The O’Keeffe train kept on pulling today. After well over a week on the road Peter O’Keeffe put together back to back wins in Portstewart today to get through to the last 16 in the North of Ireland. He had another action packed day today, at 8.03am he was on the first tee facing Eoghan Collins. A steady performance saw him dispatch the Laytown & Bettystown member on the 16th. This afternoon he faced Rosslare’s Ian Lynch, and the Douglas man got off to a flier winning four of the first seven holes. O’Keeffe held his lead before eventually winning 3&1. He’s now safely through to tomorrow’s third round where he’ll face Tandragee’s Jake Rowe.
After spending most of last week in Lahinch where he was working with Robin Dawson, O’Keeffe left Co Clare on Sunday to head for the North, where he had an afternoon tee time for the first round in Castlerock. A poor start on Monday (+5) was followed by a very impressive 69 on Tuesday when he played on Portstewart’s championship links.
Paul Buckley had a good win this morning when the Kanturk native had a 4&2 win against Barry Cashman. That saw him face Geoff Lenehan in the second round. Buckley was one up early doors but Portmarnock’s Lenehan, who was tied as the strokeplay leader battled hard and won 4&2.
Cathal Butler was a casualty in this morning’s first round. Despite a bright start which saw him go two up on Aaron Edwards Hill, the Englishman fought back and beat Butler on the 17th.
Monkstown Golf Club are hosting a unique challenge on Saturday, two golfers will try and complete 180 holes in one day. Monkstown’s Club Professional Cian McNamara and General Manager Brian Hurley have set themselves the challenge to play ten rounds of golf in one day. Playing under the rules of golf, and counting both scores, the pair will be walking the course adding to the difficulty of the task. Starting at 4.30am on Saturday morning (28 minutes before dawn!), the challenge is expected to last well into the evening, and with no guarantee of success the two PGA Professionals will have a long day ahead of them on Saturday. The only other similar feat in Cork was completed by Lee Valley’s Denis O’Brien who completed seven rounds at the Clashnure course in Ovens well over a decade ago.
While other similar challenges have been completed in the US, the ten round target is a unique event in Ireland. The event is a fundraiser for the Monkstown Cups and Shields teams, and give that the Club Pro and the GM are doing all of the hard work, it’s not surprising that many of the club members have jumped in to sponsor the holes. All 180 holes in the challenge are now sponsored and with Ronan Murphy’s Smarttech 24/7 joining in as the main sponsor for the event, the club is well on the way to achieving the €10,000 target they set for themselves.
The event has become a real talking point in Monkstown, with many golfers question the reality (and sanity) of trying to complete the 180 hole challenge. That said there’s a great atmosphere around the fundraiser and a large number of members and supporters are expected to come out to cheer on the two golfers on Saturday. While there won’t be too many out for the 4.30am start, it is expected that the crowds will build, especially on Saturday evening.
Peter O’Keeffe staged a huge recovery at the North of Ireland today, jumping over 100 places on the leaderboard to make it into the matchplay stage of the provincial championship. O’Keeffe, who only arrived in Portstewart yesterday after a week in Lahinch, needed to dig deep after an opening 78 (+5) in Castlerock yesterday. And the big hitting Douglas golfer did just that, shooting a three under par 69 to finish inside the top 40, with two shots to spare from the cut mark of +4. It wasn’t plain sailing for O’Keeffe on Portstewart’s Strand course, host of the 2017 Irish Open. The 2017 Irish Open winner was two over after three holes, but two birdies and an eagle over the next four holes got him back in track. A handful of pars followed until he dropped two more birdies on the 14th and 17th. A bogey on the last meant he signed for a 69 and at that stage O’Keeffe was thinking it Continue reading
Pictures from Bandon: Continue reading
Enter a Robert Walsh JNR (Kinsale) winner of the Connacht Boys Amateur Championship 2019. Picture: Golffile | Fran Caffrey
Robbie Walsh claimed his first provincial title today when he overturned a three shot deficit to win the Connacht Boys in Oughterard. It was a long three days for the Kinsale golfer, he was in contention from the start and held a share of the lead with Galgorm Castle’s Joshua Hill after an opening 68. He fell back to second place after round two though when he shot a level par 72 and Hill shot a 69. With a three shot lead, Hill was favourite to win the title, and after the opening nine it still looked like that. The Kinsale teenager was still three behind at the turn but two mistakes from Hill and a birdie from Walsh on the par five 14th saw the pair tied for the lead on the 16th tee. Hill went one ahead with a birdie on the 16th, but he closed with two bogies that would put him into second place. Walsh’s birdie on the par three 17th was crucial, it gave him a one shot lead heading to the 18th tee. Although both golfers bogied the last, Walsh knew he had a cushion and claimed his first provincial title.
Muskerry’s Fionn Hickey carded a final round 69 (-2) to move up to 4th place, that’s another good result after he won the Under 17 trophy at the Irish Boys last week. Jack Egan (Muskerry) and Keelan McCarthy (Lee Valley) both finished inside the top twenty, and Ronan Feerick (Mallow) dropped Continue reading
Some major improvements to the golf course in Bandon are underway with the first phase including major improvements to the practice areas and the first hole. With over 950 members, the 110 year old club is working hard to remain a driving force for golf in West Cork. Bandon President Donal O’Donovan has been involved with the club for several decades, having held the role of Captain in 2002, he has represented Bandon at the highest levels. That included being part of the Irish Senior Cup team that won the national title in 2010. As well as being a scratch golfer for most of his playing time, Donal has also served on many committees and as President this year he described the programme the club set out to implement the course improvements. “Two years ago, we felt that the course needed to be improved, so we set up a development committee that would be in place for Continue reading
Robbie Walsh leads the Connacht Boys after an impressive round where he shot a 68. The Kinsale teenager had five birdies on his way the the four under par round in Oughterard. A bogey on the final hole spoiled an otherwise flawless round, and he ties the overnight lead with Joshua Hill. Keelan McCarthy (Lee Valley) and Shane Connor (East Cork) are the next best Cork players, they shot level par and are tied for 13th place. Muskerry duo Fionn Hickey (+2) and Jack Egan (+3) are both inside the top thirty, along with Mallow’s Ronan Feerick. Round two in Oughterard takes place tomorrow with the top 45 qualifying for the final round.
Pat Lyons leads in Kilkenny – Irish Seniors Close Pat Lyons shot an opening one Continue reading
Rachel Thompson (Cork) during the 2019 Irish Women’s Open Strokeplay at Co Louth Golf Club. Picture by Pat Cashman
Four Cork ladies and two girls have been named on the Munster teams to take part in the interpros at Mount Woolsey next week. Connacht Women’s Champion Rachel Thompson is joined by Clodagh Coughlan, Paula Walsh and Jean O’Driscoll. with Aoife Ni Thuama named as reserve. In the girls team, Youghal’s Roisin Connolly was selected with Monkstown’s Michelle Sharkey. Sara Byrne misses the interpros as she is on the Irish team at the Girls European Team Championships in Spain next week.
The event will take place at Mount Wolseley Hotel and Golf Resort from the 9th to the 11th of July. Each Province will play each other in three foursomes’ matches and fives singles matches.
Clodagh Coughlan (Douglas), Sarah Cunningham (Ennis), Jean O’Driscoll (Muskerry), Sinead Sexton (Lahinch), Rachel Thompson (Cork), Aideen Walsh (Woodstock), Paula Walsh (Doneraile), Captain: Orla Barry
Reserve: Aoife Ní Thuama (Douglas)
Roisin Connolly (Youghal), Anna Dawson (Tramore), Corrina Griffin (Killarney), Shannon Hegarty (Ennis), Niamh O’Dwyer (Lahinch), Michelle Sharkey (Monkstown), Emily Walsh (Limerick), Captain: Aoife Lowry, Manager: Kiara O’Keeffe
Reserve: Caitlin Shippam (Ballykisteen)
Tuesday 9th July: Munster v Connacht; Leinster v Ulster
Wednesday 10th July: Ulster v Connacht; Leinster v Munster
Thursday 11th July: Connacht v Leinster; Munster v Ulster
Lee Valley’s Mel Deasy has been selected to represent the GUI at the McGregor Trophy later this month. Deasy, who is a member of the Irish Boys U16 panel, is one of six players selected to represent the GUI. Deasy had a great start to the season, winning the West of Ireland qualifier, and making the cut in the event. He’ll be looking forward to the next few weeks with several boys competitions taking place, in addition to the McGregor. The McGregor Trophy, which is contested for the English U16 Stroke Play Championship, is a 72-hole tournament. After two rounds, the top 40 and ties will progress to play the final 36 holes. Among the previous winners is England’s Justin Continue reading
Jack Howard (Fota Island)
Jack Howard came agonisingly close to a spot in Lahinch this week, the Fota Island golfer was just one shot away from making the Irish Open field. Playing alongside 130 of Ireland’s top professionals and amateurs in Moy Valley, Howard shot a three under par 69 in his opening round. Five birdies and two bogies saw him reach the halfway point in fifth place and in with a great shot of claiming one of the four passes to Lahinch. David Ryan was also in on -3 while Conor Coyne was the next best Cork golfer on level par. While several golfers completed their first rounds on Sunday morning, the leaders had to wait to start their second rounds. Although Howard opened with two bogies in Sunday’s second round he recovered before the turn. A birdie on the 13th and an eagle two on the 15th put him back in a positive position but a bogey on the second last hole meant that he missed out on the playoff by one shot. A four under total, with two under par rounds is a strong performance, and given the quality of the field Howard’s top ten finish is impressive. David Ryan carded a second round Continue reading