Gary O’Flaherty is a fan of Lee Valley, and it’s easy to see why. The Cork Golf Club stalwart has racked up four wins at the Ovens venue, including three scratch cup titles. The Boylesports Lee Valley Senior Scratch Cup returns in two weeks time and excitement is building for the challenging 54 hole event. With two consecutive wins, O’Flaherty is on for a historic hat-trick, and will be the man to beat. Outside of his natural skill, Gary maintains that the secret to his success in Lee Valley is quite simple: “It just seems to fit my eye, horses for courses as they say.” But Gary adds that it’s not just the course that make the scratch cup a special event. “It’s from the minute you arrive at Lee Valley, you’re made to feel welcome, nothing is an issue” explained Gary. You’re looked after like your one of their own members. The Keohane family especially, as well as the members Continue reading
Roll of Honour, Lee Valley Senior Scratch Cup: Continue reading
Donal McDonnell was the winner on Sunday, picking up his first Senior Scratch Cup title. Fota Island held their annual showpiece on Sunday, again in association with Top Golfer. There was a full timesheet for the event on the Deerpark course, and the three time Irish Open venue proved itself yet again as nobody could break par. Although the course was in great condition, it did play all of it’s 6,927 yards. Donal McDonnell from Monkstown was the winner after four players tied on 73. McDonnell took the title ahead of John O’Brien (Castlemartyr), Kieran Kennedy (Thurles) and David Howard (Fota Island). The Monkstown golfer is a regular on Monkstown’s successful Senior Cup team and has a provincial winners medal, Donal is also Junior Officer in Monkstown. This was his first senior scratch cup title and needless to say he was delighted with his win. Although he was four over par at the turn, McDonnell put together a great back nine. He shot two under for the second nine, and finished 3,3,4 which was crucial in terms of his placing for the countback. Although the top four were tied, John O’Brien took second place, Kennedy was third and David Howard was fourth. Howard had a busy weekend, on Saturday the four handicapper shot a 75 in Muskerry in the Ford Junior Scratch Trophy qualifier, and on Sunday he beat his handicap by two when he shot the 73. Anyone looking to play Fota this week can take advantage of their Masters Week specials, full details are available from the pro shop.
Over 300 golfers played in Muskerry over Friday and Saturday, trying to get a place in the top 64 for the Ford Junior Scratch Trophy. Former winner John McSweeney led the qualifiers with a one over par 72. The 2003 winner was tied with Ed Hayes on Friday as the lowest qualifier. Sean Deasy from Douglas was the best on Saturday, he also shot 72 gross to finish in the top three.
Holder Liam Harte Jnr is also safely through to the matchplay stage, the two time winner will have his eyes on a third title. In all there are 22 clubs represented, with Limerick and Tipperary golfers included. It’s the home club that dominate however with 19 golfers in the matchplay field. 31 golfers came through from the Friday qualifier with 33 from the slightly larger field on Saturday. This is the 50th staging of the event which was first held in 1970, and the top 64 now go though to the matchplay stage. This makes it a unique event for handicap golfers. The first Continue reading
On Saturday Fionn Hickey claimed his second scratch cup when he won the East Cork Senior Scratch Cup. The 16 year old came away with the title after beating Kinsale’s Mark Healy on the countback. A birdie on Hickey’s final hole (15th) proved crucial in the end after both golfers shot a 70 (+1). Fermoy’s Dean O’Riordan took third place with a 71. The first nett prize went to Bandon’s Michael O’Neill with a 68, while East Cork’s Kieran O’Brien was second nett with 69. The scratch cup was sponsored by McGuirks and was the first of a few events that will mark the club’s 50th anniversary.
East Cork Senior Scratch Cup, sponsored by McGuirks
- Fionn Hickey (Muskerry) 70
- Mark Healy (Kinsale) 70
- Dean O’Riordan (Fermoy) 71
- Michael O’Neill (Bandon) 68 – Best Nett
- Kieran O’Brien (East Cork) 69 Second Nett
James Sugrue is the best of the Cork golfers at the halfway stage of the West of Ireland Championship in CO Sligo Golf Club. The Mallow man shot a two under par 69, helped along the way with an eagle on the back nine. Sugrue started smartly with an opening birdie but a seven on the par five 3rd hole set him back. He recovered with a birdie on the fifth and his eagle on the 12th brought him back into the red. Added to his opening 72, Sugrue is on -1 at the halfway stage – tied for fourth place. He’s four shots behind joint leaders Caolan Rafferty and Max Kennedy.
Mel Deasy added another 73 today to finish +4 in a tier for 30th place. The leading qualifier was three over after his front nine, but came back in one under to match yesterday’s score.
They are the only two golfers inside the top 50, the cut line after tomorrow’s third round. Greg O’Mahony and Gary Ward are just one shot outside the top 50 on +8 (T56) while Sean Desmond is a shot further back, currently placed T76. It was another tough day for Peter O’Keeffe, he shot a 78 which makes qualifying for Sunday a big ask. Cathal Butler also suffered after a horrendous front nine, which put paid to his chances. Kieran Murphy, Keith Fitzpatrick, Padraig O’Connor and Eric Rumley are all outside hopes for making it through to Sunday, but they do have one more round at the famous links to post a memorable score.
John Hickey gave his pro career a huge boost this week, finishing top in the stage one qualifier at the Portal Championship golf resort near Chester. Rounds of 66 and 74 saw the Cork Golf Club member finish on -6 on the par 73 layout. Yesterday was a great day for John, he had seven birdies and no bogies to take a lead and give himself a great chance of qualifying for the next stage. Frost delayed the start this morning and challenging weather conditions. Hickey was two voer for the day through six holes, but he was back on level par at the turn. Another few bogies and birdies followed and John signed for a 73 (+1) to finish joint first with Gian-Marco Petrozzi. Conor O’Rourke (Naas) was third, just two behind Hickey after shooting a very impressive 69 today.
Despite the frost and challenging weather Hickey was focused on the task at hand. “I was about halfway through my warm up when I got my text basically when I got there it was just about trying to deal with the conditions the best I could. And try and play the steady golf as possible try not to try and do anything crazy, play lots Continue reading
Tim Rice from Limerick GC won Monday’s Munster PGA event in Castletroy. The event was hosted by Gary Howie, Club Professional with Castletroy, and the course was in great condition for the fifth event in the winter series. Limerick man Rice came in with a four under par 68 to finish one shot ahead of Cahir Park’s David Ryan. Dan Sugure relinquished his 100% record in the winter series, the four time winner was third with a 70. Gavin Young and Paul O’Neill also broke par, shooting 71. Tim Rice also finished on top of the team competition, he partnered Padraig Dooley and Padraig McGrath as they finished six shot clear of the field. Dan Sugrue, David Ryan, Walter Doyle were second.
Munster PGA Winter Series, Castletroy Golf Club.
1st Tim Rice – Limerick 68
2nd David Ryan – Cahir Park 69
3rd Dan Sugrue – Dooks GL 70
4th Gavin Young – The Golf Course at Adare Manor 71
5th Paul O’Neill – Shannon
Padraig Dooley – Drive Golf Performance
James Walsh – The Golf Course at Adare Manor 73
8th Donal McSweeney Lahinch
Padraig McGrath – P&M Golf Superstore 74
1st Tim Rice, Padraig Dooley, Padraig McGrath 65 points
2nd Dan Sugrue, David Ryan, Walter Doyle 59 points
The closing date for the Munster Strokeplay is fast approaching, with entries closing on Saturday evening. The 72 hole event takes place over two days on the May Bank Holiday weekend, with the winner picking up the famous Cork Scratch Cup. Although the event has been a Munster Championship for over a decade, the cup dates back to 1923 making it the oldest scratch cup in the country. Already a number of the top Irish amateurs have entered and more will follow over the coming days. Entries are limited to the lowest 75 golfers, with the top 39 golfers qualifying for the final two rounds. The championship is again sponsored by Liam Ryan from Ryan’s SuperValu. There’s just a few days left to enter, and the link Continue reading