Ben Murray stole the show in Mallow on Sunday afternoon, winning the Senior Scratch Cup in front of a huge crowd. The Waterford Castle man shot the lights out in the back nine, stealing the limelight from hometown star James Sugrue. This was the first Senior Scratch Cup in Mallow for seven years and the organising group of Conor Dowling, Brian Attridge, Neil Gallagher and Sean O’Shea put on a great event. With help from main sponsors Hegarty Building and Civil Engineering, there was a generous prize fund in place and the event filled quickly as some of Munster’s top golfers looked to claim one of the final pieces of silverware for the season. The course was in great condition in Mallow, and the lightning fast greens suited the top class amateurs. Monkstown’s Eoghan Long held the lead after the first 18, his four under par 68 gave him a one shot lead over James Sugrue, with Ben Murray, Joe O’Sullivan and Fionn Hickey on 70.
The re-draw for round two meant that the top three were playing together, and from that start there was a large crowd following the match. While they were mostly locals they were quick to applaud the good play from all three golfers. After 33 holes, all three golfers were tied on six under. Murray broke the deadlock on the par three 16th with a birdie to take the lead. He and Sugrue birdied the second last meaning the winner would be decided on the difficult closing hole.
In scenes similar to a tour event, there were well over 200 people gathered around the 18th green to watch the finals shots. All three hit the green safely. Murray lagged a long putt for a safe par and when Sugrue’s par putt slid by the hole Murray had won. His eight under par total included a second round 66. It was an eventful scorecard for Murray in the afternoon with three birdies balancing the nine birdies. Sugrue was second beating Long on the countback, and while the locals would have loved to see their man win on his home course they were extremely gracious in acknowledging the great golf from all three. The three ball were a combined thirteen under for their second round, with twenty birdies going in between the three of them. Long was the only one of the trio to birdie the final hole and he took third place after rounds of 69/69. And while he was disappointed to miss out on the win the two rounds in the sixties means he’s playing very well after a quiet summer. Ian Spillane, the last winner of the event back in 2012 took fourth place. The Killarney member relied on his prior course knowledge as a former Mallow member to sign for a three under par 141.
Bridgestone Order of Merit winner Rob Brazill recovered from a disappointing opening round to win the second 18 prize after shooting a five under par 67 in the afternoon. Cork’s Joe O’Sullivan won the first 18 prize with an opening 70. David Howard (Fota Island) won the best nett with five under and Kanturk’s Conor Og Madigan was second nett with four under. There are just two scratch cups left this season. The Castlemartyr Senior Scratch Cup takes place on Sunday, it’s an 18 hole event and is being staged in association with Top Golfer. The following week on Sunday 8th Fermoy will hold their scratch cup, the John Whyte Memorial. A large crowd is expected, and with the defending champion James Sugrue playing in the Walker Cup, there’s an opportunity to put a new name on the cup. Wayne O’Callaghan from Douglas won the Muskerry Junior Scratch Cup on Saturday, the Douglas member shot a gross 71 to win on the countback. O’Callaghan who is just 14 was playing off 8 in the competition and found himself clipped to 6 after that result. He went low again on Monday in the Bruen youths, he shot a level par 71 again in the first round and saw his handicap tumble to 5. O’Callaghan started the year playing off 12, and he has now dropped seven shots in an eventful summer of golf.
Senior Scratch Cup 2019 (Sponsor: PJ Hegarty & Co.)
Winner Ben Murray (Waterford Castle) 136
2nd James Sugrue 137CB
3rd Eoghan Long (Monkstown) 137
4th Ian Spillane (Killarney) 141
Best 1st 18 Jonathon O’Sullivan (Cork) 70
Best 2nd 18 Robert Brazill (Naas) 67
1st Nett David Howard (Fota) 139
2nd Nett Conor Og Madigan (Kanturk) 140 CB