James Sugrue and Peter O’Keeffe lead a five strong Cork contingent on the Munster team for the interprovincial championship later this month. Cork GC duo John Hickey and Gary O’Flaherty along with Kinsale’s Cathal Butler make up the majority of the eight man team to play in Athenry.
Sugrue and O’Keeffe were assured of their places thanks to finishing in the top three on the Munster Order of Merit. Both have recorded wins this year and they have also been playing well, reaching the latter stages of the South of Ireland and the AIG Irish Close. Gary O’Flaherty retains his place and he’s be hoping to add to the six wins that he’s racked up since his first appearance in 1996. John Hickey and Cathal Butler return to the side after missing out last year, they both played in Fota Island in 2016.
Geoff Lenehan, Andrew McCormack and Eanna Griffin also retain their places from last year in what is a very experienced side. There are two notable absentees though, Dawson and Murphy. Dawson unsurprisingly topped the Order of Merit. A win at the Flogas Irish Open, and the runner-up spot at the Amateur Championship virtually guaranteed him top spot. Dawson, currently ranked 7th in the World Amateur Golf Rankings is unable to play however as he’ll be playing in the Scottish Strokeplay at Gleneagles. Despite the fact he missed 12 of the 16 qualifying events, Kinsale’s John Murphy was fourth in Order of Merit. His win in the St Andrew’s Links Trophy propelled him towards the top. Recent form would have guaranteed his selection, but he has returned to the US for the start of the college year. Jack Pierse also misses out through injury despite having a bright start to the season.
The Interprovincial Championship takes place in Athenry Golf Club, starting on 29th August.
Munster Senior Interprovincial Team 2017
Cathal Butler (Kinsale)
Eanna Griffin (Waterford)
John Hickey (Cork)
Geoff Lenehan (Waterville/Portmarnock)
Andrew McCormack (Castletroy)
Gary O’Flaherty (Cork)
Peter O’Keeffe (Douglas)
James Sugrue (Mallow)
Non-Travelling Reserve: Anthony McDaid (Palmerstown Stud)
Captain: Michael Coote
Selectors: George Mellerick & John McHenry
Coach: Fred Twomey