Muskerry Golf Club launched their 2019 Senior Scratch Cup last week, and with a new sponsor and increased prize fund the competition is sure to attract a top class field. The 36 strokeplay competition takes place on Saturday 30th March and bookings are now open. The event will be limited to 66 golfers with lunch and refreshments included. Investec are coming on board as main sponsors, build o their strong presence in Cork and their support of amateur and professional golf nationally. “We are delighted to be associated with a leading global brand like Investec and are look forward to building this event into the leading 36 hole scratch cup in the country over the next few years” said Muskerry Captain Diarmuid Linehan. “Investec are the new sponsors, and they allow us to have an increased prize fund of €1,500 this year, but many thanks must go to our previous sponsors such as the Shine family and the Sadler family who have kept this competition alive through the years.”
This is the 46th staging of the competition, it dates back to 1974 when Youghal’s Denis Clifford was the inaugural winner. Needless to say the cup hold the names of the good and the great from Cork golf over that time, with more than a fair share of winners from Cork Golf Club represented on the famous trophy. Denis O’Sullivan, Pat Lyons, Tom Cleary and more recently John Hickey were all multiple winners. Cleary won the first of his six Muskerry titles in 1976, then representing Fermoy. He also won in 77, 79, 93 and 94, and then in 2010 he rolled back the years to claim a sixth title. Denis O’Sullivan was a prolific winner at the time, and Muskerry accounts for four of his haul of titles, stretching from 1981 to 1991. Douglas golfers have also featured regularly, John McHenry won back to back titles in 1983 and 1984 while Karl Bornemann won four titles between 2000 and 2007. Peter O’Keeffe also won in Douglas colours in 2006. The home club are well represented, Harry Shine was the first home winner in 1978, Jim McKenna won in 1982, Niall Turner won in 2003 while Dave O’Donovan claimed two titles in 2005 and 2011. Ronan Twomey (2009) also has his name on the trophy and Fionn Hickey became the most recent winner last year, he also set the record as the youngest winner at just 15. Recent winners include Kieran McCarthy, Conor Coyne, two wins for John Hickey and a win in 2069 for Irish International James Sugrue. The Muskerry date is the first major event in the local calendar, and it also marks the first event on the Munster Order of Merit which was launched earlier this week. After the Muskerry Scratch Cup, Lee Valley takes place in April and Cork (Munster Strokeplay) takes place on the May Bank holiday weekend, marking a busy few weeks for category one golfers.
It will be a busy few weeks for the greenkeepers in Muskerry as the club is also preparing for the Ford Junior Scratch Trophy in April. The event is the only 18/64 competition for junior golfers (4-10) and remains the ultimate test for golfers in that handicap category. “The Ford Junior Scratch trophy is a unique competition, the only one of its kind in the country and we traditionally have a full entry every year of over 200 competitors from all over the country” added the Captain. 64 players will go forward from the qualifiers to the matchplay stages to be played over the Easter weekend.” The qualifiers for the 2019 staging of the event take place on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th April, with the first matchplay round commencing early on Good Friday, 19th April. Muskerry have also announced that their weekly open singles will start in April. The series takes place every Wednesday, and is again sponsored by O’Crualaoi’s. The series is open to ladies, gents and juveniles and the grand final is scheduled to take place in September. Membership in Muskerry is also open, with a number of special offers for students and new members under 35.