O’Flaherty wins in Ballybunion
By Niall O’Shea
Cork’s Gary O’Flaherty won the Ballybunion Senior Scratch Cup on Saturday, beating a strong field in windy conditions at the famous Kerry course. O’Flaherty has been in fine form over the past three months, he recorded top three finishes in Cork, Lee Valley, Muskerry and Douglas but the win had eluded him until last weekend.
O’Flaherty opened with a 76 on the Cashen course in tough conditions. He matched that score in the afternoon on the old course to record a winning margin of two strokes. Niall Gorey was second with 154 and Limerick’s Pat Murray was third with 155. Defending champion Dave O’Driscoll was fourth on 157. O’Flaherty now moves into top spot in the Munster Senior Order of Merit, the top four golfers will get an automatic place in the interprovincial team. Gary Hurley and Eanna Griffin are nest on the list and Castlemartyr’s Mark Shanahan holds the final automatic place. More points are on offer this weekend in Castletroy and at the East of Ireland the following week.
Macroom held their first senior scratch cup in several years last Sunday and the event attracted a large number for the inaugural staging. Macroom member Alan Moriarty took the honours with a winning score of 74. Cobh’s Ray O’Sullivan took the runners up spot with a 75 and the best nett was won by Seamus Cronin from Blarney with a 70. Fota held the final of their qualifier for the Irish Open Pro-Am last week and the qualifiers were Shane O’Halloran, Garry Howard and Leo Hassett. O’Halloran playing out of Fota was the winner on the day with 40 points, just one ahead of the other two qualifiers. All three can now look forward to teeing it up with a European Tour Professional in the Irish Open Pro-Am.
The AIG Cups & Shields are back on the agenda this weekend. Bandon and Mahon are the venues hosting the South Munster qualifiers with 2013 venue qualifiers Bandon and East Cork both fancied. Mahon are hoping that the home course advantage will aid their team but there are frequent surprises at this level. 11 clubs compete in Mahon and 12 clubs are in action in Bandon. Most clubs will be running live scores from both venues via Club App for anyone that can’t make it to the course. The other big event this weekend is the Top Golfer Junior Scratch Cup in Lee Valley, some tee times are still available directly from the club.
GUI Senior Order of Merit (after Ballybunion)
- Gary O’Flaherty (Cork) 145
- Gary Hurley (West Waterford) 120
- Eanna Griffin (Waterford) 115
- Mark Shanahan (Castlemartyr) 110
- Geoff Linehan (PMarnock) 105
- Pat Murray (Limerick) 100
- John Hickey (Cork) 85
- Kieran McCarthy (Castlemartyr) 65
- Keith Crowley (Fota) 60
- Dave O’Donovan (Muskerry) 60