Joe on top in Cork, Munster Strokeplay Championship 2019

Munster Strokeplay Championship 2019
Cork Golf Club
4th/5th May 2019He calls it a love hate relationship, but Joe Lyons is probably more in love with Cork Golf Club after the winning the Munster Strokeplay Championship at the Little Island course over the weekend.  After leading through the first, second and third rounds, Joe was brought to a playoff where he beat Eanna Griffin on the second sudden death hole.  “I honestly didn’t think I’d be coming down here to win this weekend so it’s an absolute thrill to win” said Joe after claiming the trophy.  “I’ve had a bit of a love hate relationship with this this course.  I’ve had nines and tens and all sorts of things down through the years when I had chances of winning this event.  Even leading the qualifiers in the Irish Close a few years back I had a ten on the 16th.  I wasn’t expecting a whole pile so I’m delighted with the win.”  After playing the first three rounds in five under with just six bogies, his closing 77 was a big contrast.  But the Galway man got back on track with a solid back nine that would see him reach a playoff.  Like Griffin he bogied the 17th, but a solid par on 18 extended the match.

Gallery: Munster Strokeplay, Final Round

Munster Strokeplay Championship 2019
Cork Golf Club
4th/5th May 2019“I kept asking what the scores were, and that reminded me that I was still in the tournament and not to give up” said Joe after an out of character front nine.  “I was after making a complete mess of the fifth hole, I had a wedge for my third, went long and walked off with a seven.  The big turning point was the sixth hole.  I hit a good two iron down the middle and ended up in a nasty divot.  The approach ended up long left of the green which meant I that to hit it down and off the front right of the green.  In the end I holed a four footer for a bogey to be five over for the six holes.  After that I said right Joe, you’re still in it, time to knuckle down.  I checked that scores I realised I was in around the lead and decided it was time to play some golf.”  From there on Joe steadied putting himself back in pol position as the rest of the contenders also struggled with the course.

Munster Strokeplay Championship 2019Cork Golf Club
4th/5th May 2019

Eanna Griffin

Eanna Griffin must feel desperately unlucky.  Having finished third last year he shot out of the traps in the final round with three birdies in the opening holes.  The Waterford man parred the next six to be one under overall at the turn.  That meant he led by one on the course.  A bogey on the tenth was followed by a birdie on 11, but a bogey on the 15th saw him return to level par.  Griffin had a good chance for birdie on the 18th, but his 15 footer slipped by and he finished on level par for the 72 holes.  That left Joe Lyons standing on 17th tee with a one shot lead.  As always in Cork, it comes down to the 17th, and a big fade off the tee put the Galway man under pressure and he dropped a shot.  After a great second shot on the 18th he was left with 12 feet for a winning birdie but it slipped by and it was onto the 19th for a playoff.  “I said the Vera walking off the 18th green that we came down here with a one in 75 chance, and now we’re down to a one in two chance” said Joe about the 18th.  “I was disappointed to miss the putt on 18 but I hit good putts on the 70th, 71st and 72nd holes. All of them just missed and I did the same on the 19th (1st hole).  I hit two lovely shots into the 17th (second playoff hole) and that set me up nicely.”  Both Lyons and Griffin found the first green in two but missed birdie putts, meaning it was on the tricky 17th hole.  Both found the fairway but Griffin missed the green with his approach.  The chip left him with a tricky seven footer which failed to drop.  Lyons landed on deck with around 25 feet for his birdie putt.  He lagged it up in a good effort and tapped in the par putt from around 15 inches to claim the Munster Strokeplay title.  Joe also gains valuable Bridgestone Order of Merit points, putting him in the mix potentially for an international call up later in the year.

Gallery: Munster Strokeplay Round 3

Munster Strokeplay Championship 2019
Cork Golf Club
4th/5th May 2019Defending champion Alan Fahy couldn’t pull off a repeat of last year, but he put up a strong defence.  He finished fourth and retained the Carr Bruen Trophy as the leading under 25 golfer.  Keith Egan and Gary O’Flaherty were in the hunt after 54 holes, but Egan would finish third after a closing 75 and O’Flaherty was sixth after a 77.  O’Flaherty created the headlines on Saturday afternoon with a superb 66 that shot him into contention.  Like most of the field he struggled on Sunday afternoon, dropping a few shots early on.  James Fox (Portmarnock) shot a 66 on Sunday, while Cork’s Joe O’Sullivan made the most of a late call up on Saturday morning.  He made the cut and finished in the top 30.  It was a great event for both Cork Golf Club and Munster Golf with lots of praise coming from the players.  Jim Long, Chairman of Munster Golf thanked all involved over the weekend, including Liam Ryan from sponsors Ryan’s SuperValu who was great supporter of the event.  Cork Captain was also delighted with the Championship that also incorporates the Cork Scratch Cup dating back to 1923.  “To the two last men standing and everyone who played, thank you for a wonderful championship.  We’re very proud of this event in Cork and everyone involved from the club including Matt and Peter and the entire team have enhanced the reputation both the event and the course.”

Munster Strokplay Championship 2019 Final Results

WINNER Joe Lyons (Galway) 288
RUNNER UP Eanna Griffin (Waterford) 288
THIRD Keith Egan (Carton House) 289
FOURTH Alan Fahy (Dun Laoghaire) 290
FIFTH Gerard Dunne (Co Louth) 291
SIXTH Gary O’Flaherty (Cork) 292
SEVENTH James Fox (Portmarnock) 293
EIGHT David Reddan Jnr (Nenagh) 293

CSS – ROUND 1 = 76 CSS – ROUND 2 = 75 CSS – ROUND 3 = 74 CSS – ROUND 4 = 74

288 E Griffin (Waterford), 73, 74, 71, 70; J Lyons (Galway), 70, 71, 70, 77
289 K Egan (Carton House), 71, 73, 70, 75
290 A Fahy (Dun Laoghaire), 76, 68, 74, 72
291 G Dunne (Co. Louth), 73, 74, 76, 68
292 G O’Flaherty (Cork), 79, 66, 70, 77
293 J Fox (Portmarnock), 77, 77, 66, 73; D Reddan Jnr (Nenagh), 76, 69, 73, 75
294 S Flanagan (Co. Sligo), 80, 69, 74, 71; S Walsh (Portmarnock), 73, 74, 73, 74
295 R Cannon (Balbriggan), 74, 73, 74, 74
296 R Latimer  (Knock), 76, 72, 74, 74
297 D McMahon (Castletroy), 76, 74, 73, 74; J Mc Donnell (Forrest Little), 73, 72, 77, 75
298 P Murray (Clontarf), 77, 74, 73, 74; P O’Hara (Kilkenny), 73, 76, 77, 72
299 G O’Mahony (Fota Island), 77, 77, 75, 70; J Ryan (Castletroy), 76, 78, 74, 71; N Carroll (Athlone), 74, 74, 73, 78
301 S Desmond (Monkstown), 75, 78, 72, 76; D Flynn (Carton House), 75, 77, 77, 72; S Hogan (Nenagh), 75, 73, 75, 78; T Ford (Co. Sligo), 74, 75, 77, 75; L Grehan (Mullingar), 73, 78, 79, 71
303 R O’Connor (Co. Sligo), 78, 75, 76, 74; F O’Sullivan (Tralee), 77, 76, 78, 72; R Dutton (Tandragee), 76, 77, 76, 74; M Deasy (Lee Valley), 76, 71, 81, 75
304 K Murphy (Dun Laoghaire), 79, 73, 75, 77; J O’Sullivan (Cork), 76, 76, 75, 77; E Murphy (Dundalk), 74, 77, 78, 75; I O’Rourke (Cork Golf Club), 73, 78, 75, 78; T O’Connor (Athlone), 73, 76, 75, 80
305 B Doran (Baltinglass), 76, 72, 81, 76; B Murray (Waterford Castle), 75, 79, 71, 80
307 J Knipe (Royal Portrush), 77, 76, 78, 76
308 K Murphy (Cork Golf Club), 77, 72, 74, 85; K Bornemann (Douglas), 73, 75, 82, 78
315 M O’Sullivan (The International), 78, 76, 80, 81
317 D Reidy (Cork), 80, 74, 82, 81
RTD M Nolan (Dun Laoghaire), 72, 76, 74; M Ford (Cork), 74, 78, 73
MC S O’Brien (Nenagh), 82, 73; W Small (Tandragee), 81, 74; P Flynn (Tramore), 75, 80; M Collins (Killeencastle), 75, 80; F Kennedy (The Island), 74, 81; P Connolly (Killeen Castle), 83, 73; E Long (Monkstown), 80, 76; M Shanahan (West Waterford), 78, 78; P Buckley (Memorial Golf Club Houston ), 78, 78; R Knightly (Royal Dublin), 78, 78; A McCormack (Castletroy ), 82, 75; A Ryan (Thurles), 81, 76; I O’Flynn (Cork ), 77, 80; M McClean (Malone Golf Club), 77, 80; J McLoughlin (Portumna), 77, 80; H Gillivan (Westport), 80, 78; K Fitzpatrick (Kinsale), 79, 79; G Ward (Kinsale), 78, 81; S McGlynn (Portmarnock), 78, 81; I Lynch (Rosslare), 82, 78; C Butler (Kinsale), 80, 80; J Greene (Portmarnock), 78, 83; E Farrell (Ardee), 81, 81; E O’Brien (Clontarf), 77, 85; D Brady (Co. Sligo), 83, 80; J Whelan (Newlands), 81, 82; A Smith (Mullingar), 83, 81; R Milne (Faithlegg), 82, 83; C McDowell (Cobh), 85, 86
RTD G Lenehan (Portmarnock)
NR S Greenberg (Tandragee)
NS R Williamson (Holywood); J O’Leary (Dromoland)