Remembering T W Egan

Tom Egan, Monkstown Golf Club

Monkstown’s Tom Egan who won the Irish Senior Cup in 1963 pictured members of the 2016 winning team; Manager Martin Walsh, Donal McDonnell, Eoghan Long and Monkstown Captain Carl Toal.

One of Monkstown’s most famous golfers Tom Egan passed away on Friday aged 89.  The Irish International dominated the amateur game for two decades in the 50’s and 60’s.  TW, as he was known, was Monkstown born and bred, his home was bordering the course and regularly jumped the wall to practice around the old fourth hole as a boy.

Egan’s practice played dividends and it showed when he played in his very first competition.  Just short of his 18th birthday he was given a handicap by the club, this normally didn’t happen until juniors turned 18.  TW was given a handicap of 12 and went on to shoot s 78 (66 nett) to win the 1947 President’s Prize.  His handicap was swiftly cut to six and he was down to scratch soon after.

Outside of Monkstown, Tom went on to win two major amateur titles in addition to a large number of local wins.  Having reached the final of the South of Ireland in 1951 he went on to win the Irish Close in 1962.  He defeated Joe Brown of Waterford at the fifth playoff hole at Cragivad (Royal Belfast).  His greatest performance came ten years later when he won the 1962 East of Ireland.  In the third round Egan blitzed the field with eight consecutive birdies on the front nine.  That was a record (amateur & pro) that would last over 40 years until Mark Calcavechia birdied nine in a row in 2009.  Egan’s wins include the Cork Scratch Cup in 1960 and 1969, Douglas in ‘59, ‘62 and ‘67, as well as wins in Muskerry and Castletroy.

In total Egan earned 54 caps for Ireland and his most celebrated performance in the green came in the final of the European Team Championship in Turin in 1967.  The final was nip and tuck until the Monkstown man produced a lengthy putt on the 18th green that saw Ireland win by 4 matches to 3.  One of his more recent outings on a course happened in 2004 when Baltray hosted an Irish open.  Tom was invited to play a round with Padraig Harrington and received a special award in recognition of that amazing front nine 42 years earlier.  Although he played for Cork GC in the Senior Cup in the early 50’s, Egan was always a Monkstown man first and foremost.  In 1963 he was part of the Monkstown Senior Cup team who won the Munster title, and he was very proud when the 2016 winning team called to him after the Munster final.  Tom is survived by his wife Angela and nine children Paula, Anne, Frank, Denise, Tommy, Michelle, Robert, Michael and Louise.

TW EGAN RIP

Boylesports backing Lee Valley Again

Lee Valley Scratch_Cup_A3 2020Boylesports will continue their association with Lee Valley into 2020 as they remain a key sponsor for the club.  The Irish firm will again sponsor the Lee Valley Senior Scratch Cup which takes place on the 25th & 26th April.  The continued support from Boylesports means the club can again stage a top class event with a generous prize fund in place.  The 54 hole event has become one of the biggest three round events in the country.  2019 winner Tiarnan McLarnon will be back to defend his title, the Irish International had a great season after his win in Cork last year and he’s be fancied to continue his great run of form in Lee Valley.  Tournament Director Vincent Drinan is busy taking bookings at the moment and anyone interested in playing should contact him on email (vinced9@gmail.com) or WhatsApp (087 9966332).  The closing date for entries is 15th April and the field is limited.

Onsite accommodation, a great clubhouse atmosphere and a great championship course all combine to make the Lee Valley Scratch Cup a great early season event.  Last year McLarnon broke the run of Cork’s Gary O’Flaherty who won two in a row in 2017 and 2018.  A top Continue reading

ILGU Reward Ada O’Sullivan

Ada O'Sullivan

Ada O’Sullivan

The AGM of the ILGU took place last weekend and it was a special occasion for Monkstown’s Ada O’Sullivan as she was awarded Honorary Life Membership by the national governing body.  Ada has one of the most comprehensive records of any female golfer in Ireland.  She represented Munster, as a member of the girls’ team in 1980 & 1981 and the Women’s Team from 1982 -1997, fifteen years.  She was the first ever winner of the Girlie Hegarty Trophy in 1994.  As a player she represented Ireland at the Girls’ Home Internationals in 1980 & 1981.

She then played on the Women’s Home International Team seven times between 1982 & 1997 and at the Women’s European Team Championships in 1993, 1994 and 1995.  She was the winner of the Sherry Cup in 1994 (European Masters 72 hole stroke play).  Following her playing career, Ada represented Ireland as Captain of the Girls’ Home International Team in 1999 & 2000 and the Under 21 Team at the European Championship in 2000.  She would go on to become the first High Performance Director on the ILGU Board in 2010.

Her first experience of Captaining a GB&I Team was at The Espirito Santo Trophy in Malaysia in 2002.  This preceded GB&I Captaincy in 2003 & 2005 when her Team brought home the Vagliano Trophy playing at Co. Louth.  In 2004 and 2006 Ada was invited to be Captain of the GB&I Curtis Cup Teams.  ILGU President Brigid McCaw was delighted to present Ada with the award on Saturday.  “Ada is a very capable, strong, fun loving person who – when asked to take on a responsible task – takes it on with great enthusiasm and leaves no stone unturned to make it a success”  said McCaw upon presenting her with Life Honorary Membership.  “We are very proud of all our Honorary Life Members and Past Presidents.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for being, as it were, “on call” and for their willingness to sharing their experiences and sound knowledge.”  Life Membership was also Continue reading

Murphy set for new season

South of Ireland 2019

John Murphy, left, enjoying himself with Shane O’Connell and Cathal Butler at the South of Ireland in July.

Kinsale’s John Murphy was back Cork for a few weeks in December, and the Kentucky based golfer took a well deserved break after a busy few months on the course.  After 30 plus tournaments in 2019 John took advantage of the winter break to recharge with family and friends in Kinsale.  Having used the 2018 Christmas break to practice in Australia, John took a different angle this year with an extended break at home.

“The last few weeks were very different to my normal schedule,” said Murphy.  “Apart from having to study for my finals a lot, I had a lot of time to spend with friends and family which I don’t normally get to do, so I really enjoyed it.  I took a couple weeks away from golf just to recharge.  “Towards the Continue reading

Gallery: Munster Golf Awards 2019

Pictures from the awards evening in Mallow:

UCC Staff GS celebrate 40 years

UCCstaffSocietyPhoto Nov 2019The members of UCC Staff GS recently celebrated their 40th anniversary, marking the milestone with a golf and a social event in Cork Golf Club.  A large number of members attended the celebrations, on the course Willie Weir, Collette Finn and Barry O’Brien won the three-ball scramble while many more joined the group that evening to make the anniversary.  As everyone enjoyed the celebrations, there was also a reflection on the early days of the society.  A conversation between the late Eric Tully and Robert Mc Namara led to the establishment of the UCC Staff Golf Society, which was first registered with the GUI in 1979.  McNamara was instrumental in contacting staff members, who he knew were golfers, and encouraging them to form an inaugural committee.  He recalls meeting in Eric Tully’s office in The Lee Maltings.  Eric chaired the meeting, Robert was secretary and they were joined by Gary Prendeville, Chris Synnott and Paddy O’Regan.  An outing to Mallow was agreed upon and Robert assembled the prizes with twelve golfers taking part in the first event.  The original twelve were Robert Mc Namara, Eric Tully, Gary Prendeville, Chris Synnott, Paddy O’Regan, Diarmuid McCarthy, Joe O’Mahony, Cyril Deasy, Fr. Sean McGann, Eoin Shorten, Conor O’Brien and Mr McCullagh.  From the small outing Continue reading

McSweeney wins Morgan O’Donovan Trophy

Donal McSweeney_Morgan O'Donovan Trophy 2019It may have taken three attempts but the 2019 staging of the Morgan O’Donovan Perpetual Trophy was completed on Monday, with Lahinch’s Donal McSweeney winning.  Two earlier attempts to hold the event in Monkstown were rained off, and rather than cancel this year’s event the Munster PGA committee decided to hold the event in Castletroy which was part of the autumn run of winter series events.  The Lahinch Head Professional had three birdies in his opening four holes in Castletroy giving him an excellent start.  Two bogies on the 9th and 10th pegged him back but the Charleville native finished well to post a winning score of 54 stokes for his 14 holes.  It was a north Cork 1-2 as Mark Collins from Charleville came in on one under thanks to four birdies and three pars.  Ballyneety’s Walter Doyle was third on 56 (L) while there were six golfers tied on +1.  Donal McSweeeny is the latest winner of the prestigious trophy, joining Damien McGrane, David Higgins and David Ryan who are among the previous winners.  Morgan O’Donovan was a very popular PGA Professional who passed away in 2012.  The event has been held since 2013 and is usually hosted by Monkstown Golf Club where Morgan was Club Professional.

Castletroy Munster PGA 2019McSweeney also won the team event, partnering with Walter Doyle, Jack Howard and Cian McNamara they carded ten birdies.  Tim Rice, Eanna Jones, Padraig Dooley and Kevin McGrath were second with nine birdies.  The event was kindly sponsored by Gary O’Flaherty from Cobra/Puma Golf.

Morgan O’Donovan Perpetual Trophy
1st Donal McSweeney – Lahinch  GC 54 (-2)
2nd Mark Collins – Charleville GC 55
3rd Walter Doyle – Ballyneety GC 56
4th Mark Beckett – The Golf Course at Adare Manor 57
4th Tim Rice – Limerick GC 57
4th Cian McNamara – Monkstown GC 57
4th Jack Ryan – Castletroy GC 57
4th Gary Howie – Castletroy GC 57
4th Kevin McGrath – Kevin McGrath Golf 57

Team Prize
1st Donal McSweeney, Walter Doyle, Jack Howard, Cian McNamara
2nd Tim Rice, Eanna Jones, Padraig Dooley, Kevin McGrath

Strong Season for Castlemartyr

Irish Schools Junior Championship Munster Final 2019This year proved to be another very positive one for Castlemartyr, now 11 years old, the golf course and the club are both thriving.  A growing membership in the club underpins the progress in Castlemartyr and Breffne McKenna is happy to report an impressive scorecard for 2019.  “Membership is doing great we are up to over 460 now.  The club grew from 320 to 460 in 2019, very good growth and we are still open to membership applications at the moment” explained McKenna, the Director or Golf in Castlemartyr.  “The Ladies Club continues to build slowly but it’s the Men’s and Intermediate Categories that are growing very fast (18-25).  Alan Gleeson our resident PGA Professional has classes for new or interested parties who are looking to start golf and not too sure if they want to commit to membership.  This is also great for the ladies who are not 100% sure they will like the game.”

“He also has conducted some club fitting days with Titleist and these proved to be a huge hit with the members during the year.  The Juvenile club is still busy but only during the summer months, so we hope to look for more juveniles in 2020.”  On the Continue reading

Howard wins in Thurles, Munster PGA

Munster PGA Thurles Nov 2019

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Jack Howard chalked up another PGA win on Monday, finishing joint first at the Munster PGA Winter Series event in Thurles.  It was a first trip to the mid Tipperary course with host Raymond Ryan ensuring there was a warm reception for all the players.  Howard led the way in the 14 hole competition, the Fota Island assistant had birdies on the 2nd and 3rd but dropped a shot on the 11th.  He recovered with birdies on the 15th and the 18th to claim a share of the lead.  Paul O’Neill from Shannon also had four birdies and a bogey to tie the lead while Limerick’s Tim Rice birdied the final four holes to recover from being one over with four to play.  Jack Ryan, the new assistant in Castletroy was fourth with a two under return whole Ronan Collins, Raymond Ryan and Mark Collins all finished on one under.  It was a double success for Jack Howard and Paul O’Neill, they partnered with Ronan Collins for a winning 54 points in the team event.  Second place went to Mark Collins, Jack Ryan and Shane Irwin.

Munster PGA Winter Series, Thurles Golf Club, sponsored by Callaway Golf.

14 Holes, 4th November

Singles
-3 Jack Howard (Fota Island)
-3 Paul O’Neill (Shannon)
-3 Tim Rice (Limerick) 53
-2 Jack Ryan (Castletroy)
-1 Gary Howie (Castletroy)
-1 Ted Higgins (Caddymasters)
-1 Ronan Collins (Fota Island)
-1 Raymond Ryan (Thurles)
-1 Mark Collins (Charleville)

Team Event
1st Jack Howard, Paul O’Neill, Ronan Collins 54 points
2nd Mark Collins, Jack Ryan, Shane Irwin 49 points
2nd Ted Higgins, Tim Rice, Padraig Dooley 49 points