Gary O’Flaherty is a fan of Lee Valley, and it’s easy to see why. The Cork Golf Club stalwart has racked up four wins at the Ovens venue, including three scratch cup titles. The Boylesports Lee Valley Senior Scratch Cup returns in two weeks time and excitement is building for the challenging 54 hole event. With two consecutive wins, O’Flaherty is on for a historic hat-trick, and will be the man to beat. Outside of his natural skill, Gary maintains that the secret to his success in Lee Valley is quite simple: “It just seems to fit my eye, horses for courses as they say.” But Gary adds that it’s not just the course that make the scratch cup a special event. “It’s from the minute you arrive at Lee Valley, you’re made to feel welcome, nothing is an issue” explained Gary. You’re looked after like your one of their own members. The Keohane family especially, as well as the members, really put a lot of effort into ensuring the tournament is a success. The golf course is always presented in superb condition, no matter what weather we have had in the lead up. Peggy and everyone in the bar & restaurant cater for all our needs, and your never waiting very long, which makes a huge difference compared to other events in the calendar. I wish them all well again this year, and hopefully I’ll be lifting the cup again.”
While O’Flaherty is probably favourite on past form, a strong field means that he won’t have it all his own way. Current Irish internationals James Sugrue, Rob Brazill and Tiernan McLarnon will be looking to win their first Lee Valley while a host of other internationals and interprovincial players will also be hoping to take the title from O’Flaherty. 2016 winner Colm Campbell will also make a return to Lee Valley, he missed out last year due to a long term injury and is looking forward to another competitive outing in Cork. Tournament Director Vincent Drinan is in his tenth year of running the event and he reports strong interest from the top amateurs will golfers travelling from all over the country. The closing date for entries is Wenesday, so this is a last call for anyone interested in playing. Two rounds take place on Saturday 27th, with the top 30 golfers going through to Sunday’s final round.
Boylesports are back on board as main sponsors after a great event in 2018, and Peter Tuite from Boylesports is delighted to be returning to Cork for the 2019 staging. “The Lee Valley Scratch Cup is a fantastic event run by a great people in a beautiful surroundings, I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the staff and members of Lee Valley last year” said Peter. “They have created a special atmosphere in the club that should be cherished.” Peter is looking forward to attending the event and watching some of the top players in action. “I’m really looking forward to it, Vince has mentioned some the entrants and it’s all quality. Many of the top players who competed in the West will be challenging at Lee Valley but for me It’s not just about the established guys. Mel Deasy made his Lee Valley SSC debut last year at 15 years of age, his career has been on a steep upward curve since, he was leading qualifier in the West recently so hopefully another exciting prospect will be unearthed in this year’s event.”
“Cork has a rich sporting history and after Dublin it’s our biggest retail market, this investment is testament to the importance of Cork to our business. Ireland has always produced top class golfers, so it’s important for all the stakeholders that this continues. Amateur Golf is an incredible product the players competing in these events are professional in every way except name and we along with Cork Golf News and others want to promote and celebrate the quality of Irish Amateur Golf. Boylesports golf customers are golf fans and when an event comes to their local club we offer them the opportunity to bet on their favourite local golfer and the player’s name is up in lights with Tiger Woods and we hope more fans will turn off Sky Sports Golf and get out and support the local event. Long term we hope our investment in amateur golf will contribute in some small way to the local communities/golf clubs as well as the ongoing success of Irish Golfers globally.”
“I have heard the course is in immaculate condition so it’s all set for a brilliant event let’s hope the weather is kind. I hope all Cork golf fans make an effort to get out and hopefully get to see some of the emerging stars in Irish Golf. Boylesports will be offering numerous markets on the event once the field has been finalised and if customers have any requests for player specific markets don’t be afraid to ask we would be only delighted to help.”