The Bridgestone Order of Merit is ever tighter close to the summit with Marc Boucher (Carton House) and Peter McKeever (Castle) edging towards the top three following Sunday’s Connacht Stroke Play at Portumna.
The victorious McKeever, who was one stroke clear of the field in Connacht, is tied sixth on the Bridgestone Order of Merit alongside West of Ireland champion Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk). Boucher’s reward for finishing fifth in Portumna is to climb three places on the table, from eighth to fifth, continuing his steady progress in recent weeks.
With the top four Bridgestone players competing at the St Andrews Links Trophy, McKeever and Boucher made the most of their opportunity. For McKeever, a 24 year old financial trader, success marked his first senior title. The Dubliner had already picked up points at the East of Ireland and the Flogas Irish Amateur Open this season.
Boucher has been a model of consistency since returning from college duties in the United States. The UNC Charlotte student has scored in all four of his domestic events. Sunday’s result marked his third top 10 of the year.
Eanna Griffin’s runner-up finish in the Connacht Stroke Play has also seen him gain ground on the leaders. The Waterford man moves into the top ten just behind McKeever.
Ireland international Conor Purcell (Portmarnock) continues to lead the Bridgestone race from Ronan Mullarney (Galway) with Warrenpoint’s Colm Campbell in third. The top three players on the Bridgestone Order of Merit at the end of the season are guaranteed selection for the Home Internationals at Lahinch from 11 to 13 September.
Next up on the Bridgestone Order of Merit is the North of Ireland at Portstewart from 8-12 July.
BRIDGESTONE ORDER OF MERIT – TOP 10
1 C Purcell (Portmarnock) 430
2 R Mullarney (Galway) 345
3 C Campbell (Warrenpoint) 321
4 R Brazill (Naas) 310
5 M Boucher (Carton House) 282
T6 C Rafferty (Dundalk), P McKeever (Castle) 250
8 E Griffin (Waterford) 240
9 K Egan (Carton House) 232
10 T McLarnon (Massereene) 227