Strong Cork Challenge in Baltray

Lee Valley Senior Scratch Cup 2018, Lee Valley Golf Club.  Second Round, Saturday 21st April 2018

John Hickey

There was a strong Cork presence in Baltray over the weekend as the course hosted the East of Ireland Championship.  Favourable scoring conditions led to some very impressive scoring with several 66’s recorded on the first day.  Cork’s John Hickey was one of those to finish the opening round on 66, he was five under after his opening six holes.  Two more birdies along with a bogey followed on his way to the -6 round which saw him tie the lead.  Hickey added rounds of 72, 73 and 71 to finished in 13th place.  Gary O’Flaherty was one behind Hickey on the opening day after a 67.  He added a 74 on Sunday but two rounds of 69 on Monday saw him jump into the top ten and finish in 7th place.

James Sugrue had a solid tournament and finished just outside the top twenty.  Rounds of 71,73,71,71 would normally challenge in Baltray but without at least one round in the 60’s Sugrue found it hard to challenge.  John Murphy was back in action in Ireland for the first time this year.  He finished in the top thirty but will be disappointed after opening with a 68.  That was followed by two rounds of 75.  Murphy closed with a 68 which will no doubt spur him on as he faces into a busy two months of golf in Ireland.  The event was won by South Africa’s Christo Lamprecht, a 14 under par total saw him finish two clear of Kilkenny’s Mark Power.  Lamprecht became the first overseas winner in 79 stagings of the event.

Attention now turns to Muskerry on Saturday for their senior scratch cup.  Having deferred their event from a few weeks ago because of weather, the scene is set for a great scratch cup.  The event is included in the Munster Order of Merit and valuable points will be on offer.  Next weekend see’s the Connacht Strokeplay also take place while there are a large number of Junior, Intermediate and Minor scratch cups take place across the county.  Fota will hold their very popular junior scratch cup on Sunday.