Super 65 for Butler in Co Sligo, Flogas Irish Amateur Open

AIG Senior Cup Area Semi Finals 2018 Cork Golf Club Sunday 24th June 2018A birdie three on the last hole was the perfect finish to Cathal Butler’s round in Co Sligo today, as he signed for a 65 after a great second round.  Butler, who had a four over par 75 in his opening round, got to work early today and was three under through five holes.  He added another two birdies before the turn to go out in 31 (-5).  Although he had a few good birdie chances on the back nine he ended up with eight consecutive pars. He did close out on the 18th with a birdie, leaving him on -2 and tied for 20th at the halfway stage.  Needless to say the Kinsale golfer was in a positive frame of mind after his round.  “It was a relief as much as anything – it feels like a long time since I shot a low one” said Butler after the round.  “I was hitting it lovely, I only missed one green and hit a lot of the shots close.  The putter was steady throughout and it was nice to hole a long one on 18 to finish.”  Butler has been struggling with a back injury for the past while and that has contributed to his lack of recent appearances near the top of the leaderboard.  “I’m off around 2pm tomorrow so I’ll get a chance to go to the gym before hand.  My back has been troublesome for the past few weeks so I’ll do some exercises before I go out to play.”  As for the strategy for tomorrow, it more of the same for Cathal.  “I’ll just keep trying to make good decisions and smooth swings.  If I can stay as relaxed as I was today it should be another good day.”

James Sugrue followed his opening 70 (-1) with a two over par 73 today.  The Mallow man had a colourful back nine, comprised of two pars, three birdies, three bogies and an unfortunate double on the par five 12th.  He’s just inside the top 50, and a good round tomorrow should see him through to Sunday.  The 54 hole cut after tomorrow’s third round will see the top 50 (plus ties) go forward for Sunday’s final round.  Mel Deasy, back at the venue where he led the qualifier for the West just a few weeks ago has found the going a little tougher.  Rounds of 72 & 74 has him Continue reading

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Cork set for Munster Strokeplay

Munster Strokeplay Championship
Cork Golf Club
Sunday 6th May 2018Alan Fahy returns to Cork this weekend to defend his Munster Strokeplay title.  Cork Golf Club will play host to the 72 hole event on Saturday and Sunday, and although some of the Irish Team are in Lytham, the field is the deepest ever with the cut falling at +0.4.  The marquee three ball tees off at 9.40, it contains the champion Fahy, the 2018 runner up Robbie Cannon and Portmarnock’s Geoff Lenehan.  The three have all shown promise this year and will be hoping for a positive start in Cork on Saturday.  Keith Egan from Carton House is the lowest handicapped golfer in the field, playing off an impressive mark of +3.0.  Gary O’Flaherty, Ian O’Rourke and Ian O’Flynn are the leading contenders from the home club while Kanturk native Paul Buckley has recently joined the club and will be hoping to build on good form from last weekend in Lee Valley.

Cathal Butler, Eoghan Long and 16 year old Mel Deasy are among the other locals who may challenge on Sunday afternoon.  Deasy hit the Continue reading

Sugrue the best of Cork in Co Sligo

Investec Muskerry Senior Scratch Cup Muskerry Golf Club
Saturday 30th March 2019

James Sugrue

James Sugrue is the best of the Cork golfers at the halfway stage of the West of Ireland Championship in CO Sligo Golf Club. The Mallow man shot a two under par 69, helped along the way with an eagle on the back nine. Sugrue started smartly with an opening birdie but a seven on the par five 3rd hole set him back. He recovered with a birdie on the fifth and his eagle on the 12th brought him back into the red. Added to his opening 72, Sugrue is on -1 at the halfway stage – tied for fourth place. He’s four shots behind joint leaders Caolan Rafferty and Max Kennedy.

Mel Deasy added another 73 today to finish +4 in a tier for 30th place. The leading qualifier was three over after his front nine, but came back in one under to match yesterday’s score.

They are the only two golfers inside the top 50, the cut line after tomorrow’s third round. Greg O’Mahony and Gary Ward are just one shot outside the top 50 on +8 (T56) while Sean Desmond is a shot further back, currently placed T76. It was another tough day for Peter O’Keeffe, he shot a 78 which makes qualifying for Sunday a big ask. Cathal Butler also suffered after a horrendous front nine, which put paid to his chances. Kieran Murphy, Keith Fitzpatrick, Padraig O’Connor and Eric Rumley are all outside hopes for making it through to Sunday, but they do have one more round at the famous links to post a memorable score.

West of Ireland Championship Leaderboard

O’Keeffe wins Investec Muskerry SSC

Investec Muskerry Senior Scratch Cup Muskerry Golf Club Saturday 30th March 2019

Peter O’Keeffe in action in the Investec Muskerry Senior Scratch Cup today. Pic: Niall O’Shea

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.

Gallery: Investec Muskerry Senior Scratch Cup 2019

Muskerry Senior Scratch Cup Presentation_1

Peter O’Keeffe (Douglas) receiving the Muskerry Senior Scratch Cup from Michael O’Connor (Investec). Also included are Marian Nugent (President) and Diarmuid Linehan (Captain), Muskerrry Golf Club.
Picture: Joe Lane

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

Munster win Interprovincial Chamionship in Athenry

Interprovincial Championship 2018

The winning Munster team pictured with Team Captain Michael Coote receiving the trophy from John Moloughney, President GUI, picture Fran Caffrey, Golffile.

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

Super 69 from Rumley to lead Leinster Students

AIG Barton Shield Munster Final 2018
Thurles Golf Club
Sunday 19th August 2018Eric Rumley came home in three under in Killeen today to sign for a 69 and lead the Leinster Students after the opening round.  Fresh from helping Kinsale to their first AIG Barton Shield title in Thurles on Sunday, the Kinsale man opened with a birdie but gave shots back on the third and fifth holes.  A birdie on the ninth got him back to even par, and set him up for the impressive back nine.  Birdies on the 12th and 13th got him into the red and a final birdie on the par three 18th saw him tie for the lead.  Stackstown’s John McCarthy is also on -3 while there are ten more golfers within three shots in the 54 hole tournament.

Gary Ward is in the top 15 on +3 while Darren Hourihan is in the top 30 two shots back.  The second round gets underway tomorrow morning with the top 45 plus ties qualifying for Friday’s final round.  The holder is John Murphy but he’s unable to defend his title as he returned to the University of Louisville last week.

Leinster Students Amateur Open Championship  Continue reading

Barton Shield win for Kinsale

AIG Barton Shield Munster Final 2018It may have taken Kinsale over 100 years to win their first Munster pennant, but it was a much shorter wait for their second.  Just four weeks after winning the Jimmy Bruen Shield, Kinsale doubled their haul when they won the Munster Final of the AIG Barton Shield in Thurles last Sunday.  On paper Kinsale were up against it, in the semi-final they faced Dungarvan who had won the AIG Senior Cup title the day before.  In the semi-final they were up against it when Dungarvan stretched their lead the three holes early in the back nine.  The four Kinsale golfers battled back, and two birdies on the 17th turned the match to send Kinsale into the final.  After a quick break it was back to the first tee in Thurles to face off against a fancied Continue reading

5 Cork golfers named on Munster team for Interprovincial Championship

James Sugrue_22

James Sugrue (Mallow) teeing of in the third round of the South of Ireland.
Picture: Niall O’Shea

James Sugrue and Peter O’Keeffe lead a five strong Cork contingent on the Munster team for the interprovincial championship later this month.   Cork GC duo John Hickey and Gary O’Flaherty along with Kinsale’s Cathal Butler make up the majority of the eight man team to play in Athenry.

Sugrue and O’Keeffe were assured of their places thanks to finishing in the top three on the Munster Order of Merit.  Both have recorded wins this year and they have also been playing well, reaching the latter stages of the South of Ireland and the AIG Irish Close.  Gary O’Flaherty retains his place and he’s be hoping to add to the six wins that he’s racked up since his first appearance in 1996.  John Hickey and Cathal Butler return to the side after missing out last year, they both played in Fota Island in 2016.

Geoff Lenehan, Andrew McCormack and Eanna Griffin also retain their places from last year in what is a very experienced side.  There are two notable absentees though Continue reading

Thompson wins Faldo Series at Mount Juliet

Rachel Thompson Baltray May 2017Rachel Thompson put on a great display of golf in Mount Julliet last week to win the Faldo Series qualifier.  Played over three days on the testing championship course, Thompson was trailing by two shots after the opening round.  She went on to fine an impressive one over par round on the second day, that was eight shots better than the field and gave her a six shot lead.  Thompson had a solid final day, holding her big cushion and claiming the win.  The Cork golfer now qualifies for the Faldo Series final which takes place in Dubai in November.  It promises to be an exciting few weeks for the Cork golfer.  She will be moving to Scotland in September to take up a golf scholarship in the University of Sterling.  Before that she’ll tee it up in the English Womens Strokeplay and she’s heading to Yale in October in a college tournament.  There was disappointment for Kinsale’s Gary Ward, he was within two shots of the lead after two rounds.  Opening rounds of 71 and 72 had him on -1, just two behind Rosslare’s Paul Murphy.  Unfortunately for Ward he had a disappointing final day, he dropped to fifth overall after a final round 79.  Cathal Butler and Mark Healy were also in action, Butler also finished tied for fifth and Healy was in the top ten.  It was another positive week for Kinsale considering they are preparing for the Munster finals of the Barton Shield.

O’Keeffe and Sugrue advance at the Close

South of Ireland 2018Lahinch Golf Club
Saturday 28th July 2018

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