The West of Ireland qualifier takes place on Sunday and four Cork golfers will be heading for Co Sligo with the hope of making the tournament proper. Mel Deasy, now wearing Lee Valley colours will be hoping to make his first senior championship start while Kieran Murphy from Cork Golf Club will also challenge for one of the ten championship spots. Kinsale have two representatives in the qualifier, Mark Healy and Eric Rumley. They will be hoping to join the three Kinsale members already in the Championship field; Cathal Butler, Gary Ward and Keith Fitzpatrick.
This week marks the start of a busy few weeks for Cork’s top golfers with six already confirmed for the West of Ireland. Peter O’Keeffe (+3.7) and James Sugrue (+3.6) are both in the top ten of entries, the Irish squad members had some very impressive performances at national and international level in 2018 and both will be hoping to add another championship to their resume at the first opportunity this year. Kinsale trio Cathal Butler, Gary Ward and Keith Fitzpatrick will be joined by Sean Desmond (Monkstown), Greg O’Mahony (Fota Island) and Padraig O’Connor (Macroom). This year the event has a different format, the traditional 36/64 has been replaced by a 72 hole strokeplay event. The reason behind the change is that Co Sligo is also hosting the Flogas Irish Amateur Open this year. It’s the first time in 96 years that the event will not be run as a match play competition with a new date also adding to the changes. With the Irish Open taking place in Mid May, the decision made to move the West from the traditional Easter date. For anyone not heading to Sligo, the East Cork SSC takes place on Saturday 6th April.