Youghal’s Conor Coyne made a huge breakthrough on Saturday when he captured the Muskerry Scratch Cup. The event had a full field with Gary O’Flaherty, Ronan Twomey, Niall Gorey and holder John Hickey all tipped to play well. The 36 hole event was again sponsored by Shane Sadler and the course was in great condition for the showpiece event. Mallow’s Ian Spillane held the lead after 18 holes. He had a one shot lead over holder John Hickey, with Castlemartyr’s Mark Shanahan back in third place but four shots off the lead. Conor Coyne opened with a two over par 73, five shots off the 68 posted by Spillane. He was level par after for his second round after nine holes but a double bogie on the 6th and a bogie 4 on the par three 8th hole threatened his card. Birdies on the 11th and the 14th (his final hole) rescued the round and gave him the title with one shot to spare over the field. Cork’s Gary O’Flaherty was one shot back in second place. John Hickey and Mallow’s Ian Spillane were once shot further back and Fota’s Greg O’Mahony was fifth. Castlemartyr duo John O’Brien and Mark Shanahan were tied on 150 gross.
The Muskerry event was the first of three major weekends for Cork golfers. This weekend Lee Valley have their Senior Scratch Cup and the following weekend Cork host the 72 hole Munster Strokeplay Championship. The Munster Strokeplay has attracted an amazing field with 50 of the 75 golfers playing off a plus handicap. In addition to the top Cork and Munster golfers, several Leinster and Ulster interprovincial players will be in action. The Muskerry Senior Scratch Cup might be developing a reputation as an event for the young guns. Last year Cork’s John Hickey won the prestigious title and he went on to feature in the Munster Senior Interprovincial team. 20 year old Coyne started playing golf in Youghal when he was just 7 and continues to improve as witnessed last weekend. He has had previous success in Muskerry when he captured the prestigious Bruen Youths title. Conor is back in action this weekend in Lee Valley for their 54 hole senior scratch cup. This is the seventh staging of the event and it has attracted a top class field of category one golfers. Jeff Hopkins, Joe Lyons, Pat Murray and Eanna Griffin are all taking part and 25 golfers are playing off scratch or lower. It promises to be a busy weekend for the both the golfers and the organisers, and Lee Valley Captain Pat Mullins described what’s ahead for the club: “The first round starts at 8am on Saturday so people will be assembling from 6.30pm. After a quick lunch turn-around the second round will get underway around 2pm. On Sunday those that make the cut will go out in reverse order. A 54 hole event is a huge undertaking for the club and I must thank the members of the ladies and men’s clubs for giving up their times over the weekend, and for supporting the event.”
Muskerry Senior Scratch Cup Results: 1st Conor Coyne (Youghal) 145, 2nd Gary O’Flaherty (Cork) 146, 3rd John Hickey (Cork) 147, 4th Ian Spillane (Mallow) 14, 5th Greg O’Mahony (Fota) 148, 6th John O’Brien (Castlemartyr) 149, Best Gross 1st 18 Mark Shanahan 72, Best Gross 2nd 18 Dan Hartnett (Muskerry) 72, Best Nett Craig Foley (4) Muskerry 145 Nett, 2nd Nett Eoin O’Callaghan (2) Muskerry 146, Alf Kearey Memorial U- 25 Winner Alan O’Connell, Sponsored by Mr Shane Sadler
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