O’Riordan retains Fermoy Crown

Dean O'Riordan

Dean O’Riordan

A playoff birdie help Dean O’Riordan to retain the Fermoy Scratch Cup last weekend.  The home favourite came from two behind after the first round to join a group of three in the playoff, and he won on the first green thanks to a birdie.  It was in impressive performance from the holder to win the John Whyte Memorial Cup.  A two under par round of 68 in the morning was followed by a four under par round for the afternoon.  Finding himself tied with his brother Roy and David Howard, he was the only one to birdie the first playoff hole to win the event.  James Walsh took fourth place and Stephen Riordan was fifth.

Dean O’Riordan (Fermoy) in action in the Boylesports Lee Valley Scratch Cup.
Picture: Niall O’Shea

Dean was delighted with his win and mentioned an important session with his coach Michael Collins that helped him to the win.  “I was happy with my game overall.  My putting was good, I had been struggling a small bit but I had a lesson with Michael Collins last week and he helped me out with a few changes which seemed to really make a difference.  I just tried to hit greens and make a few putts, the course was set up well with the pins all in fair spots.”  O’Riordan will be hoping that the form from last weekend continues as he’s back in action at the Irish Amateur Open.

It was the fist time in many years that Fermoy had run the scratch cup over 36 holes, and that along with a generous purse meant there was a strong field.  West Waterford’s David Dowling led after the opening round thanks to a very impressive four under par 66.  David Howard and Wayne O’Callaghan were one shot back on -3 and O’Riordan along with former winner Cathal Butler and Stephen Riordan were two back.  It was Fota Island’s David Howard who made the move first in the afternoon, he was leading on -6 halfway through his second round.  Roy O’Riordan shot the low round of the tournament with a five under par 65 in the second round.  That was enough to get him into the playoff but his brother got the better of him on the 37th hole.

Muskerry will hold their scratch cup the following weekend, on Sunday 14th, and 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.

The Flogas Irish Mens Amateur Open also takes place at the Island Golf Club this week, the 72 hole championship starts today in Co Dublin.  Cork is well represented in the field of 132 golfers.  Morgan Cain, Jordan Boles, Jack Murphy, Dean O’Riordan and Peter O’Keeffe were all confirmed in the field, and Robbie Walsh along with Blarney’s Dean Browne got in via the waiting list.  All 132 golfers will play in the first three rounds with the top 50 plus ties going forward to Sunday’s final round.

The event, which dates back to 1892, will see 55 players from outside Ireland compete with the best of the Irish to try and dislodge reigning champion Colm Campbell.  The Women’s and Girls Opens, also sponsored by Flogas, take place in Woodbrook the following week.  So far Clodagh Coughlan is the only Cork golfer to be in the field.

John Murphy got a boost this week when he was included in the 2023 Sport Ireland funding scheme for young professionals.  Murphy will receive €35,000 towards his costs as he embarks on his first full year on the DP World Tour, he’s in action this week in the Soudal Open in Belguim.  Six other professional golfers; Olivia Mehaffey, Jonathan Yates, Stuart Grehan, Gary Hurley, John Murphy, Conor Purcell and Dermot McElroy will also receive the €35,000 in funding, while any players turning professional during 2023, that meet the criteria, may receive funding on a pro-rata basis.

Sport Ireland will provide €325,000 in government funding to Golf Ireland for the management and administration of the Golf Ireland Professional Scheme.  The financial support provided by Sport Ireland will enable these golfers to progress further internationally.

Golf Ireland CEO Mark Kennelly has highlighted the importance of the continued collaboration between Golf Ireland and Sport Ireland.  “This partnership signifies a shared commitment to the growth and development of golf in Ireland.  The funding provided will be instrumental in helping these talented golfers compete at the highest level and inspiring future generations,” said Kennelly.

Sport Ireland also provides significant investment for professional golf tournaments in Ireland including Men’s Irish Open, Women’s Irish Open, Irish Challenge and the Irish Legends events.  The increased funding from Sport Ireland is strategically important for professional players who can compete at these levels.