Irish Performing Well in World Amateurs

The IBSF World Amateur Championship has been taking place in Latvia since last week with all three Irish players emerging unscathed from the group stage.

119 hopeful players were separated into 20 groups comprising either six or seven players at the outset but that field has now been whittled down to the last 72.

Ireland’s trio Michael Judge, Brendan O’Donoghue and David Hogan have all easily qualified and are seeded through to the last 64.

They will have to win six further matches in the knockout phase of the competition in order to be crowned the world’s best at amateur level.

O’Donoghue is seeded fifth having been triumphant in all five of his round-robin encounters while Judge and Hogan were each victorious in all but one of their group ties.

All three would have expected a lot prior to the tournament because they each have the capability of going all the way.

It is a shame, therefore, that they have been drawn together in the same quarter of the draw.

National champion Judge and Tipperary’s Hogan could potentially meet in the last 32 while the winner of that would meet O’Donoghue in the quarter-finals should they both make it that far.

There will be a lot of competition from elsewhere as well with Iran’s Amir Sarkhosh topping the seedings list having dropped only one frame so far in the tournament.

England’s Jeff Cundy, at 44, is also looking threatening and is seeded second ahead of Pakistan’s Imran Shahzad and Lei Chun Wai of Hong Kong.

Ireland has a good history in the prestigious event having taken glory through Ken Doherty and Stephen O’Connor in 1989 and 1990 respectively, while Colm Gilcreest was runner-up to Thepchaiya Un-Nooh in 2008.

The three Irish in the Masters event are also into the knockout phase, with Mark Tuite one of the favourites.

Either Shane Gorman and Stephen Merrigan are guaranteed a place in the last 32 after being drawn to face each other.

The action in Daugavpils continues until Sunday. 

To follow the results click here

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