Gary O’Flaherty claimed his third Lee Valley Senior Scratch Cup title today when he shot a steady level par round to maintain his lead and take the title. Starting with a two shot lead, many would have thought O’Flaherty would have needed a 70 or better. But the weather conditions in Lee Valley hampered everyone, and while the course was in great condition the harsh wind played a big role. Gary’s lead went to three after the second hole when Ronan Mullarney bogied, and he maintained that cushion through the remainder of the front nine. A bogey on the 7th was followed by a birdie on the par five 8th hole, and he turned a three shot lead. Tiarnan McLarnon was one of the early starters, he went around in 70 (-2) which would see him claim second place. The back nine proved a challenge for most with all of the leaders bar O’Flaherty dropping shots.
The results told a story about the conditions, of the later starters O’Flaherty was the only golfer to match par. Ian O’Rourke also shot a 72 while James Sugrue and Keith Crowley both signed for 73’s. Given the quality of the chasing pack it was thought there would have been a low score, but it never happened and O’Flaherty became the first person to win back to back titles since Kieran McCarthy won the first two events.
Sponsors BoyleSports and ODG Advisory were delighted with the event, and it’s hard to believe that it was in doubt earlier this week. The greenkeeping team had two pumps running on Tuesday to clear the flooded bunkers. The investment in a sanding programme and the ongoing drainage programme have paid huge dividends in Lee Valley and that was very evident this week. Despite the scoring today, all golfers were delighted with the opportunity to play three rounds in the weather affected early season.
1 Gary O’Flaherty 211 (-5) 75/64/72
2 Tiernan McLarnon 215 (-1) 71/74/70
3 James Sugrue 216 (0) 70/73/73
4 Keith Crowley 218 (+2) 72/73/73
5 Sean Desmond 219 (+2) 72/70/76
6 Jack McDonnell 219 (+3) 70/72/77
7 Ronan Mullarney 219 (+3) 70/71/78
8 Anthony McDaid 221 (+5) 75/69/77
9 John Hickey 221 (+5) 72/76/73
10 Ian O’Rourke 222 (+6) 76/74/72