It 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
Pictures from the third round in Lee Valley: Continue reading
Kieran 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)
James 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
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
Munster’s fate is very much on their own hands tomorrow as they have a chance to win the Inter Provincial title in Athenry. After a narrow loss to Ulster yesterday, the Munster team bounced back today with a strong win over Connacht. Munster lead 2.5-1.5 after the Foursomes this morning, but they had a strong return in the singles, winning six of the seven matches.
James Sugrue, Eanna Griffin, Peter O’Keeffe and Andrew McCormack all won down 18 in what was a closely fought contest overall. John Hickey enjoyed a clear-cut 4&3 win against Joe Lyons and Garry O’Flaherty held sway in the back match, beating home favourite David Kitt 3&2.
As Leinster beat Ulster it means that all four teams have one win and one loss going into the final day. With the four team tied, the advantage is with Munster who have the highest number of match wins, they have a 1.5 match lead over Connacht. If Munster win the chances are they will win the title after a four year gap.
Munster v Leinster, 08:40 Foursomes
A McCormack & C Butler v C Rafferty & E Smith; J Sugrue & E Griffin v J Yates & R Brazill; G Lenehan & P O’Keeffe v A Fahey & C Denvir; G O’Flaherty & J Hickey v R Cannon & R Moran Continue reading
Mel Deasy (Bantry Bay) bagged his second Munster title when he won the Munster Boys Under 16 Open at Newcastlewest today. The Munster Under 15 champion from two weeks ago, Mel was up against a tough field for the Under 16 Open. Deasy started the second round in a four-way tie for the lead, and a rain delay meant he started his final round an hour later than scheduled. A hard south westerly wind tested everyone and Deasy parred the opening hole which proved problematic for many golfers. A solid front nine followed with birdies on the 4th and 8th holes. That gave the Ballincollig man a two shot lead over the field as he faced into the final nine holes. The back nine proved testing, with Deasy dropping shots on the 12th and 15th. After his playing partner Joshua McCabe fired in two birdies leaving the Bantry golfer two behind. McCabe found trouble coming home however dropping four shots over the 16th and 17th. That gave Deasy back his two shot lead, and he played the 18th like a pro. He found the fairway off the tee and played a steady approach that finished just short of the green on the long par four. A chip and two putts later he was the Munster Boys Under 16 Champion. His one over par second round meant that he finished on a level par total of 140 for this two rounds.
Joshua McCabe (Roganstown) was second, one shot behind Deasy, and third place went to Robert Galligan (Elm Park). Kinsale’s Robbie Walsh had a disappointing second round of 81, dropping outside the top ten. Muskerry’s Stephen Riordan jumped ten places following his second round but Jack Murphy and Brian McCarthy both dropped places in the testing conditions. They were the only Cork golfers to make the cut for the second day.
For Deasy it was a great finish to the week. On Tuesday he was on the Bantry Bay Junior Foursomes team who lost out in the Munster semi-final. Mel is now a double Munster winner, holding the U15 and U16 titles.
Pictures from day two at Newcastlewest: Continue reading
It’s 22 years since Gary O’Flaherty made his Munster debut, as a 17 year old he was thrown into a cauldron dominated by career long elite amateurs. And O’Flaherty survived. Now making his 20th appearance on the Munster team, Gary is looking for his sixth win in Blue. Back in 1996 he pitched up at Mount Juliet for his first outing as Munster tried to retain their title. Munster did just that, and went to Ballybunion a year later to help Munster win the three in a row. It was a big event for O’Flaherty, there was no under 16 or under 18 interpro’s back then and he was teeing it up with the elite amateurs from across the country. “I was in awe of the guys there that week” said Gary when recalling that week. “I played two singles matches and won both against Colin McElderry and Kevin Flanagan. I remember watching Eddie Power and Dennis O’Sullivan play, and I tried to copy their games. Not the longest hitters, but very straight and did very little wrong. I played foursomes the following year in Ballybunion with Tom Cleary and we won 5.5 out of 6 points.” O’Flaherty had two caps to his name, along with two wins. As the years went on, there was not matching the two from two success rate and it would be Continue reading
It was a busy few days, with five pennants up for grabs between Saturday and today. Plenty of pictures in the galleries below: