Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Gary Hurley plotting revenge mission

Jack Hume faces Gary Hurley in the last four

West Waterford's Gary Hurley will be looking for payback in this morning's semi-finals of the Radisson Blu sponsored West of Ireland Amateur Open.

The 21-year old Munster star takes on 20-year old pal and fellow Ireland international Jack Hume with the memory of last year's defeat to the Naas ace still fresh in his mind.

"It was so cold the day Jack beat me on the 22nd in the last 16 last year you could hardly feel your hands," said Hurley after scorching to two massive wins on a sun-splashed spring day at Rosses Point.

"Hopefully it will be warmer tomorrow. It would be great to win a championship."

After crushing Portmarnock's James Fox 7 and 5 and Galway's Joe Lyons 8 and 6, Hurley is gunning for his first amateur "major" at County Sligo.

He was in terrific form as he put Fox, one of the stars of the previous three days, to the sword on the 13th. And it was a similar tale against 41-year old veteran Lyons, who lost the first three holes and then made further mistakes as he started chasing.

"I three-putted five and six trying to force it and that was it," said Lyons, who had played superbly to beat the promising Conor O'Rourke of Naas' on the 18th in the morning.

Hume will take some stopping after beating Dungarvan's Kevin Stack 5 and 4 and then being forced to hole clutch par putts at the 14th, 15th and 16th to see off the combative Warrenpoint man Colm Campbell 3 and 1 in the quarter-finals.

Winner of all four Boys provincial titles in 2010, the 20-year old missed out on a play-off by a shot in last year's Irish Amateur Open, just a week after losing a play-off for the Lytham Trophy.

If he wins, he faces a tough task against the winner of the clash between leading qualifier Reeve Whitson from Mourne and Balbriggan's reigning Irish Amateur Open champion Robbie Cannon.

Cannon, 35, has two "majors" to his name following his win in the 2009 South of Ireland championship and he could well prove a massive obstacle to 22-year old Newcastle star .

The Dubliner beat John Ross Galbraith of Whitehead by 4 and 2 in the morning before crushing Lucan's Richard O'Donovan – who had holed a 60 footer on the 19th to beat Dermot McElroy in the morning– by 5 and 4.

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