Carris Trophy – Day Three: Scots ace Shiels Donegan edges clear

Niall Shiels Donegan will take a one shot lead into the final round of the Carris Trophy after a day of drama at Silloth on Solway that also featured a new course record and a rare hole-in-one feat.

Shiels Donegan – born in Glasgow and now living in California – produced his third excellent round of the week to climb to the top of the leaderboard.

The Scotland boys’ squad member followed rounds of 68 and 70 with a five-under par score of 67 featuring four birdies, an eagle and just one dropped shot as he nudged England’s Dylan Shaw-Radford off top spot.

Shaw-Radford posted a fine round of 71 to lie at -10 just a shot adrift of the leader and will join the Scot in the final group tomorrow.

Both players will need to keep an eye on their rear-view mirrors, especially with Marco Florioli tucked in on -9.

The Italian shattered the course record by firing a stunning round of 63 (-9) and even had the luxury of making a double bogey on the fourth hole!

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It was a day for the unexpected on the Cumbrian coast.

Cormac Sharpe followed up his hole-in-one on the ninth hole on day two by firing ANOTHER ace on the 16th hole.

Who knows what lies in store over the final 18 holes when the battle heats up to decide this year’s winner?

Shiels Donegan is thrilled to be ahead and looking forward to the challenge of a final round.

He said: “It was good golf, I kept the ball in front of me and in links golf you have to keep the ball under the wind.

“Coming into the week I liked the golf course but my game really likes the golf course and I guess I’ll try and continue that.”

For the young Scot, hope might now have turned into expectation, but recent experiences with his country may have equipped him for what lies ahead.

“I was recently in Germany playing for Scotland in the Euros and I had the first tee nerves of my life,” he said with a smile.

“Hopefully, I’ve attuned myself to those nerves and can continue to play well.”

Shaw-Radford didn’t do anything wrong in his round – it just lacked the fireworks of day two when he posted a 65.

Two birdies and one bogey indicate that he’s still in control of his game and a real contender as he looks to add the Carris to the Scottish Boys’ title he won earlier in the season.

For Florioli, the game appeared rather simple in the warm Cumbrian sunshine.

The lad from Bergamo explained it’s not the first time he’s had such a low scoring round with one blip on his scorecard.

He said: “Once before at my home club in a national tournament I shot a double bogey at the first hole and then 11 birdies so this is the second time.

“Now I can say I have a chance to win and that’s my goal.”

In total, there are 13 players within seven shots of the lead and plenty of challengers will go into the last 18 full of hope.

Included in that list is Joshua Millington from The Players Club who shot an excellent round of 65 to reach -8 through 54 holes.

His round of 65 matched that of Sam Easterbrook who climbed into the top 12 with his excellent effort.

Sharpe’s hole-in-one exploits in the morning created quite a stir and paved the way for more dramas later in the day.

Having holed a wedge on the ninth hole on Wednesday, he took a six-iron to ace the 16th and then did the honourable thing by heading to the bar to treat competitors and parents to a drink!


Photography: Leaderboard