Dan Sugrue struck again, winning the Munster PGA Winter Series singles in Cork Golf Club with a fine 67 in fine conditions. This is Dan’s fourth win of the season, and it means he has extended his clear lead in the Winter Series Order of Merit. After a steady start where he parred the opening five holes, the man from Dooks birdied the 6th and 8th, although he gave a shot back on the 9th to turn on -1. An eagle on the 11th got him going again and two more birdies on the 15th and 17th saw him sign for a five under par round of 67. David Ryan, who generally features on a course he knows very well, opened brightly and he was three under through six holes. While he dropped shots on the 9th and the 10th, he had another three birdies on the back nine which saw him finish on 68 (-4). Gary Howie was the only other player to break par, he took third place with a 70 while Jack Howard and Ted Higgins were tied Continue reading
Sara Byrne was back in the news last week when she won yet another award. The Douglas teenager won the Cork City and County Youth Sports Award last week at a reception in the Metropole Hotel. It was a great award to win, beating the 11 other monthly award winners to scoop the title. This is the second award for Byrne, who was named the Irish Golf Writers Womens Amateur Golfer of the Year Award in December. For Sara and her family it was a change to reflect on the successes of the year, although Sara was a bit more clinical in her review of the year when she accepted the award. “2018 was a bit of a rollercoaster year” said the Douglas and Ireland golfer, “there were plenty of ups and downs and feeling frustrated at times, but the adrenaline rush is unreal when you succeed. Last year gave me some really hard knocks but some magical moments also. I’ve advanced my goals hugely, Irish Ladies Champion. Irish Girls Order of Merit winner, getting to +1 handicap and getting to into the top 100 in the WAGR rankings”.
There was more than that for the talented teenager. She represented Ireland at Continue reading
Monkstown’s Shane Irwin will have a busy few months ahead, as he closes off his second year of training as a PGA Professional. The Limerick native has spent two years in Cork, working with Cian McNamara in the Monkstown ProShop. In September 2017 he started his PGA training, having worked in the US and South Africa prior to that. It was the next step in a plan for Shane. “First year was very interesting for me as I went straight to the states to work in the golf industry after my leaving cert, so it was all a new experience for me” explained Irwin. “Going to the states was in itself a learning, the way the American golf industry works and the contacts and friends I have made benefited me greatly to bring all that knowledge back home to Ireland. The plan was always do America and play in South Africa and come back to do my PGA studies.” Traditionally the PGA apprenticeship was Continue reading
Mairead Martin recently enjoyed a few weeks at home after an exciting few months in the US on a golf scholarship in Kentucky. The Kanturk golfer who completed her leaving cert in June and in August she moved to start with their acclaimed womens golf programme. It was a great first semester, Mairead finished the second highest ranked golfer on the roster claiming two top ten finishes on her first five tournaments. It was a busy few months for the teenager as she settled into her new home for the next few years. “The first couple of weeks were tough and quite intense it took a while for me to get used to how busy each day was between school, practice and workouts” explained Mairead. “I struggled to find time to even think about home or even be homesick. When I arrived in Louisville the team and coaches couldn’t have been Continue reading
This year could be summarised as a game of two halves for John Murphy. The Kinsale golfer spent the first half of the year playing well but struggling to get results, but the second half saw him hit some key milestones. These included an international win, an Irish cap and get finish to the season back in college in the US. While 2018 may have been his best year, Murphy didn’t feel like that at the beginning of the year a he explained. “The college semester was difficult for me” recalled Murphy. “I didn’t feel like I was competing as I had in the past. I wasn’t producing results that were reflecting how I was playing. In all honesty, I was worried, I was shooting some poor scores and I was getting very frustrated with myself. It was tough. I remember having a call with my parents at regionals where I just shot 7 over par. I told them I was playing well but I just couldn’t score, and then we all realized that I had been saying that all semester, and maybe I was being delusional. The week I got back Continue reading
It’s been a busy off season for Peter O’Keeffe, while many golfers have put the sticks away until January, O’Keeffe is still working hard. The Doulas elite amateur was in Spain last week, and he finished sixth in a Gecko Tour event. The Gecko Tour is a mini-tour based in Spain, generally featuring emerging professional golfers. O’Keeffe shot a final round 67 to jump up the leaderboard and finish on -4 for his 54 holes. It was a good finish for Peter, he was +3 halfway though his second round so his strong finish was a real positive. Peter has had another good year at the top level. In March he retained his Kerry Scratch Cup title, and while he didn’t repeat his 2017 feat of winning a national championship, he was competitive in almost every event. He reached the quarter final of the Irish Close and finished in the top eight on the Bridgestone Order of Merit. He retained his place on the Irish team for the Home Internationals, a team that narrowly lost out to England. O’Keeffe has risen up the international rankings also, he started the year at 752 on WAGR, but he Continue reading
It was a busy year for Lee Valley, but one that they will remember. 2018 marked the 25th anniversary for the club, and while everyone celebrated the milestone the club also went on to win their first Cups and Shields pennant. From the celebrations in January, through to the AGM this month, the club pulled together to celebrate. This time last year the club made Lee Valley owner Jerry Keohane and honorary Life President of the Club, and it was an honour that was very much appreciated by Jerry. He was involved in the consortium who purchased the land and commissioned Christy O’Connor Jnr to design the course. Jerry and his family would later take over full control of the Clashnure venture, and since then they have continued to develop and improve the course with a consistent focus on presenting a championship experience for every golfer. Lee Valley remains a Continue reading
Although the competitive golf season is well and truly over, James Sugrue was back in the news last week when he picked up an award. He was one of two recipients for golf at Mayor Patrick Gerard Murphy’s Co Council reception last week. Although Sugrue didn’t hit the high of a championship win, he continued to progress with two local wins and some great individual performances during the year. The season was book-ended by his two wins, the first in the Fota Island Senior Scratch Cup in early April, and the second in September when he won the John Whyte Fermoy Senior Scratch Cup to close out the season. The two wins may be highlights, but to be fair the Mallow golfer has had a very impressive summer of golf which was recognised with his selection to the Irish team. Sugrue joined the Irish Mens panel this year and represented the Irish selection at the South African and Spanish Amateurs in the early season, and in October he travelled to South America for two international events. His full cap finally came when he was selected to play for the Home Internationals which took place last week. Capped on multiple occasions in Boy’s golf, this was a big step up for Sugrue but one he took in his stride.
The easy going 20 year old went on to win four matches as Ireland finished as runners-up in the four team tournament. “There was actually no real difference, I didn’t feel as if I was under any extra pressure. I know all the lads and I know Neil Manchip for a long time as well” said James. “I was really happy with the way I played down the stretch in a few matches. In the opening foursomes we were two up with three to play and I hit an approach to around six inches to close out the match. On the second day I had a four iron on a par three into the wind, and I managed to get it to inside a foot to close out that match.” You can feel the confidence in Sugrue as he tells that story. Continue reading
Even though it’s less than two years old, Cork Golf Centre in Ballincollig continues to develop their offering to Cork golfers, with resident PGA Professional Wayne O’Callaghan investing in a new Trackman Simulator. November can often be the quietest month of the year for anyone involved in golf, but not so for Wayne who has remodelled his teaching bay to incorporate the state of the art technology. The new simulator was built earlier this month and already there has been a huge amount of interest in the new service. “The trackman 4 was purchased with the aim of bringing the experience of playing golf to the range environment” explained Wayne who has been the resident pro since the range opened in 2017. “Having owned previous Trackman models I knew what a quality product the Trackman 4 simulator would be Continue reading
Danny Sugrue claimed his second win of the Munster PGA Winter Series in Killarney yesterday, shooting a 69 on Killeen. Although the ground has softened and the air temperatures are cooler, the course in Killarney was in great condition. Sugrue made the most of the clam conditions, posting his second bogey free round of the series to win by one stroke. The Dooks Club Professional, who served his time in Killarney, is clearly back on form after taking time off to recover from serious surgery. Cahir Park’s David Ryan was second with a 69, helped by a great recovery on the 8th hole after being blocked out after his drive (scroll down for video). There was a tie for third place with Gary Howie and Paul O’Neill finishing on 73. The day also featured a team three ball event, just to keep everyone on their toes. The first prize was taken by David Hayes, Gary Howie and Padraig Dooley with David Ryan, Shane O’Sullivan and Colin O’Gorman taking second place. The next event in the series is scheduled to take place in Castlemartyr Golf Links. Continue reading