The final event of the Senior Cup Winter Alliance took place at Douglas Golf Club on Saturday, and home favorite Karl Bornemann was out of the blocks quickly shooting are very impressive 5 under par for the 12 hole competition.
Monkstown’s Nick Moore took second place just one shot behind the winner with James Walsh and Colin McGuire and Zac Collins from Muskerry all finishing on three under. Ronan O’Keefe, JP Barry, Donal McDonnell, Paddy Quill and Jack Murphy rounded out the top 10, all finishing on two under par.
It was a clean sweep for Douglas when it came to the overall order of merit where the best three scores counted. James Walsh took the overall series prize, narrowly beating Karl Bornemann with Jack Murphy in 3rd place. Walsh got the series off to a fine start when he won in Muskerry on the opening day of the series. Sean Desmond had home win in Monkstown at the second event and Peter O’Keeffe was the winner Cork Golf Club in December.
Monkstown’s Cian McNamara came up with the idea as a way to get a few competitive matches for the senior cup squads. There have been many different alliance type competitions held in Munster but it’s been a few year since there was a successful series in Cork.
“Running it between the four clubs was an experiment to see if it would work. Each club was accommodating and we had four great events with a good turnout of over 30 golfers for each one” explained McNamara.
“JP Ryan has been an incredible help making sure the events ran smoothly, and the managers and the PGA pro’s from each club have been very accommodating to ensure that we got to run each event. It certainly worked and it’s something we’ll try to expand. We’re definitely keen to talk to other clubs to see if we can add to the alliance.” Cian is looking to see if they can hold two more events in February, to close out a successful first alliance series.
While several of Cork’s top amateurs were in Douglas on Saturday, Peter O’Keeffe was in action for Ireland in Spain. A solid performance from the six-man Irish Team at Costa Ballena resulted in a fourth place finish after a close fought 3rd/4th place play-off with England on Saturday.
In the opening round robin stage of the competition, Ireland were grouped with Germany, France and hosts Spain. Ireland got off to the perfect start on Wednesday against Germany as foursomes pair Liam Nolan and Peter O’Keeffe led from the front and secured Ireland’s first point of the competition with a 6&4 win. The remining two foursomes matches were halved before Ireland dominated the six singles ties, winning three, halving two, and only losing once. This gave Ireland a 6-3 opening win over the Germans.
On Day Two, Ireland faced France, with starters Nolan and O’Keeffe once again getting a point on the board early with a 4&2 win. The match was tied 1-1 heading into the singles where Ireland excelled, once again winning three, halving two, and only losing once. Ireland lost out to Spain on the third day meaning a 3rd/4th place play-off with England.
It was a relatively new experience for Peter O’Keeffe who chose to start his 2023 season earlier than normal. “I’ve gotten a lot out of it, played nicely. We didn’t get the result we wanted but going into the season it’s a worthwhile week, it’s nice to get out here competing with the lads and get the season underway”.
Having been maned on the extended Walker Cup panel in December, O’Keeffe knows 2023 offers some great opportunities for more individual success, along with the chance of making it to St Andrew’s in September to represent GB&I at the Walker Cup.
Today is the start of the 2023 season for John Murphy, the Kinsale touring professional tease it up in his first event of the year on the DP World tour in Ras Al Khaimah in UAE. Murphy had a very impressive 2022, finishing in the top 45 on the Challenge Tour and earning a DP World tour card at Q school in November.
He had an immediate turnaround and headed to South Africa the following week first start of the new season, but the long 2022 season caught up with him and he missed four successive cuts. Murphy has spent the number of weeks working with his coach Ian Stafford to build back up his game, and having spent the last two weeks in Dubai he’ll be ready for the tour test today. Murphy should have access to a full schedule of events outside of the majors and Rolex series events, giving him every opportunity to advance to the next level in his third year on tour.