The mantle of champions can sometimes place a heavy weight on a side but not so for the Muskerry team. They’ve taken every opportunity on their path to Carton House and while they had some impressive wins they also had a few close calls. As hosts in the South Munster qualifier, they had impressive wins over Blarney, Cork and Bandon but they very nearly came unstuck in their second round match against Monkstown. Monkstown had a put to win the match on the 19th hole and Muskerry were lucky to survive. They went on to win on the 20th hole and from there they went on to have two impressive wins over Cork and Bandon.
The same was true in Dungarvan at the Munster finals. Muskerry had a seven hole win over Youghal in the semi-final but it took a dramatic 18th green finish to beat Shannon. With a total of three holes left to play Muskerry were one down and the odds were stacked in favour of Shannon. As it happened Muskerry were to produce another clutch performance as they went on to win all three remaining holes. Niall Gorey and David O’Donovan dove-tailed well on the 18th. O’Donovan had a great drive and Gorey made the par five green with an excellent long range iron over the water. O’Donovan narrowly missed the 9 foot putt but Gorey made no mistake with the putt back for birdie. Shannon could only manage a par and the Muskerry win made final result all square. At the same time Shane Whooley and Dan Hallissey went one up on the 17th with a great long range birdie. Now one up in their match, and one up overall, their strategy on the 18th was different to the first pair. Whooley put a great ball out the middle and after Shannon put their second shot out of bounds, Hallissey laid up. Whooley calmly chipped to three feet, leaving with his partner with the easiest of finishes.
Accepting the Munster Pennant in Dungarvan, Muskerry team manager Greg O’Sullivan thanked every associated with the win the players, caddies, supporters, and especially the Club Officers for all their support during the year. O’Sullivan is looking forward to seeing his team back on the course in Carton House. “It’s great to be in another All Ireland. Of course they know what it takes to win, and they have experienced the occasion and atmosphere” commented O’Sullivan, “It’s hard to replace a player of John’s calibre and experience, but Shane has turned out to be a great replacement and is playing the golf of his life. We have great support within Muskerry as a club and we are all working towards the one goal. The club in general has been fantastic, everybody has been extremely supportive, helpful and has rowed in behind us.”