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Aaron Grant is cream of Amateur crop

Aaron Grant shot a second successive under-par round to claim victory in the North of Ireland Open Amateur Strokeplay competition at Galgorm Castle. And the Dundalk man will return to the course at the end of August as the win qualifies him for the Northern Ireland Open.

Grant was tied for the lead after a first round 69, which was matched by Chris Carroll, with Damien McCusker on his own in third position.

Carroll faltered in his second round and he plumeted down the leaderboard after hitting a 79 – eventually finishing in 12th.

McCusker too fell off the pace with a 74 in round two, which saw him end up fifth, but Grant didn't have it all his own way.

Jordan Hood, who was three shots behind after round two, cranked up the pressure as he shot a two under par 70.

There was, however, no stopping Grant as he went round in 71 to ensure that his lead was unassailable.

Tiger Woods is pain-free for the first time in two years but accepts he will never regain the game which saw him dominate golf for a decade.

The 38-year-old's all-conquering spell between 1997 and 2008, during which he won 14 majors, saw him blow away rivals with a mixture of power and a single-mindedness.

Woods accepts he has to find other ways to win as he prepares to make his comeback from back surgery performed on March 31.

"The difference as I have aged is I can't play the way I used to, but I'm pain-free – it's been probably a good two years since I've felt this way," he said.

Belfast Telegraph

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