Shanahan Takes First Title of 2014
By Niall O’Shea
Castlemartyr’s Mark Shanahan won the opening event of the new season when he captured the Top Golfer Fota Senior Scratch Cup on Sunday. Shanahan shot a two under par 69 to lead a field of over 110 golfers. Fota’s Sean Barry was second with a 70, Barry was the only other golfer to shoot a sub-par round. Castlemartyr had two golfers in the top three, John O’Brien fresh from his attempt to gain access to the European Seniors Tour was third with two over par 73. Eoghan Murphy, Ciaran McKenna and Brian Kelleher were among the golfers to finish on 74. This was Shanahan’s first win in Fota but it was his third win in a Top Golfer competition. The Waterford man, currently playing off +2 won previous events at Dromoland in 2012 and Bunclody in 2013. The Top Golfer tour is now in its fifth year and this season, all event winners will go forward to the series final in Portmarnock. The tour is comprised of junior and senior scratch cups throughout the country. The next visit to Cork happens in May when the Lee Valley Junior Scratch Cup takes place. The last Cork event takes place in Cork Golf Club (Junior Scratch Cup) in July.
Bernard Rohan from East Cork won last week’s Irish Open Pro-Am qualifier in Fota. Rohan will be joined in the series final by Cillian Moloney (Fota) and Michael O’Donoghue (Gold Coast), the top three scored 40 points. The qualifier continues every Wednesday until the end of April, with the top three finalists winning a place in the Irish Open Pro-Am. Mallow Golf Club tasted international success last week as their Fred Daly team won the prestigious Home Nations Trophy. Playing against teams from Ireland, England Wales and Scotland, they made it through to the final where they played Belvoir Park. A 6-0 victory followed that saw the progressive North Cork club take the title for the first time.
Next Saturday will see Muskerry host their first major event of the season when they stage the Senior Scratch Cup. The competition will be played over 36 holes with the draw for partners and starting holes has been made and will be available tomorrow. The competition starts at 8.30am on Saturday. The qualifiers for the Ford Muskerry Junior Scratch Trophy will take on the 4th & 5th of April, the time sheet is now opens next week and it’s likely the popular competition will be fully booked. The qualifiers will go on compete in Munster’s toughest matchplay competition over the Easter weekend as the 64 hopefuls will be whittled down over six challenging rounds. Anyone interested in a competitive practice round should consider the open singles in Muskerry on Sunday, entry is €25 and there are still some places on the timesheet.