Pro Shop Challenge IV, Kinsale Golf Club

Kinsale Pro Shop Challenge 3_July 2018

Cathal Butler and John Murphy (centre) pictured with Ian Stafford and Ger Broderick at the Pro Shop Challenge at Kinsale last week. Picture: Aidan Stafford

Kinsale’s Pro Shop Challenge is back, and the fourth staging of the charity fundraiser is set for a change with the pro’s taking on the internationals in August.  The Kinsale Pro team remains the same, Ger Broderick and Ian Stafford are currently in training in the hope of winning back the title they lost last year.  The line up on the other side has changed though, the amateurs are now restyled as the “internationals” and it also features a change in the line up.  14 year old Eoghan Cassidy will line up with John Murphy.  Murphy is currently on the senior Irish team while Cassidy is on the Irish Under 14 and Under 16 squads.  The event takes place on Thursday 15th August, and there should be a great afternoon of golf and fun.  Ian Stafford has been the driving force behind the event, from a small start in 2016, the event has raised well over €11,000 for the charity partners.  Keen to keep the event moving, Ian proposed a change to the format this year.  “This year we are celebrating the fact that Kinsale Golf Club has had 2 International Golfers in the past twelve Continue reading

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Sugrue in contention in St Andrews

James Sugrue_22

James Sugrue (Mallow) 

After rounds of 67 and 68, James Sugrue is in 5th place at the St Andrew’s Links Trophy in Scotland.  It’s another boost for the Mallow man has been on a good run of form.  Sugrue won the Castletroy Scratch Cup two weeks ago, before finishing in the top twenty in the Brabazon.  Although he is in 5th place, he is eight shots off the lead held by England’s Matty Lamb after a super 63 today.  Sugrue had a great run of four birdies in the middle of his round in the home of golf.  It was part of a five bogies in six holes starting at the fifth.  Sugrue had three birdies on the back nine but bogies on the 15th and 17th before a closing par would see him sign for a four under par 68.  Sugrue is the second best placed Irish golfer, he’s one behind Caolan Continue reading

Munster Students win for Desmond

AIG Senior Cup Area Semi Finals 2018
Cork Golf Club
Sunday 24th June 2018Monkstown’s Sean Desmond won the Munster Students title in Tipperary today, holding onto his second round lead.   It was a steady round for Desmond, on hiw way to a first championship win.  A birdie on the fourth put him into the red on -1 for the tournament, but he bogied the next hole to go back to level par.  Another bogey followed on the 10th but that was the last error and the Monkstown man parred his way back to the clubhouse to finish on +1 for the tournament.  Paul Conroy (Enniscorthy) took second place after a closing 72, two shots behind on +3 while Tom Dowdall (Woodbrook) took third place on +6.  Maynooth A, represented by Darragh Flynn, Aaron Ryan and Robert Abernethy won the team prize.

Gary Ward was the next best Cork player, he was tenth while Paul Tobin and Mark Healy both finished in the top twenty.  Desmond now adds his name Continue reading

Desmond Leads Munster Students

Douglas Senior Senior Scratch Cup
26th May 2019Sean Desmond has the 36 hole lead at the Munster Students Amateur Open.  After torrential rain yesterday, golfers benefitted from dry fine weather today in Tipperary Golf Club.  Desmond opened with a three over par 75, but came back this afternoon with a three under par 69 to finish on level par.  He was three under through 12 holes but a bogey on the 14th set him back.   A bridie on the 16th got him back to level and he parred the final two holes to hold the overnight lead.  John Cleary (Elm Park) is just one off the lead, and John Bolger (Courtown) is two shots back.  Paul Conroy and Harry Duggan are in 4th place on +3 while Kinsale’s Gary Ward is 6th.  Duggan (Kilkenny) held the 18 hole lead after an opening 72, but he drifted back to 4th after a second round 75.

The final round get’s underway tomorrow at 7.30am, with Desmond’s leaders group off at 10.10am.

 

O’Keeffe takes 5th place at East of Ireland

Douglas Senior Senior Scratch Cup
26th May 2019Peter O’Keeffe fired himself into a fifth place finish at the East of Ireland, thanks to a three under par 69 in his final round this afternoon.

O’Keeffe has an impressive back nine, he went on a birdie run and was three under for his final seven holes, and it was an impressive finish given the difficulty of the course in Baltray.  The result is a nice boost for the 2017 Irish Open Champion as he looks to cement his place on the Irish Squad.  O’Keeffe started the season with a win in the Muskerry Senior Scratch Cup, and the performance in Co Louth signals that he’s back on form.  Greg O’Mahony built on last week’s win in Douglas with a top twenty finish.  The Fota Island member will probably be disappointed with a closing 75 having been well placed after a 71 this morning.

Sean Desmond was the only other Cork golfer to make the cut, he finished in 23rd place on +5 after a final round 72.

Mallow’s James Sugrue and Kinsale’s both missed the East as they played in the Brabazon Trophy in The Alwoodley Club in Leeds.  Sugrue had a an impressive event, finishing in the top twenty.  Like much of the field, Sugrue batteld with the back nine over the four days, but on Sunday he had four birdies on the first ten holes before he eventually succumbed to two bogeys on the closing holes.  It meant that he finished with a 70, which saw him jump from 35th to tied 18th.  Both are back in action this week in the St Andrews Links Trophy.  Murphy will be keen to show some of the form he had on display recently in the NCAA Regionals and Finals, especially as he missed the cut in Leeds last weekend.

One for the Ladies…

One for the Ladies SkibbereenWhile many golfers will be familiar with lessons, or fitness, or mental preparation, it not usual to see all three elements coming together.  That’s what’s happening with the “One for the Ladies” day which sees all three covered in an exciting day of tuition and play.  The idea came to life when Trish Daly saw a gap in the market.  Daly is a Cork native who spent the past 30 years in Australia, and retuned to Ireland in 2018 and started her Yoga for Golfers programme at Cork Golf Centre in Inniscarra.  Soon after Trish met up with PGA Advanced Professional Sarah Claridge and sports psychologist Deirdre Gallagher who both work out of Cork Golf Centre.  While Trish was only up and running with her individual and group yoga for golf classes, she spotted a gap in the market for ladies wishing to improve their golf.  After a good deal of planning the trio set about holding their first event in Skibbereen back in March.  “While there is a lot of energy put into attracting women into the sport of golf with the very successful “get into golf programme” we found that Continue reading

Murphy ready for Summer Challenge

John Murphy Links Trophy 2018It’s almost twelve months on from where it all kicked off.  The St Andrew’s Links Trophy 2018 was when John Murphy had his first major win, and the Kinsale man has kicked on with a great season with University of Louisville in NCAA Division One college.  Today he kicks on with his first appearance at the Brabazon Trophy, the English Strokeplay championship.  From there it’s onto St Andrew’s to defend his Links trophy, and from there it will be a mixture of Irish, English and European events as the seasons builds towards August.  Murphy has the added benefit of being named in the extended Walker Cup panel, and although he missed out on a few early season events in England, he’s now on the right side of the Atlantic for the selectors to see what he can do.  Twelve months ago it’s was a sudden death play-off that decided the winner of the St Andrews Links.  Given Murphy’s experience in matchplay situations going back to when he was under 15 it was no Continue reading

Second win for Sugrue in Castletroy

Castletroy Scratch Cup 2019_James SugrueWalker Cup hopeful James Sugrue is back on the winning trail after romping home in the Castletroy Scratch on Saturday.  The Mallow man was named on the Walker Cup training panel earlier this month and his golf continues to do the talking as he finished five strokes clear of a strong field at the end of the 36 hole event.  Rounds of 68 ad 71 (-5) saw him clear the field, and with just one bogey in each of the rounds he played some very tidy golf.  Second place went to Pat Murray on level par with Harry Duggan (Kilkenny) finishing in third place on +1.  Jack Ryan was the best of the home golfers, he took fourth, and it was a special day for Athenry’s Peader O’Beirne.  Peader too second nett but also had a hole in one in the competition.  It was a welcome win for Sugrue who was laid low with an injury just six weeks ago.  The Irish International has been playing well all season.  A top 15 finish in Lytham, and a top 20 in the Irish Amateur came after Sugrue had to pull out of the Euro Nations with a rib injury.  His performance at the weekend now sends a signal that he’s a contender for a second major to the South title he won in 2017.  Sugrue is headed for Leeds this week for the Brabazon Trophy, where the Walker Cup selectors will no doubt be watching the members of their extended training panel.

Howard runner up in Irish Club Professional at Dromoland

Jack Howard (Fota Island)Jack Howard finished runner-up in the Irish Club Professional Tournament in Dromoland last week, losing out to Damien McGrane after a play-off.  Howard, representing Fota Island shot a four under par 68 to lead the tournament.  That included important birdies on the 17th and 18th to get into a tie for the lead.  It was in impressive round from Howard in a strong field, and it included seven birdies.  At the end of the round the two leaders were tied on -4, and unlike other PGA events it was on the a play-off.  After halving the first play-off hole, McGrane put the pressure on by hitting the green on the short par four 10th.  When Howard missed his 12 foot birdie attempt the former European Tour winner tapped in or birdie to claim the title.

Davey Barry and Shane Irwin were the next bet placed Cork golfers, they both carded one par rounds of 73 to get a top ten place, while Cian McNamara and David Ryan were three back in a share for 24th place.

While Jack will be disappointed at missing out on the win, there are several positives.  As well as the prize money for second place, the high placed finish means that the 22 year old will now be able to enter several of the high profile events as the Irish Continue reading