Mallow’s James Sugrue got his season off to a solid start last week when he finished in third place in the Munster Youths at Monkstown. Sugrue shot 71,71 over the two days and he was closing in on the lead when play was suspended on Friday, and the third round was eventually abandoned. The 2014 Munster Youths winner was the best of the Cork finishers as 11 local golfers made the cut for the final day. Kinsale were well represented on the final day, Cathal Butler finished in 6th place with Eric Rumley and John Murphy both finishing in 12th place. Rumley too the 2nd net prize while Murphy won the Under 18 prize. Adam McSweeney (Douglas), Alan Riordan (Muskerry) and Brian O’Connell (Bandon) were all in the top 30. Paul Tobin, Greg O’Mahony, Mark Healy and Darragh O’Connor all made it through to the final round. The event was won by Jack McDonnell from Forrest Little. The Maynooth University student shot an opening 66 to lead by two strokes. A second round 73 saw him take a two shot lead into the final round. Unfortunately the rain beat everyone on Friday. All 47 golfers who made the cut for the final round started at 8.30am on Friday. The high winds couldn’t keep th rain from gathering on the greens and after just an hour of play reports were coming in of several flooded greens. The course staff and tournament committee did their best to clear the standing water on several greens but at 10am they were forced to suspend play and abandon the final round. The result was declared on the basis of the scores after 36 holes.
Monkstown was in great condition for the competition, and a great deal of work has gone in to the course over the winter months. Several changes have taken place with trees, the water hazard on the 7th has been changed and the course looks to be in great shape. Despite a very heavy frost on Wednesday and Thursday morning, play got underway on time at 8.30am. The feedback from the players was positive despite some high scores. The greens in particular were considered to be very fast and true although some players did comment on the difficult pin positions which tested Ireland’s top young amateurs. The CSS for both days was 72, three shots above the standard scratch and both rounds were qualifying, to the disappointment of those who shot +4 or above. At the prize presentation, Monkstown Captain Carl Toal again said that it was a great honour for Monkstown to host such a great competition. He thanked the volunteers from Monkstown who helped on the range and with ball spotting and especially Pat O’Keeffe, John Foster and Ronan O’Keeffe for running the scoring for the tournament. He also took the opportunity to congratulate Monkstown members Sean Desmond and Jim Long on the Irish Boys win in the Cardigan Cup, the annual match against Wales. Sugrue along with several other golfers will now head for Muskerry for their Senior Scratch Cup. The 36 hole event which is sponsored by Shane Sadler takes place on Saturday and is currently full with a waiting list in operation. This weekend is the start of four consecutive weeks of senior scratch cups. Muskerry will be followed by the 54 hole EMC Lee Valley Senior Scratch Cup. After that the Douglas SSC takes place before Cork will host the Munster Strokeplay.