Dave O’Donovan held his overnight lead to claim victory in the Mardyke Arena Lee Valley Senior Scratch Cup this afternoon. The win puts O’Donovan into the crosshairs for Munster selection , especially given that Phil Cooney and Fred Twomey were both in attendance to watch over the field.
O’Donovan held a three shot lead but there were six golfers within six strokes and the job was by no means complete. Robin Dawson lead the early pace, posting a five under par 67. He was one of only four players to break par over the weekend but it did bring him up to 6th place from his overnight placing back in the field. O’Donovan’s playing partners were three off the lead but neither could overhaul the deficit. Cork’s John Hickey narrowed the gap to one shot at the turn but handed the advantage back to O’Donovan with bogies at 10 and 11. Gary O’Flaherty was desperately unlucky not to see any of his birdie attempts drop at 15, 16 and 17, and as such couldn’t put pressure on the leader. All of this meant that O’Donovan had a leisurely stroll up the 18th fairway, safe in the knowledge that his lead would see him cross the finish line in pole position. In any case he pitched his 157 yard fairway approach to 20 feet. Two putts later he celebrated his biggest win as an individual. As a member of the victorious Barton Shield team with Muskerry, O’Donovan has been a stalwart at inter-club level, so it was nice for him to experience an individual win.
David was understandably delighted with his win: “I’m absolutely delighted to have won the event. I didn’t know how the day would go, it was the first time I had to sleep on a lead and I know Gary and John would put it up to me. We had a fantastic game out there today. Gary was actually urging me on at one stage and it meant an awful lot when you get a little nervy. Lee Valley is very special to us, my mother and mother in law are members here and my brother Morgan started his PGA training here. The welcome we got yesterday was second to none and the event is a credit to the Keohane’s and the club committee. I hope the event goes from strength to strength.”
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As it happens David is a member of Mardyke Arena, and a regular user of the gym and facilities, and he was quick to acknowledge that part of his training: “Patsy Ryan and the Mardyke Arena have been very good to me and to the teams in Muskerry in the past few years and I’d like to think it has been paying dividends. The facility is fantastic and I hope that they continue to be involved in this great event.”