Mallow hosted another great scratch cup last weekend, with Dubliner Max Kennedy winning after 54 holes. The Louisville student finished three clear of the field to win comfortably. The event attracted a full timesheet, featuring Irish internationals and provincial golfers all hoping to win the Dan Butler Cup. Although Kennedy was three off the lead following the opening round on Saturday morning, an afternoon 68 meant there was a six shot swing and he held a three shot lead going into the final round.
While the course was in great condition in Mallow, a number of heavy showers and a few tricky pins meant that the scoring was tough. Kennedy dropped a shot on the front nine and was tied with Mallow’s Daniel O’Sullivan on -2 heading into the closing holes. Hugh Nolan (Doneraile) and Luke Lunch (Naas) drifted down the leaderboard while Peter O’Keeffe couldn’t make inroads into the leader. Kennedy got back the dropped shot and his closing level par 72 was enough to win by three. Sean Desmond and Dave Reddan Jnr were next best on one under par. Kennedy, who attends the same US college as John Murphy graduated from is the first Dubliner to win the title.
Sean Desmond from Monkstown was the only golfer to go deep on Sunday, he shot the round of the weekend with a six under par 66. Desmond eagled the 17th and had seven more birdies in a very impressive round. That may signal a return to form for the 2019 South of Ireland champion who will have a busy few weeks ahead. Great credit must go to Brian Attridge and Conor Dowling who were behind the event for the fourth year. The July date is a change from the previous September date and the fact that there was no clash with any other event meant that it was oversubscribed.
Gallery: Mallow Scratch Cup 2022
The Barton Shield area final was concluded last week with Cork preventing Lee Valley from a double local win. Lee Valley had beaten Douglas in the Senior Cup and were hoping for another win when they travelled to Little Island. Cork have shown some good form over the last two months, and they beat Douglas in the area semi-final. Gary O’Flaherty was paired with Morgan Cain and while Ian O’Rourke partnered Brian Kelleher in the other pair. They ended up with a three hole win over Lee Valley and they will now face Cahir Park in the Munster East final in Tramore on the 16th or 17th of this month. Lee Valley came through in the Senior Cup in dramatic fashion with the match finally settled on the 21st hole. Robbie Walsh and Peter O’Keeffe won two points for Douglas while Keelan McCarthy and Ian Bohane levelled the score for Lee Valley.
The match would be settled on the result of the final match on the course between Lee Valley’s Darren Hourihan and Douglas’s James Walsh. The match was complicated by the fact that Hourihan is also a member of Douglas and helped them to a Munster Junior Cup pennant a few years ago. It looked as if Douglas would win it on the 18th only for Hourihan to hole a great putt on the final hole. He did the same on the 19th to keep the match going, and after the they halved the 20th the match was final settled on the 21st. The par three was playing all of it’s length from the back tees and Hourihan missed the green with his tee shot. He made up for it though when he holed his chip for birdie. That left Walsh with a long range birdie putt for the half and unfortunately for Douglas it didn’t drop. Lee Valley will go on to face Tramore who beat Mallow in the other area final. Tramore will have home advantage but Lee Valley have proven that they can battle with the best of them so an exciting final is in store.
Jack Murphy recently added to his haul of provincial titles when he won the Munster Boys Under 16 title at Clonmel. The Douglas golfer was four shot clear of the field when he finished on one under par after the 36 holes. Murphy is now in Germany where he is part of the Irish team taking part in the European Team Championships. July is set to be a busy month for many of Cork’s top amateurs. Portrush will host the North of Ireland Open next week and following that the action moves to Lahinch for the South of Ireland Championship. This is the 125th staging of the South and Peter O’Keeffe among others will be hoping to advance to the match play and win the historic provincial championship.