It was a busy week for Cork golfers with women’s and men’s action taking place in a number of venues. In Dublin Valerie Clancy won the Hermitage Ladies Scratch Cup. The Mitchelstown native had an impressive win over a string field. Clancy shot rounds of 70 and 68 to finish on eight under. She had seven shots to spare over the field and was one of just two golfers to finish under par.
The famous Mullingar Scratch Trophy took place over the weekend and hopes were high that another Cork golfer would join the list of famous winners. Peter O’Keeffe started impressively with a four under par first round that saw him hold the clubhouse lead for a while. Golf can be fickle though and just an hour after shooting a 68, the touch seemed to leave Peter and he shot a six over par 78 in the afternoon. He started again on Sunday with another 68 but a final round 76 meant he finished in 20th place. Cathal Butler was the best placed Cork golfer at the halfway stage, he was in the top ten thanks to two rounds in the 70’s. He couldn’t improve on that on Sunday so wasn’t able to challenge the leaders.
Fota Island’s John Doyle was runner-up in the Irish Boys Under 14 open last week. Doyle finished in a three way tie for the lead after 36 holes, thanks to an eagle on his closing hole which saw him jump from 7th to tie the lead. A three hole play-off followed and Sean Cooper won meaning Doyle had to settle for 2nd place. Sean Reddy from Douglas had been in contention but a closing 80 meant he couldn’t improve on the final day.
A number of Cork golfers were in action in Luttrellstown last week for the Irish qualifier in the Faldo Series. Jack Egan topped his group and the Muskerry man earned himself a trip to the United Arab Emirates later this year.
Egan was five off the lead after the opening round, and despite shooting lower on day two he found himself seven shots off the lead. Fellow Muskerry member Fionn Hickey shot a 67 in the second round and he was also in contention going into the final round. Egan finished with a 72 and his consistent rounds of 74, 73 and 72 meant that he topped his section by two shots and booked his trip to Dubai. Fionn Hickey was four shots back in fourth place and Robbie Walsh was 8th.
Mel Deasy and Zak Collins were in the top ten in the Under 18 category while Eoghan Cassidy, James Walsh and Louis Galvin were in the top five in the under 16 category. The Grand Final venue in Europe is Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club, UAE later this year
The Fred Daly Trophy completed the fourth round last week and Cork overcame Muskerry in a very close area final. One regional final to be completed last week was the Womens Senior Cup. The final saw Douglas take on Tipperary, and due to continuing Covid 19 protocols, the home and away format was again used in the final. The Douglas team was made up of Karen O’Neill, Clodagh Coughlan, Aoife Ni Thuama, Sara Byrne and Kate McCann. They had a solid win over their opponents and in doing so secured the first Golf Ireland pennant for the club.
The Munster East pennant was only one part of the prize, Douglas are also through to the All Ireland stage. Under the new regional structure, there are three sections in Leinster, two each in Munster and Ulster and one in Connacht. The All Ireland finals for the AIG Womens Senior Cup are scheduled to take place in September in Belfast’s Shandon Park.
The area final of the Mens Fourball, formerly known as the Michael Cashman Trophy took place on Sunday with Macroom beating East Cork. Macroom now advance to the Munster East final where they will face Thurles. The Tipp side will have the home advantage with three matches in Thurles and two in Macroom.
It’s a big week on the international front for three Cork golfers. Sara Byrne, John O’Brien and Karl Bornemann are all in international action in England. They travelled to Woodhall Spa in Lincolnshire on Sunday for the Home Internationals which take place this week. Bornemann and O’Brien have previously featured in the Irish Seniors team at the home internationals, but it’s Byrne’s first time to make the Womens team for the home internationals. Sarah was in action for Ireland last month in Royal County Down at the Europeans and the young team are hoping their experience there will help their chances of securing a win in Woodhall Spa.
Cork two touring professionals packed their bags again this week and headed off to their next destination. James Sugrue and John Murphy are in Challenge Tour action in the Vierumäki Finnish Challenge. After three weeks of mixed results, both golfers will be hoping that they’ll have some better luck in the coming days. Both featured on the European Tour for the past two weeks, and before that they were in action on the Challenge Tour. Both will be looking forward to a break after this week, but the target of securing further event invitations and working towards a full Challenge Tour playing card for 2022 will be high on their objectives.
This weekend there’s a feast of action taking place, and it starts with Kanturk hosting their senior scratch cup tomorrow. The club have been very progressive and have scheduled a 54 hole event which will be a counting competition for World Amateur Golf Ranking. 36 holes will be played tomorrow with the top 16 going forward to a final 18 holes on Saturday. EPS Water, Golf Strong and Lyons Links are all on board as sponsors and Kanturk native Paul Buckley has been busy pulling together a very strong field for the event. Several national and provincial panelists will be playing over the weekend, helping to improve the ranking points available for the eventual winner. Kinsale’s Scratch Cup takes place on Sunday over 36 holes, and Muskerry are also holding their scratch cup on the same day over 8 holes.