THE 2022 Golf Ireland Order of Merit award winners received their medals in Mallow last week, with Douglas golfers taking no less than four of the award categories.
Peter O’Keeffe, Clodagh Coughlan and Jack Murphy were all winners while there were also wins for Fermoy’s Darragh Nolan and Castlemartyr’s John O’Brien. First cousins Clodagh Coughlan and Jack Murphy were among the recepients for Douglas. Clodagh won the Women’s Order of Merit Award after another impressive season. She had top-three finishes in scratch cups in Portrush and Hermitage and also finished in third place in the Munster Women’s Open in Tralee. She also won her first scratch cup when she led the field in the 36-hole competition in her home club, Douglas.
On the same day as the awards, Coughlan was named on the Golf Ireland High-Performance funding programme, marking another achievement in a great few months for the Douglas player. Coughlan was in action early this year, she represented Ireland at the South American Amateur Championship, and her inclusion in the high-performance funding programme will mean that she will be able to travel to more European events this season.
Jack Murphy had another very impressive year. The Rochestown College student had three more provincial wins in 2022. The first came in Tullamore when he won the Leinster U16 title and in July he won the Munster U16 in Clonmel. He also added his name to the Munster Boys Trophy after a winning display in Fermoy. Murphy closed out 2022 by announcing that he had committed to play college golf with the University of Washington, starting in August 2024.
Darragh Nolan from Fermoy Golf Club won the U14 Order of Merit award as well as making his debut in Munster colors in Templepatrick at the interprovincials, he had a top ten finish at the Connacht U14 and top 20 finishes in the U14 and U16 Irish Boys championship.
John O’Brien continued his fine form in 2022 to win the Munster seniors Order of Merit. In addition to representing Ireland he won the Connacht Seniors Open in Oughterard, and he was runner-up at the Munster Seniors in Dungarvan. He had a top 20 finish at the Ulster Seniors and was the leading qualifier at the Senior Men’s Amateur Close in Thurles, losing out in the semi-finals.
Peter O’Keefe took the men’s Order of Merit title after another impressive season both in Ireland and further afield.
His season opened with a top-20 finish at the West of Ireland and he was a quarter-finalist at the Irish Close at Headfort. O’Keeffe reached last 16 of the Amateur Championship in Lytham, and finished a close second at the South of Ireland in Lahinch when he lost out on the 17th after eight rounds of golf. O’Keeffe did secure another Irish title in Blainroe at the end of the season.
The golf fitness professional won his fifth national title when he won the Irish Mid Amateur after leading from the opening day. He also shot a course-record 66 on the final day. O’Keeffe also won the Munster Mid Amateur OOM and in December he was named on the extended panel for the 2023 Walker Cup. O’Keeffe has committed to a full season this year in the hopes that his golf will lead to selection for the Walker Cup which takes place in St Andrews in September.
Peter headed off to Spain earlier this week with the Irish Mens team, their opening event of 2023 is the Octagonal matches which takes place in Costa Balena this week. The other winners were Morgan O’Sullivan (U18 Boys), Caitlin Shippam (U18 Girls) and Shirley Real (Senior Women’s). West Waterford’s Pat Murphy won the Munster Club Volunteer of the Year Award.