March date for Muskerry Senior Scratch Cup

Muskerry Senior Scratch Cup Launch 2019Muskerry 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

Shane settled in Douglas

Douglas Pro Shop Feb 2019_2

Stephen Hayes pictured with Shane Livesey who is the latest member of the Pro Shop team at Douglas Golf Club. Picture: Niall O’Shea

Shane Livesey is the newest member of the pro shop team in Douglas, the 21 year old joined Stephen last year and has enrolled in the three year PGA Professional programme.  Shane, who played Senior Cup with Monkstown and previously worked with David O’Sullivan in Cobh, is enjoying his new role in Douglas.  “I have settled in very well since joining Douglas Golf Club as an PGA assistant Pro last August thanks to the help and support of both Steve and Dave” said Shane.  “It is great to have the opportunity to work in such an established golf club, the members have given me a great welcome and are very supportive and interested as to how my PGA training is going.”  Mixing the full time role in Douglas with his studies can be a challenge as he explained.  “My PGA training started in October 18 and since then there was been a big change as now I have to balance working in the pro shop, assist in coaching the juniors, studying, and also trying to practice. The lectures and assignments are all Continue reading

Sugrue Strikes again in Cork

Munster PGA Cork_Feb 2019_1_1

John Dooley presenting first prize to Dan Sugrue in Cork Golf Club

Dan Sugrue struck again, winning the Munster PGA Winter Series singles in Cork Golf Club with a fine 67 in fine conditions.  This is Dan’s fourth win of the season, and it means he has extended his clear lead in the Winter Series Order of Merit.  After a steady start where he parred the opening five holes, the man from Dooks birdied the 6th and 8th, although he gave a shot back on the 9th to turn on -1.  An eagle on the 11th got him going again and two more birdies on the 15th and 17th saw him sign for a five under par round of 67.  David Ryan, who generally features on a course he knows very well, opened brightly and he was three under through six holes.  While he dropped shots on the 9th and the 10th, he had another three birdies on the back nine which saw him finish on 68 (-4).  Gary Howie was the only other player to break par, he took third place with a 70 while Jack Howard and Ted Higgins were tied Continue reading

Mairead Enjoying College Life

mairead martin louisville oct 2018Mairead Martin recently enjoyed a few weeks at home after an exciting few months in the US on a golf scholarship in Kentucky.  The Kanturk golfer who completed her leaving cert in June and in August she moved to start with their acclaimed womens golf programme.  It was a great first semester, Mairead finished the second highest ranked golfer on the roster claiming two top ten finishes on her first five tournaments.  It was a busy few months for the teenager as she settled into her new home for the next few years.  “The first couple of weeks were tough and quite intense it took a while for me to get used to how busy each day was between school, practice and workouts” explained Mairead.  “I struggled to find time to even think about home or even be homesick.  When I arrived in Louisville the team and coaches couldn’t have been Continue reading

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

2018 – Breakthrough year for Byrne

Sara Byrne Douglas Golf Club June 2018_12018 was a breakthrough year for Sara Byrne, and that was recognised last week when she won the Irish Golf Writers Womens Amateur of the Year award.  The award was a reflection on the results Sara achieved during the year as well representing Ireland at two international competitions.  It was a busy year for Sara, although she committed to playing in fewer events this year, the competitions she did select were higher in profile and the quality of the field was generally stronger.  In terms of other awards, Byrne topped the Girls Order of Merit by a clear margin, and she also finished third on the women’s order of merit.  Sara’s season started in March when she finished third in the Munster Womens Championship in Killarney.  Rounds of 74, 75 and 78 saw her claim a podium finish although she did miss out on retaining her Munster Girls title by one shot.  Despite playing well, she couldn’t manage to claim the top spot until she got to Enniscrone in June for the Irish Womens Close.  She came through two rounds of Strokeplay and five rounds of matchplay golf to win the national title.  Aside from the mental battle of matchplay, she also had to contend with extreme weather as wind and Continue reading

Another Monday, another win for Danny. Munster PGA

MPGA Castlemartyr Nov2018_1Dan Sugrue made it three from three in Castlemartyr on Monday when he won the third Munster PGA outing of the 2018 Winter Series.  In fact it was a double for Sugrue as he teamed up with his brother John and Tim Rice to claim the team prize. Sugrue had a flawless front nine of 32 with birdies on 4,6,8 and 9.  He had a further birdie 2 on 12 followed by his only drop shot on 13 – his first in 49 holes of competitive golf.  His final birdie came on 15 for an inward 35.

David Barry started with 3 birdies in the first four, he bogeyed 7 and 11 but birdied 17. Tim Rice birdie 3,7 and 8 to turn in 33, he had a lone bogey on 10 and finished with 8 pars.  Cormac Flannery birdied the first, bogeyed 3, he doubled the 5th which included a 2 stroke penalty for playing from the wrong tee but he finished the front nine strongly by eagling the 8th and birdieing 9.  He birdied 12 and 13 with his lone bogey on the back nine coming on the 16th.  Dan Sugrue, John Sugrue and Tim Rice had thirteen birdies between them to win the team event by three points.  The event was hosted by Castlemartyr’s PGA Professional Alan Gleeson.

Munster PGA Winter Series, Castlemartyr Links

Singles
1st – Dan Sugrue – Dooks GC 67
T2nd – David Barry – Douglas GC 70
T2nd – Tim Continue reading

Paudie on course in Castlemartyr

Castlemartyr_Paudie O'Sullivan_Aug 218It’s just a year since greenkeeper Paudie O’Sullivan was appointed as Head Superintendent at Castlemartyr.  Now in his third decade as a greenkeeper, the Little Island man has had a busy year at the prestigious East Cork golf resort.  “It has been a whirlwind twelve months, to get the Head Superintendent job at Castlemartyr was a fantastic step in my career” added Paudie.  “Everyday is a learning day in Castlemartyr as you never know what each day will bring.  In the twelve months since being given the Head Superintendent position, we have been through storm Ophelia in October, from November to February we had over 500mm of rainfall, and in March we were covered in snow and closed for 12 consecutive days.  Any then this summer we went through the driest summer I have incurred.”  That dry spell in July was O’Sullivan’s biggest task in a challenging year.  Weeks went by without any meaningful rain, which isn’t ideal when your trying to maintain over 100 acres of cultivated grass.  “Looking back now on the summer, Castlemartyr has come out quite well” explained the man in charge.  “One or two areas needed overseeding due to Continue reading