The 2021 Connacht Men’s Stroke Play took place in Portumna GC this weekend with Alex Maguire (Laytown & Bettystown) crowned Champion on the 6th playing of the 72-hole event.
Beginning with 75 players on Saturday morning, the field was cut to the top 39 and ties following the first 2 rounds. Jack McDonnell (Forest Little) and Joe Lyons (Galway) held the overnight lead on 4-under par, 3 shots clear of Aaron Marshall (Lisburn).
Liam Nolan (Galway) surged into the lead after round three with a sensational 5-under par 67 before Maguire equalled that score in the final round to force a three-hole play-off.
‘36 holes in two days is tough,’ reflected Maguire, who carded three pars in the play-off. ‘Especially around this track, there are a couple of holes that can get you where you can rack up a number, so you have to keep your head, but I’m absolutely delighted to get the win, absolutely delighted.’
Alex Maguire. Photo by Golffile
Maguire returned from his sophomore year at Florida Athletic University a month ago and posted a 7th place finish at the ISPS Handa Ulster Men’s Stroke Play last week.
‘I played quite well in Royal County Down the whole week, didn’t get the result I wanted but I’m absolutely thrilled with this. I still can’t believe it; it hasn’t really sunk in yet.’
Maguire credited his coach, Donal Scott, for some recent fine tuning prior to the competitive summer.
‘My coach text me yesterday saying to stay patient tomorrow and get it done, and I did so all credit to him for fixing my wedge play a couple of weeks ago!’