Peter O’Keeffe claimed his first win of the 2018 season when he successfully defended his Kerry Scratch Cup title in Tralee last weekend. It was the perfect weekend for O’Keeffe as he fine-tuned his game in preparation for the Irish Amateur Open which started today. O’Keeffe has been a big fan of the event in Tralee and having finished second in 2016, he won the event last year. The Douglas man held the overnight lead after 36 holes. He was tied with Monkstown’s Sean Desmond who also finished on level par for the opening day. James Sugrue was a shot back and it looked as if the winner would come from that trio. After the front nine both O’Keeffe and Sugrue had made progress, Peter was one under, Sugrue had moved to level par but Sean Desmond had dropped back to +2. The challengers faded on the back nine, as Peter played steady golf the majority were dropping shots. In the end he went on to win by a comfortable margin of five strokes.
O’Keeffe has made no secret of his high regard for the event; “It’s definitely one of the best scratch cups in the country, especially with the course setup and how the players are looked after. I was two under today and thought I could post a really good score, but I mis-clubbed on the par three (13th) and left it short. I had a tough lie and ended up with a double bogey to go back to level par. I played solid for the rest of the round and finished on 72.” It was a very solid performance from O’Keeffe, a testing wind and a tough course set-up put it up to the golfers over the two days, and O’Keeffe was the only one to match par for the 54 holes. Sean Desmond shared the overnight lead on level par but he dropped two shots and the front nine and the back nine took it’s toll on the Monkstown player who eventually signed for 80 for sixth place. Sugrue too found the back nine difficult, he closed with a 77 for fifth place. Barry Anderson shot the low round of the day and his two under par 70 saw him jump up to second place. Gary Ward also had a good final round, his 73 took him up to third place.
O’Keeffe and Sugrue head for Royal County Down for the Flogas Irish Open this week, while most other golfers will have to wait till the following weekend for the Castletroy Senior Scratch Cup.
Kerry Senior Scratch Cup, Tralee Golf Club
216 Peter O’Keeffe (71/73/72)
221 Barry Anderson (75/76/70)
221 Gary Ward (72/76/73)
221 Eoghan O’Donnell (72/75/74)
222 James Sugrue (70/75/77)
224 Sean Desmond (73/71/80)
225 Robert Brazill (73/76/76)
228 John Hickey (78/75/75)
228 Anthony McDaid (75/77/76)
229 Jack Ryan (81/73/75)