Autumn made its presence felt at the weekend for the first time in many months heavy rain on Friday cause the closure of several golf courses, and the rain on Sunday meant that many courses were much quieter than usual. Rain didn’t stop play for Cork’s newest competition, on Sunday Muskerry Golf Club hosted the Cork Senior Cup Alliance which saw over 20 golfers compete in an 18 hole singles competition. The competition for members of Cork, Douglas, Monkstown and Muskerry was created to keep a competitive aspect for inter-club players through the winter months.
This is the first winter alliance to be held in Cork for over a decade and while the first four events are scheduled the organisers are hopeful to extend it to other clubs and two more events and venues. James Walsh from Douglas what is the winner on Sunday, the 17-year-old what is the only golfer to break par in the challenging wet conditions. The Spioraid Naoimh student started in fine style birdieing the first three holes. He did give a shot back on the fourth and again on the sixth for another birdie followed on the 7th green and that’s all him turn on 34 strokes, two under par. A tidy back nine with just one birdie and one bogey saw him win with a two under par 69.
The teenager who has represented Ireland was delighted to perform in the testing conditions, and he’s also a fan of the new competition. “The course was in good condition but it was playing tough because of the wind and the rain” said Walsh. “I think the series is a great idea to stay competitive over the winter and I’m looking forward to playing in Monkstown in November.”
It’s been a good year for Cork’s top amateurs, all of the local scratch cups were back for the first time in three years and that was in addition to a full schedule of national and provincial championships. Peter O’Keeffe was unable to repeat his stunning results from 2021, but he did make the final of the South and the last 8 of the Amateur Championship, and in late September he won his fifth senior national title when he won the Irish Mid Am at Blainroe in Wicklow.
Gary O’Flaherty cruised to another win in Lee Valley, the perennial winner notched up his fourth win in the Boyle Sports sponsored scratch cup in May. Douglas again waited until September for their mens and ladies scratch cups and there were two new names on the trophy. Fermoy was the last scratch cup of the season to be held and that was won by Dean O’Riordan, the home player is playing off an impressive handicap index of +5 and went around Fermoy in 69 to win by five shots.
Cork’s Morgan Cain claimed his first scratch cup and Douglas home star Clodagh Coughlan also scooped her first major title. In Muskerry John Waldron beat all the young guns to add his name to the famous trophy. Waldron has helped Muskerry to several provincial and national pennants and added himself to the history books. Kieran McCarthy from Kinsale won his home scratch cup in September, although in Kieran’s case it was his fourth time winning the event in a stretch that spans three decades. In Macroom Ronan Twomey took home the cup, the Muskerry golfer shot a 69 to win by two. A few visitors took titles out of Cork in 2022, Max Kennedy from Royal Dublin and Louisville won in Mallow and Newland’s Jake Whelan won the big one in Cork, the Munster Strokeplay.
Both Munster East pennants in the scratch golf category came to Cork. Lee Valley won the Senior Cup area final beating Tramore in Tramore, and they returned to the South East for the All Ireland series but unfortunately they lost out in the quarter final. Cork too secured a regional pennant, and won their All Ireland quarter-final against Galgorm Castle. They lost out however to eventual winners Castleknock in the semi-final.
Golf Ireland recently announced their high performance and development panels for 2023. A number of Cork golfers were selected including Jack Murphy as the 16 year old was named on the panel for a second year. Six Cork golfers were selected on the regional performance development squad for the year ahead. They are Sean Deasy (Douglas), Matthew Kelleher (Fota Island), Barry O’Connell (Douglas), Ronan O’Keeffe (Monkstown), Paddy Quill (Cork) and Frankie Walsh (Cork). In the under 15 boys category there were five Cork golfers selected; Oran Barrett (Cork), Justin Dennehy (Douglas), Anthony Hayes (Dungarvan), Cian McDonnell (Monkstown), and Darragh Nolan (Fermoy).