Jason lays down the Law in Cork

Jason Law beat the field and the course in Cork last weekend to win the Munster Amateur Open.  The East Cork golfer survived six rounds of golf over three days to become the latest winner of the Cork Scratch Cup.  The 48-year-old in fine form all weekend and he brought that into the final where he got the better of Harry Gillivan in the final on Bank Holiday Monday.

Law would have been considered an outsider coming into the tournament, and even he was a little surprised to come out on top.  “I’m delighted, for someone like me to win one of these it’s all a bit silly,” said Law.  “I didn’t enter a competition for about 13 years and Covid came and I said I will go back as an amateur if I get it straight away I’ll play and I did.  I play a little bit, I played one event last year that’s all, that was last October and this is my first competition this year. It’s all a bit silly.”

Gallery: Munster Mens Amateur Open Championship (Monday)

Even though he started as an outsider, once the matchplay started his consistency and control saw him move from a possible winner to a very likely one.  He qualified from the 36 hole strokeplay right on the cut and from there he played some great golf from tee to green.  A self confessed fan of putting, Jason gave himself plenty of opportunities and on Sunday he took our Evan Farrell and local hope Morgan Cain.  Although he was critical of his own play on Monday morning, he finished off first round leader John Cunningham on the 15th.

Law’s opponent in the final was Harry Gillivan and the Dubliner took the lead on the second hole, capitalising when Law missed the green with his approach.  Law countered with birdies on the 3rd, 4th and 7th to go two up.  Gillivan won two holes with birdies and levelled the match on the 11th but Law was ahead again after the 13th.  Two more birdies on the 15th and 16th closed ot the match for the East Cork man.  Both birdies were between three and four feet, a result of Law’s accuracy and distance control with his approach play.

The win has fuelled Jason’s appetite for championship golf.  It’s very possible that he’ll feature again this season.  After a stint as a tour pro, Law returned to the amateur ranks in 2021 and played in several championships but scaled back his golf last year.

Gallery: Munster Mens Amateur Open Championship (Monday)

“It’s a fascinating game, I like the ins and outs of it.  I work at them and even though I don’t compete very often I will compete more.  September next year I will actually be a senior golfer. I played in these events 30 years ago it’s just crazy.”

Runner up Gillivan won the Carr Bruen Shield at the best Under 25 golfer.  James Walsh from Douglas was the best qualifier from the strokeplay with eight under score on Saturday.

Brian Kelleher and Ian O’Rourke made it to the matchplay stage but lost out in the first round.  Teenager Morgan Cain won his first round match but lost out in the second round to Law.

2023 was the 100th anniversary of the Cork Scratch Cup which was first played for in 1923.  It was played as a matchplay competition for most of the first 70 years, and the 100 year old cup has the name of many local and national greats including Crosbie, Bruen, Cleary and O’Sullivan.  In 2006 it was given championship status by the GUI and was renamed the Munster Strokeplay incorporating the Cork Scratch Cup.  At that point the format changed to a 72 hole stroke play event.  This year, to acknowledge the anniversary and the matchplay legacy of the event, Cork Golf Club ran the tournament over three days.  A 36 hole stroke play phase was followed by matchplay for the top 16.  Next year the championship will return to a two day 72 hole stroke play event.

Cork golfers have another two weeks of scratch cups.  Fermoy are holding the annual John Whyte Memorial Scratch Cup on Saturday.  This year it will be a 36 hole event and large field is confirmed.  Muskerry will hold their scratch cup the following weekend, on Sunday 14th.  Entries are still open and can be made online or through the club, the event is sponsored by RBC Brewin Dolphin.  Holder John Waldron has been in good form so far this season and he’ll he hoping to retain his 2022 title.