Cathal Butler bowed out of the AIG Irish Close Championship this afternoon after the Kinsale man reached the last 8 of the domestic major in Ballybunion. Of the six Cork golfers to make the top 64 matchplay stage, just Butler and Greg O’Mahony remained after two rounds of matchplay, and O’Mahony went out in the third round, losing to Charlie Denvir. Butler came through this morning’s match against Stephen Walsh, beating the former South champion on the 17th. In the quarter final he faced Robbie Brazill, the on form Irish international.
Brazill got off to a flier and Butler found himself four down after six. He won the seventh to pull one back but Brazill got the lead back to five by the turn, snuffing out any chance Butler had. The match was eventually settled on the 16th when the Naas man won 4&2. Brazill will face Alan Fahy tomorrow morning while leading qualifier Ronan Mullarney will play Charlie Denvir in the other semi-final.
AIG Irish Amateur Close Championship at Ballybunion
Match Play – Round 3
R Mullarney (Galway) bt N Hearns (Mountrath) 5&4; S Flanagan (Portmarnock) bt TJ Ford (Co. Sligo) 2&1; E Stack (Ballybunion) bt R Knightly (Royal Dublin) 2&1; C Denvir (Elm Park) bt G O’Mahony (Fota Island) 6&5; C Butler (Kinsale) bt S Walsh (Portmarnock) 2&1; R Brazill (Naas) bt D Morley (Oughterard) 2 holes; E Murphy (Dundalk) bt C Campbell (Warrenpoint) 4&3; A Fahy (Dun Laoghaire) bt E Farrell (Ardee) 2 holes
R Mullarney bt S Flanagan 2 holes; C Denvir bt E Stack 19th; R Brazill bt C Butler 4&2; A Fahy bt E Murphy 3&1
Wednesday 7 August Semi Finals
0845 R Mullarney v C Denvir
0900 R Brazill v A Fahy
Just two Cork golfers remain from the six that started in Ballybunion this morning. Cathal Butler and Greg O’Mahony are through to the last 16 in the AIG Irish Close in Ballybunion. Butler is on a good run of form at the moment, and he was delighted to come through the first two rounds considering the challenge that the Old Course put up. “It was blowing an absolute gale, so there was serious ball control needed” said the Kinsale man. “Obviously I had some bad holes and plenty of bogies thrown in but managed to get over the line. I just didn’t get down at all no matter what was thrown at me.” Cathal had beat Jordan Hood on the 18th this morning, and he won 3&1 over Conor Ryan this afternoon. Butler had plenty of home support in Ballybunion with all the lads staying on to support him. “Shane O’Connell from Kinsale caddied for me at the end of my first match and in the afternoon and he was a huge help. John Murphy, Gary Ward, Robbie Walsh and Eric Rumley came out to support me and it was a huge help to get me over the line especially when conditions were so tough. I love Ballybunion, it requires such precision with approach shots – it’s not easy though”
Butler will now face Portmarnock’s Continue reading
Six Cork golfers made it through the first test in Ballybunion this weekend, they’ve qualified for the matchplay stage of the AIG Irish Close Championship. In testing weather conditions the Old Course played much tougher than Saturday. Peter O’Keeffe ended up as the top Corkman, his level par round today saw him finish in 11th, 21 places higher than yesterday. Greg O’Mahony, Cathal Butler and John Murphy have all matched their Lahinch achievements in making the matchplay – although in Murphy’s case he had to qualify this time, doing so comfortably with three shots to spare. Mel Deasy made it through to his first championship matchplay he was the best of the +8’s and is through to tomorrow’s draw. South Champion Sean Desmond added a second 75 today to also finish on +8, he is through to the matchplay, hoping his form from Lahinch will continue. For a while it looked like Deasy, and especially Desmond would miss out, but as the afternoon score came in, all the +8’s were safely through and there was even a few +9’s to qualify. Overnight leader Ronan Mullarney added a three under par 68 to yesterday’s 65 to finish as top qualifier on -9. Eoin Leonard shot a best of the day 67 to Continue reading
The AIG Irish Close Championship got underway this morning in Ballybunion, with Kinsale’s Cathal Butler posting the low score to hold the clubhouse lead for most of the day. Despite delays due to a funeral and a nosebleed, over 130 golfers were out on the Old Course today. They were completing the first of two rounds to determine the top 64 qualifiers to go through to the matchplay stages starting on Monday.
After a good performance in Lahinch, Butler made to most of his early start. He had three birdies in a row from the 4th to the 6th, and added another on the 8th to turn on three under. Butler got to -4 on the 16th, but a bogey on the last saw him sign for 68, goo enough to hold the clubhouse lead for much of the day. The former Kerry Boys winner played very will in Lahinch last week, and he’ll be hoping that the good golf will continue as he aims to reach the final stages in Ballybunion. Butler is three behind Ronan Mullarney who opened with a blistering 6 under. Clubmate Gary Ward also finished in the red, he shot a one under par 70, thanks in part to a tasty eagle three Continue reading
Cork interest in the AIG Irish Close finished today as James Sugrue and Peter O’Keeffe lost in the third and fourth rounds respectively. Sugrue was up against Conor Purcell and the match went all the way to the 20th hole before it was settled. Unlike the result of extra holes in Lahinch, Sugrue came out on the wrong side when the match finished on the 2nd hole. Purcell went on to beat Eugene Smith this afternoon and will face Eoin Leonard in tomorrow’s semi-final.
Peter O’Keeffe had a good win this morning, beating Jack Walsh with two holes to spare. He faced Alex Gleeson in the quarter-final and unfortunately for O’Keeffe the 2016 winner from Castle won by a single hole. Gleeson will now face Robbie Cannon in the other semi-final.
Peter O’Keeffe in action in Lahinch at the South of Ireland. Picture: Niall O’Shea
Peter O’Keeffe and Jame Sugrue are through to the last 16 after a tough day at the AIG Irish Close Championship at the European Club. O’Keeffe, who had been struggling with illness yesterday, had a one hole win over Noel Crawford this morning, that was after being one down at the turn. In the afternoon he faced John Murphy in an all-Cork clash. Murphy wrapped up his first round match against Gary Cullen on the 12th signalling he was still the form player. It was O’Keeffe who started better, going two up after the first three holes. Murphy recovered quickly, levelling the match by the 6th, and he held a one shot lead at the turn. O’Keeffe had another purple patch on the back nine, he was one up through 15, and he won the 16th to double his lead. He won the match on the 17th, winning that hole to record a 3&1 win over Murphy. O’Keeffe will face Jack Walsh in tomorrow’s third round.
James Sugrue also Continue reading
It was a good weekend for Cork golfers as seven have made it through to the matchplay stage of the AIG Irish Close Championship. The European Club in Co Wicklow is the venue for the final major of the year and the challenging Ruddy designed links saw the scores vary from 66 to 90+ over the opening two days.
The leader from day one, Peter O’Keeffe (Douglas) finished in tied third place. Although he had a 76 today, his opening 66 from yesterday was always going to be enough to see him safely through to the matchplay phase. A few early bogies set the tone for his day and despite a recovery on his second nine, two late bogies meant he finished on +5 and level par for the 36 holes. Gary Ward (Kinsale) is just one shot behind in fifth place, tow rounds of 71 and 72 left the Kinsale golfer on +1.
Macroom’s Padraig O’Connor has reached the matchplay stage for the first time. He shot a one over par 72 today, and finished on +5 to take 16th place. John Hickey and Cathal Butler both made their second successive championship cut with solid play over the opening two days. Hickey carded rounds of 75 and 75 to finish in 33rd place and although he’ll be disappointed by the two late bogies, he’s safely through to Continue reading
Jack Egan (Muskerry)
Cathal Butler and James Sugrue both lost out in the first matchplay round at the AIG Irish Close Championship in Galway yesterday. They were the only two Cork golfers to make it into the top 64 after the 36 hole strokeplay qualifier. Butler was up against West of Ireland winner Barry Anderson and the Kinsale man was one up after 14, but Anderson won three holes on the trot to close the match on the 17th. Sugrue brought his match to the 18th, but crucially couldn’t win the final hole and lost by one hole to Portmarnock’s James Fox.
Muskerry’s Jack Egan made the cut for the final round at the Irish Boys Under 16 Open in Rockmount. Egan was going around nicely today until he found trouble on the 17th and had to sign for an 80. Still he ended up two inside the cut mark, just inside the top 25. Kinsale’s Jody Costello shot rounds of Continue reading
James Sugrue pictured with the Muskerry Senior Scratch Cup which he won earlier this year
The business end of the AIG Irish Close Championship gets underway tomorrow with four Cork golfers qualifying for the matchplay phase. Mallow’s James Sugrue lead the Cork challenge with a pair of 75’s that saw him finish day two inside the top 20. Sugure was going very well he was one over for the front nine, but a double on the par five 13th meant he signed for his second 75. Kinsale’s John Murphy playing in his first Close is just one shot behind Sugrue. He came in with a two over par 74 which bettered his opening round by three shots. Cork’s John Hickey also bettered his opening score by three shots, a 75 today was a disappointing finish as the recent Barton Shield winner was -1 at the turn. Hickey is Continue reading