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Howard Inches From Irish Open Spot

Writes Ciaran Dineen

Carrigaline’s Jack Howard is within touching distance of claiming a spot in next week’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in Lahinch, following a fantastic opening round in the Moyvalley qualifier on Saturday.

Jack is an Assistant-Pro at Fota Island Golf Club, where his two brothers and father are also members. Last month the youngest of the quartet, David, claimed victory over his father, John, in the 50th stage of the Ford Junior Scratch Trophy at Muskerry Golf Club. On the day Jack caddied for his little brother David, but on this occasion it is the 22 year-old that is hitting the headlines.

Jack has been in some great form of late and he is currently continuing that at Moyvalley Golf Resort in north County Kildare this weekend, giving himself a great opportunity of qualifying for the Irish Open which kicks off on Thursday next.

Jack Howard (Fota Island). Picture by Pat Cashman

The former Carrigaline Community School student started his round off to a flier at the Par 72 Moyvalley, as he birdied the Par 3 second hole, following an opening par on the first. Although he bogeyed the index two 7th hole, Howard bounced back strongly by going on to birdie both the 8th and the 9th holes, leaving him at -2 for his opening nine holes.

On the back nine, Jack got off to a very composed and steady start as he went on to par 10, 11 and 12, before going on to birdie the Par 3, 210 yard 13th to put him at -3 for the tournament. From there he parred his way all the way to 17, where he unfortunately had to settle for a bogey, dropping him back one shot. However, similarly to his opening bogey of the day, Jack came back fighting and he birdied the toughest hole on the course, the Par 5 18th, giving him an opening round score of 69 (-3).

That now means that Jack is tied in a group for 5th place, three shots off the lead, but importantly just the single score behind 3rd place. The top 4 players at the end of the second round will qualify for the Irish Open, while there is also a substantial amount of prize money up for grabs.

Jack will be teeing off at 3 PM on Sunday afternoon, with the hope that about four hours later he will be setting himself up for what would be the highlight of his career, qualifying for his country’s national golf open.

Please keep your fingers crossed! Come on Jack!

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