The closing date for the Munster Strokeplay is fast approaching, with entries closing on Saturday evening. The 72 hole event takes place over two days on the May Bank Holiday weekend, with the winner picking up the famous Cork Scratch Cup. Although the event has been a Munster Championship for over a decade, the cup dates back to 1923 making it the oldest scratch cup in the country. Already a number of the top Irish amateurs have entered and more will follow over the coming days. Entries are limited to the lowest 75 golfers, with the top 39 golfers qualifying for the final two rounds. The championship is again sponsored by Liam Ryan from Ryan’s SuperValu. There’s just a few days left to enter, and the link Continue reading
13 years after his first win, Peter O’Keeffe added a second Muskerry Senior Scratch Cup title to his growing haul of wins. The Irish International led from the start, a five under par 66 this morning saw him set the tone and take a one shot lead into the second round. A birdie on the second hole was struck out by a bogey on the 6th, but that would be his only mistake. The Douglas golfer bounced back with an eagle on the next hole and a birdie on the 8th saw him turn on -3. Two more birdies on the back nine gave him a one shot lead over James Sugrue.
Both Irish Internationals were level after the opening hole in the second round, but O’Keeffe kicked on with a birdie on the second and never looked back. Sugrue bagged several birdies but balanced that with a handful of bogies that prevented him from catching his playing partner. Cathal Butler continued his positive form with rounds of 69 & 70. That was good enough for third place and valuable points on the Munster Order of Merit. O’Keeffe also takes the lead in the Munster Order of Merit as a result of today’s win.
The story of the afternoon belonged to Kinsale’s Shane Kenneally. He produced a best of the day round of 64 (-7). Four birdies on the front nine, an eagle two on the 11th hole, and a birdie on the 18th saw him recover from an opening 77 to take 4th place overall. Cork’s Gary O’Flaherty was 5th (141, -1) in his first competitive event of the season. The nett prize went to Muskerry’s Zak Collins, a second round 70 saw him finish on -5 (nett).
Muskerry was in great condition for the showpiece event, the ground was a bit on the soft side but overall the course was great with the greens rolling nicely. This marks the start of a busy few weeks for Cork’s top golfers. While some will be heading for Co Sligo next week, both East Cork (Sat) and Fota Island (Sun) are holding Senior Scratch Cups. The qualifiers for the Ford Muskerry Junior Scratch Trophy also take place on Friday and Saturday next with times still available on both days.
Investec Muskerry Senior Scratch Cup 2019
136 Peter O’Keeffe (Douglas) 66 70
138 James Sugrue (Mallow) 67, 71
139 Cathal Butler (Kinsale) 69, 70
141 Shane Kenneally (Kinsale) 77, 64; Gary O’Flaherty (Cork) 72, 69; Jack Egan (Muskerry) 71,70
142 Sean Leonard (Mitchelstown) 71,71; Ian Bermingham (Douglas) 68,74
144 Andrew McCormack (Castletroy) 73,71; Philip Spratt (West Waterford) 71,73; David Fitzgerald (Tralee) 71,73; Jack McDonnell (Forrest Little) 70,74
145 Zak Collins (Muskerry) 75, 70; Fionn Hickey (Muskerry) 74,71; Noel McGee (Fota Island) 73,72; Rory Fives (Faithlegg) 73,72; Paul Tobin (Douglas) 72,73
146 Ian Spillane (Killarney) 75,71; Rory Milne (Faithlegg) 71,75
147 Alan Moriarty (Macroom) 74, 73
CSS Round 1:71
CSS Round 2:71
It was another solid performance from Mallow’s James Sugrue yesterday as he carded a one under par 71 at the third round of the South African Strokeplay Championship. After earlier rounds of -5 and -3, yesterday’s one under was more modest, but he maintained his position on the leaderboard. Two bogies and three birdies meant that Sugrue finished on -1 and an aggregate of -9 for his 54 holes.
Sugrue is now seven shots off the lead, meaning a win is probably out of reach, but a top ten finish will add to Sugrue’s very positive start to the season and it will have a positive impact on his WAGR ranking. He’s also the best of the strong Continue reading
Muskerry Golf Club launched their 2019 Senior Scratch Cup last week, and with a new sponsor and increased prize fund the competition is sure to attract a top class field. The 36 strokeplay competition takes place on Saturday 30th March and bookings are now open. The event will be limited to 66 golfers with lunch and refreshments included. Investec are coming on board as main sponsors, build o their strong presence in Cork and their support of amateur and professional golf nationally. “We are delighted to be associated with a leading global brand like Investec and are look forward to building this event into the leading 36 hole scratch cup in the country over the next few years” said Muskerry Captain Diarmuid Linehan. “Investec are the new sponsors, and they allow us to have an increased prize fund of €1,500 this year, but many thanks must go to our previous sponsors such as the Shine family and the Sadler family who have kept this competition alive through the years.”
This is the 46th staging of the competition, it dates back to 1974 when Youghal’s Denis Clifford was the inaugural winner. Needless to say the cup hold the names of the good and the great from Cork golf over that time, with more than a fair share of winners from Cork Golf Club represented on the famous trophy. Denis O’Sullivan, Pat Lyons, Tom Cleary and more recently John Hickey were all multiple winners. Cleary won the first of his six Muskerry titles in 1976, then representing Fermoy. He also won in 77, 79, 93 and 94, and then in 2010 he rolled back the years to claim a sixth title. Denis O’Sullivan was a prolific winner at the time, and Muskerry accounts for four of his haul of titles, stretching from 1981 to 1991. Douglas golfers have also featured regularly, John McHenry won back to back titles in 1983 and 1984 while Karl Bornemann won four titles between 2000 and 2007. Peter O’Keeffe also won in Douglas colours in 2006. The home club are well represented, Harry Shine was the first home winner in 1978, Jim McKenna won in 1982, Niall Turner won in 2003 while Dave O’Donovan claimed two titles in Continue reading
James Sugrue had another good start to a tournament when he shot a 5 under par round on the first day of the Southern African Amateur Strokeplay. Although an opening birdie was followed by a bogey, Sugrue was back in the red on -3 at the turn. He added another three birdies on the second nine but a bogey on his final hole meant that he signed for 5 under to finish best of the Irish in fourth place. That score leaves him just one shot off the lead which is held by three golfers.
Rob Brazill was the next best of the Irish, finishing the top ten. He had a memorable ace on the par three 16th, but unfortunately for Rob he had a triple bogey 8 on the next hole. Ronan Mullarney, Mark Power and Conor Purcell are 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
Pictures from the prize-giving in Lahinch: Continue reading