Pictures from Friday evening in Royal Liverpool: Continue reading
Ireland had a super win against hosts Denmark in semi-final of the European Seniors today. In a match that went all the way to the wire Ireland ended up on the right side of the result after one additional hole. Alan Condren won with a few to spare and Steven Graham won on the 18th. Karl Bornemann & Jim Carvill lost their foursomes match on the 17th, and Peter Sheehan also lost his singles match. With four matches in the score was 2-2, meaning O’Brien’s match would decide the outcome. The Castlemartyr member was one down after 15, and despite winning the 16th the momentum shifted when he lost 17 to a birdie. With the pressure of the match on him, O’Brien birdied the last to extend the match. On the 19th, he calmly slotted a ten foot putt to send Ireland through to tomorrow’s final. It’s been a great week for O’Brien on his international debut, and his form has been matched by his teammates who also have been very solid all week. Ireland now face England tomorrow in the final.
Pat Lyons has been included in the Irish team for the Seniors Home Internationals later this month, making it three Cork golfers in the seven man team. It’s a first international call up for the Cork Golf Club member, and his selection Continue reading
Karl Bornemann and John O’Brien are both in action today at the European Senior Mens Team Championships in Denmark. Ireland are among the ten teams in action, hoping to make the top eight after the opening strokeplay qualifier. John O’Brien is appearing in Irish colours and he was delighted to get the call a few weeks ago. He’ll tee it up at 8am this morning alongside England’s Paul Wharton and Italy’s Filippo Cleaici. Bornemann makes a return to the team after playing in Sweden in 2017. He’s off later on today at 12.50. The 36 hole strokeplay takes place today and tomorrow, with the matchplay phase beginning on Thursday. Hopes are high that Ireland will regain the title they last won in 2017. The competition takes place in Rungsted Golf Club in north east Denmark.
European Senior Men’s Team Championship (Rungsted GC, Denmark; 3-7 September) — Ireland:
Karl Bornemann (Douglas)
Jim Carvill (Banbridge)
Alan Condren (Greystones)
Steve Graham (East Sussex National)
John O’Brien (Castlemartyr)
Peter Sheehan (Ballybunion)
Captain: Michael Coote (Tralee)
Manager: Matt Donohue (Portumna)
James Sugrue is through to the final 64 in the US Amateur in Pinehurst, North Carolina. The Mallow man was on the cut line of +4 when play was suspended last night, and had two holes to play to complete his round. Needing two pars to get rthrough, Sugrue made quick work of the par three 17th, birdieing the hole to put himself in a great position. He finished off the round with a regulation par on the difficult closing hole to qualify in the top half of the draw on +3.
Speaking after the strokeplay was completed, Sugrue was delighted to progress. “I was just thinking par-par to be honest as they are two tough holes. There was a lot of rain overnight and the course softened up a bit, so I was delighted to make the putt on 17. The greens had been running at 13.5 so I had been very tentative earlier in the week.” Pinehurst No 2, famous from the 2014 US Open among other majors is proving to be one of the toughest US Amateur courses, the 7,400 yard Donald Ross designed course is playing to a stroke average of 77, proving to be a worthy challenge for the world’s top amateurs.
The Amateur Champion is up against England’s Alex Fitzpatrick in the round of 64 and he’s looking forward to the matchplay format, despite the challenge of the course. “It’s the hardest course I’ve played and you have to be really cute about where you put the ball. At least now I can give a few putts a go after the rain.”
John Murphy reaped the rewards after long frustrating summer – one that demanded plenty of resilience and perseverance – he won the prestigious Mullingar Scratch Cup today to record his biggest win on home soil. “It’s been a tough season, and while I kept plugging away, things weren’t happening for me” said an excited Murphy. “I am heading back to Louisville next Saturday so I said I’d give it one more crack instead of just throwing in the towel on the summer. I am very relieved with this one.” Originally a Walker Cup panellist, Murphy has had a frustrating three months at home. Trips to England and Scotland were fruitless and outside of Kinsale qualifying for the Barton Shield finals Continue reading
John O’Brien and Karl Bornemann have been named on the Irish team that will take part in the European Senior Mens Championship next month. It’s a first call up for O’Brien while Bornemann returns to the team after playing on the winning team in 2017.
Earlier this week, O’Brien got a call from Irish Seniors Captain Michael Coote and it was a a dream come true. “It was the best feeling ever” said the Castlemartyr man. “I worked so hard this year with Cian McNanara and put in a lot of work to get down to my lowest handicap of +1.1. I’ve been playing a lot of golf and it’s starting to pay off. I can’t wait to play in Denmark representing Ireland in the European championships, it’s a dream come true for me I hope to do my family and club proud.” O’Brien recently set the course record in Blarney where he is also a member, and he was runner up at the Ulster Seniors last week. His consistent performances had caught the Continue reading
Muskerry’s Fionn Hickey made his international debut this week, and the 16 year old did himself proud at the Boys Home Internationals. The annual event took place in Ashburnham Golf Club in Wales and Ireland opened with a win over Scotland on Tuesday. It was a disappointing start for Fionn as he narrowly lost his singles match. There was better luck for the Muskerry man yesterday as Ireland beat Wales and Fionn won his singles match against Toby Bishop. That win set Ireland up for a winner takes all match against England today. Hickey partnered Dylan Keating for a half this morning with Ireland taking a lead, the score was 3.5 to 1.5 after the foursomes. Fionn won his match this afternoon, but the wind was in the English sails. They won six of the matches to win by a single point and take the title. While the final result was a disappointment, England were the favourites and solid play from Hickey on his debut will spur him on for a strong end to the season.
Girls & Womens Home Internationals
Sara Byrne was also in action for the Irish Girls over the Continue reading
Cathal Butler bowed out of the AIG Irish Close Championship this afternoon after the Kinsale man reached the last 8 of the domestic major in Ballybunion. Of the six Cork golfers to make the top 64 matchplay stage, just Butler and Greg O’Mahony remained after two rounds of matchplay, and O’Mahony went out in the third round, losing to Charlie Denvir. Butler came through this morning’s match against Stephen Walsh, beating the former South champion on the 17th. In the quarter final he faced Robbie Brazill, the on form Irish international.
Brazill got off to a flier and Butler found himself four down after six. He won the seventh to pull one back but Brazill got the lead back to five by the turn, snuffing out any chance Butler had. The match was eventually settled on the 16th when the Naas man won 4&2. Brazill will face Alan Fahy tomorrow morning while leading qualifier Ronan Mullarney will play Charlie Denvir in the other semi-final.
AIG Irish Amateur Close Championship at Ballybunion
Match Play – Round 3
R Mullarney (Galway) bt N Hearns (Mountrath) 5&4; S Flanagan (Portmarnock) bt TJ Ford (Co. Sligo) 2&1; E Stack (Ballybunion) bt R Knightly (Royal Dublin) 2&1; C Denvir (Elm Park) bt G O’Mahony (Fota Island) 6&5; C Butler (Kinsale) bt S Walsh (Portmarnock) 2&1; R Brazill (Naas) bt D Morley (Oughterard) 2 holes; E Murphy (Dundalk) bt C Campbell (Warrenpoint) 4&3; A Fahy (Dun Laoghaire) bt E Farrell (Ardee) 2 holes
R Mullarney bt S Flanagan 2 holes; C Denvir bt E Stack 19th; R Brazill bt C Butler 4&2; A Fahy bt E Murphy 3&1
Wednesday 7 August Semi Finals
0845 R Mullarney v C Denvir
0900 R Brazill v A Fahy
Just two Cork golfers remain from the six that started in Ballybunion this morning. Cathal Butler and Greg O’Mahony are through to the last 16 in the AIG Irish Close in Ballybunion. Butler is on a good run of form at the moment, and he was delighted to come through the first two rounds considering the challenge that the Old Course put up. “It was blowing an absolute gale, so there was serious ball control needed” said the Kinsale man. “Obviously I had some bad holes and plenty of bogies thrown in but managed to get over the line. I just didn’t get down at all no matter what was thrown at me.” Cathal had beat Jordan Hood on the 18th this morning, and he won 3&1 over Conor Ryan this afternoon. Butler had plenty of home support in Ballybunion with all the lads staying on to support him. “Shane O’Connell from Kinsale caddied for me at the end of my first match and in the afternoon and he was a huge help. John Murphy, Gary Ward, Robbie Walsh and Eric Rumley came out to support me and it was a huge help to get me over the line especially when conditions were so tough. I love Ballybunion, it requires such precision with approach shots – it’s not easy though”
Butler will now face Portmarnock’s Continue reading
The AIG Irish Close Championship got underway this morning in Ballybunion, with Kinsale’s Cathal Butler posting the low score to hold the clubhouse lead for most of the day. Despite delays due to a funeral and a nosebleed, over 130 golfers were out on the Old Course today. They were completing the first of two rounds to determine the top 64 qualifiers to go through to the matchplay stages starting on Monday.
After a good performance in Lahinch, Butler made to most of his early start. He had three birdies in a row from the 4th to the 6th, and added another on the 8th to turn on three under. Butler got to -4 on the 16th, but a bogey on the last saw him sign for 68, goo enough to hold the clubhouse lead for much of the day. The former Kerry Boys winner played very will in Lahinch last week, and he’ll be hoping that the good golf will continue as he aims to reach the final stages in Ballybunion. Butler is three behind Ronan Mullarney who opened with a blistering 6 under. Clubmate Gary Ward also finished in the red, he shot a one under par 70, thanks in part to a tasty eagle three Continue reading