A Year of Two Halves for Murphy

John Murphy Links Trophy 2018This 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

Busy off-season for O’Keeffe

Interpros 2016 Peter O'Keeffe

Peter O’Keeffe (Douglas) rejoins the Munster team for the first time since 2007 when he was part of the winning team. Picture: Niall O’Shea

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

Special Year for Lee Valley

Lee Valley Feature_1It 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

Solid Season for Sugrue

James Sugrue Dec 2018 Cork CoCo ReceptionAlthough 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

Another Lee Valley win for Gary

Gary O'Flaherty Munster Mid Am 2018_3It was win number four for Gary O’Flaherty in Lee Valley when he won the Munster Mid-Amateur title on Sunday.  His season started with a win in the Lee Valley Senior Scratch Cup in April, and he closed out on Sunday with another win on the championship course in Ovens.  Back in April O’Flaherty maintained his overnight lead to win his third Lee Valley title, this time he overturned a three-shot deficit to win on the final green in a tense finish.  Although the weather was much better than the wet conditions on Saturday, there was a stiff breeze blowing through Lee Valley which tested many of the golfers.  O’Flaherty played some very tidy golf, his only bogey of the day came at the 7th and his birdie on the 9th got him back to level for the round.  He birdied the par five 15th to get into the red, and he narrowly missed good birdie opportunities on the 16th and 17th.  Standing on the 18th, Gary was one Continue reading

Kieran O’Donoghue leads Munster Mid-Am in Lee Valley, Round 3 Draw

Kieran O'DonoghueKieran O’Donoghue (Douglas) carded two level par rounds of 72 to hold the 36 hole lead in the Munster Mid-Am in Lee Valley.  In a tough day for golf the wind and rain took it’s toll, and O’Donoghue was the only golfer to match par.  Padraic Connolly (Killeen Castle) is in second place, two strokes off the lead, and Cork duo Gary O’Flaherty and Mark Ford are next on +3.  Although O’Flaherty is three off the lead he has a strong record in Lee Valley, and all eyes will be on him.  Mark Ford and John OBrien are in the hunt with Dave O’Donoghue and Karl Bornemann having an outside change of victory tomorrow.

The cut fell at +19, a measure of the testing conditions.  Thirty golfers made it though to tomorrow’s final round with play getting underway at 8.30am. 

DRAW FOR ROUND 3:

8.30AM: R Kennedy (Monkstown), N Duggan (Dromoland (Castle), K Collins (Fermoy)

8.40AM: A Considine (Lahinch), C O’Donnell (Fota Island), D Coughlan (Castleknock)

8.50AM: J O’Sullivan (Fota Island), P Power (Lee Valley), C Ryan (Killeen Castle)

9.00AM: J Kehoe (Limerick), B Timlin (Galway),  S Miskelly (Knock)

9.10AM: R Connelly (Grange), P Murray (Clontarf), J Waldron (Muskerry)

9.20AM: D O’Donoghue (Bandon), P Flynn (Tramore), E Long (Monkstown)

9.30AM: K Bornemann (Douglas), G Dunne (Co Louth),  G Lenehan (Portmarnock)

9.40AM: D O’Donovan (Muskerry), J O’Neill (Lee Valley), A Thomas (Dungarvan)

9.50AM: J O’Brien (Castlemartyr), A Condren (Greystones), G O’Flaherty (Cork) 

10.00AM: M Ford (Cork), P Connelly (Killeen Castle), K O’Donoghue (Douglas)

Continue reading

Sugrue & O’Keeffe named on Irish team for Home Internationals

J2016 Flogas Irish Amateur Open Championshipames Sugrue and Peter O’Keeffe were both named in the Irish team for the Home Internationals which take place in Wales in less than two weeks.  For the first time in well over a decade, Cork will be represented by two golfers in an Irish Mens team.  After missing out on selection for the European Team Championships in July, Sugrue finally gets his first senior international cap after coming close earlier this year.  The Mallow man earned several caps at boys level and after a three year gap, he’ll be back in Irish colours in Conwy, Wales.  Ireland won an unprecedented fourth title in a row last year, and this year they’ll be hoping to retain the title.

Both Sugrue and O’Keeffe have been on form Continue reading

Munster win Interprovincial Chamionship in Athenry

Interprovincial Championship 2018

The winning Munster team pictured with Team Captain Michael Coote receiving the trophy from John Moloughney, President GUI, picture Fran Caffrey, Golffile.

There was a dramatic finish to the Interprovincial Championship this afternoon, with Geoff Lenehan again sealing a win for Munster.  The Waterville member won the crucial point in 2012 and 2014, and he was at the centre of the action again in Athenry, winning his singles match to give Munster the win against Leinster and the title.

Munster went into day three with a narrow lead, all four teams had one win each, with Munster ranked first on the basis of matches won.  The meant that a win for Munster should have been enough to seal the title.  The foursomes didn’t quite go to plan, with Munster trailing 3-1 at lunchtime.  The only win came from O’Keeffe and Lenehan.  Munster came out firing in the singles though, with Peter O’Keeffe and James Sugrue claiming the first points.  Munster needed five of the seven points to claim the title and with two in the bag the odds favoured the men in blue.  Eanna Griffin brought in a third point and while Andrew McCormack lost, John Hickey won to make it 4-1 with two matches on the course.  Both playing the final Continue reading