The golf season is finally getting underway and last week Lee Valley launched their showpiece Senior Scratch Cup which takes place next month. The 54 hole tournament is the only club event in Cork that attracts WAGR world ranking points and should again attract some of Ireland’s top amateurs. The competition takes place on the 22/23 April and just a week after the West of Ireland unofficially opens the 2017 season. Tournament Director Vincent Drinan has been involved since the inaugural 54 hole event in 2009 and he’s already busy taking entries. “We are really looking forward to another great event this year” said Drinan. “Entries are now open and anyone interested in playing should contact me directly. Last year we used a later date in April and this worked very well, and the course should be in excellent condition for the event. The feedback has always been positive from the entrants, both from local golfers who play here regularly and from those who travel. We already have a number of internationals who have entered so it looks like we’ll have a top class field again.” Winning in Lee Valley has become a bit of a lucky charm. Holder Colm Campbell went on to win to Irish Amateur Open three weeks later, and this follows a number of occasions when the Lee Valley winner went on to further success. The most famous winner was of course Shane Lowry, after winning in Lee Valley in 2009, his next win was on the European Tour in the Irish Open in Baltray. Other winners have included Rory McNamara and Rory Leonard, and local golfers Keith Crowley, Dave O’Donovan and Gary O’Flaherty. The 2016 scratch cup was the first time that the event attracted WAGR points and the later date contributed to the success. Fota’s Cillian Moloney took the lead after the first 18 holes, with winner Campbell and Castletroy’s Andrew McCormack tied for the lead after 36 holes. Campbell shot a one under par 71 in the final round to win the title by two shots.
Dell EMC are the main sponsors again this year after a successful staging in 2016. Lee Valley Captain Pat Power is delighted with the continued support from their neighbours in Ovens. We are very pleased to have Dell EMC as our 2017 sponsors of the 54-hole Lee Valley Senior Scratch Cup” said the Captain. “It is the second year that Dell EMC have sponsored the event and we look forward to building on this relationship into the future. Dell EMC are the global leader in their field and employ many thousands of people in the locality, and many of those are members of Lee Valley. The Lee Valley Scratch Cup is the only 54-hole Senior Scratch Cup in the region, and we are very proud of the fact that the event carries World Amateur Ranking Points, that puts us a level above any other Senior Scratch Cup in the locality.” Power is confident too that the 2017 staging will match pervious events. “We are confident that we can again build on the field of talent that played in the event in 2017, as we had many full Irish International golfers competing. Colm Campbell is the defending Champion and a current Walker Cup Panellist, and he is hopefully returning to defend his title, as he really enjoyed his time with us last year, and really enjoyed the challenge that the Lee Valley Course presented.” Elaine Beare from sponsors Dell EMC said: “Dell EMC are delighted to sponsor the Lee Valley Senior Scratch Cup again this year. Supporting our local community is very important to us and we are delighted to be able to do so on this occasion.”
The 54 hole event is a qualifying event for World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) points. The lowest 78 golfers will qualify to take part in the event with the first 36 holes which will be played on Saturday 22nd April. The top 30 golfers (plus ties) will qualify to play the final 18 holes on Sunday 23rd. The event has a bumper prize fund of €2,000 with €600 going to the winner. Anyone interested in taking part should contact Tournament Director Vincent Drinan.