A birdie three on the last hole was the perfect finish to Cathal Butler’s round in Co Sligo today, as he signed for a 65 after a great second round. Butler, who had a four over par 75 in his opening round, got to work early today and was three under through five holes. He added another two birdies before the turn to go out in 31 (-5). Although he had a few good birdie chances on the back nine he ended up with eight consecutive pars. He did close out on the 18th with a birdie, leaving him on -2 and tied for 20th at the halfway stage. Needless to say the Kinsale golfer was in a positive frame of mind after his round. “It was a relief as much as anything – it feels like a long time since I shot a low one” said Butler after the round. “I was hitting it lovely, I only missed one green and hit a lot of the shots close. The putter was steady throughout and it was nice to hole a long one on 18 to finish.” Butler has been struggling with a back injury for the past while and that has contributed to his lack of recent appearances near the top of the leaderboard. “I’m off around 2pm tomorrow so I’ll get a chance to go to the gym before hand. My back has been troublesome for the past few weeks so I’ll do some exercises before I go out to play.” As for the strategy for tomorrow, it more of the same for Cathal. “I’ll just keep trying to make good decisions and smooth swings. If I can stay as relaxed as I was today it should be another good day.”
James Sugrue followed his opening 70 (-1) with a two over par 73 today. The Mallow man had a colourful back nine, comprised of two pars, three birdies, three bogies and an unfortunate double on the par five 12th. He’s just inside the top 50, and a good round tomorrow should see him through to Sunday. The 54 hole cut after tomorrow’s third round will see the top 50 (plus ties) go forward for Sunday’s final round. Mel Deasy, back at the venue where he led the qualifier for the West just a few weeks ago has found the going a little tougher. Rounds of 72 & 74 has him Continue reading
He calls it a love hate relationship, but Joe Lyons is probably more in love with Cork Golf Club after the winning the Munster Strokeplay Championship at the Little Island course over the weekend. After leading through the first, second and third rounds, Joe was brought to a playoff where he beat Eanna Griffin on the second sudden death hole. “I honestly didn’t think I’d be coming down here to win this weekend so it’s an absolute thrill to win” said Joe after claiming the trophy. “I’ve had a bit of a love hate relationship with this this course. I’ve had nines and tens and all sorts of things down through the years when I had chances of winning this event. Even leading the qualifiers in the Irish Close a few years back I had a ten on the 16th. I wasn’t expecting a whole pile so I’m delighted with the win.” After playing the first three rounds in five under with just six bogies, his closing Continue reading
Pictures from the final round in Cork on Sunday afternoon (and evening….): Continue reading
Pictures from the third round: Continue reading
Alan Fahy returns to Cork this weekend to defend his Munster Strokeplay title. Cork Golf Club will play host to the 72 hole event on Saturday and Sunday, and although some of the Irish Team are in Lytham, the field is the deepest ever with the cut falling at +0.4. The marquee three ball tees off at 9.40, it contains the champion Fahy, the 2018 runner up Robbie Cannon and Portmarnock’s Geoff Lenehan. The three have all shown promise this year and will be hoping for a positive start in Cork on Saturday. Keith Egan from Carton House is the lowest handicapped golfer in the field, playing off an impressive mark of +3.0. Gary O’Flaherty, Ian O’Rourke and Ian O’Flynn are the leading contenders from the home club while Kanturk native Paul Buckley has recently joined the club and will be hoping to build on good form from last weekend in Lee Valley.
Cathal Butler, Eoghan Long and 16 year old Mel Deasy are among the other locals who may challenge on Sunday afternoon. Deasy hit the Continue reading
Fionn Hickey finished strongly in Donegal today to claim second place in the Ulster Boys Open Championship. After opening rounds of 72 & 73 the Muskerry man was -1 and held 4th place overnight. In tough scoring conditions, Hickey found himself four over after six holes, but two birdies steadied the score. A final bogey on the 16th would see him sign for a 76, but that ended being the third best score of the day with nobody able to break par. Dundalk’s Josh Macklin shot a 74 to win while overnight leader Joshua Hill finished fourth. Robert Walsh(Kinsale) finished tied for 17th while Jack Egan (Muskerry) and Keelan McCarthy (Lee Valley) were further down the field.
Ulster Boys Amateur Open
Donegal Golf Continue reading
James Sugrue in action in the South of Ireland last year
James Sugrue and John Murphy were today named on a 26 man extended panel for the Walker Cup, and both will be hoping for a good summer of golf to boost their chances of making the ten man team for September. The Walker Cup takes place in Royal Liverpool (Hoylake) later this year, and both will hope to follow in the footsteps of John McHenry (1987) and Jimmy Bruen (1938/49/51) in making the final team. Mallow’s Sugrue (22) was disappointed two weeks ago when he had to withdraw from the European Nations Cup due to injury. Now he’s back at full strength he’ll be looking forward to the squad practice in Hoylake next week prior to playing in the Lytham Trophy the following weekend. Kinsale’s John Murphy (20) is currently in Kentucky with Continue reading
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.
West of Ireland Championship Leaderboard