on Friday where he bogeyed three of his first five holes, in tricky playing conditions, led to the former South of Ireland champion finishing on a two-round tally of 146, two shots outside the cut.

McNamara admitted to feeling nervous as he teed off in the prestigious European Tour event on Thursday morning.

“I’ve never, ever felt anything like it,” McNamara told reporters.

“I don’t know what it was, it was just really, really different.

“I was saying to Simon (Keelan), the caddie, he’s a great friend of mine, the feeling on the first was something that I’ve never had. It was like, ‘what am I getting myself in for?

“But then you’ve just got to man up and do it and really when you get into the round, it’s just more enjoyable rather than worrying, you’re just there.”

McNamara is a previous Junior British Open champion and became the youngest player, at 18, to capture the South of Ireland Championship at Lahinch nine years ago.