The Munster PGA got their Winter Series off to a great start on Monday with a very successful competition in Fota Island. Close to thirty club professionals turned out for the first event of the series, one of four events planned to take place before Christmas. Fota Island was the venue for the first outing, with the three time Irish Open venue hosting the popular fourball as usual. Comeptition was close, that was until the card from David Higgins and Dan Sugrue came in with the Kerry pair claiming first place. Higgins is a regular winner in the series but it was the first win in a while for Sugrue. The Dooks based Professional was in hospital following a very serious operation just 11 months ago, but it was like old times on Monday when the Kerry native came home in first place. Sugrue had five birdies, including three in a row from the 5th to the 7th. Sugrue’s -5 was Continue reading
A cold putter cost Niall Turner today in the final round of the Great National Hotels Irish Masters at Ballykisteen. The overnight leader bounced back from a double on the first, and despite giving himself plenty of chances on the greens he couldn’t covert the birdies chances. Turner finished in a tie for fourth place as all of the leaders struggled to match the scoring of the first two rounds. Despite the missed chances the Muskerry golfer was withing a shot or two of the lead for much of the round, and when a bogey on the 12th brought him back to -9 it looked as if the win was out of reach. The Asian Tour member rallied with birdies on the 16th and 18th and that brought him back to -11 and he took home just over €2,000 for his week in Tipperary.
Waterville’s David Higgins had a great start and was -4 for his opening eight holes which saw him jump Continue reading
Niall Turner shot a flawless 66 in the second round of the Great National Hotels Irish Masters at Ballykisteen today. Turner had four birdies on the front nine and added two more at the 11th and 13th. Surprisingly though the long hitter from Waterfall couldn’t add to his haul on the two closing par fives. Despite that Turner should be happy, he goes into tomorrow’s final round on -11, with a one shot lead over English duo Jack Harrison and Ben Robinson.
“All parts of my game have been pretty good so far,” said Turner. “If you drive it nicely out here you have a lot of short irons in. I have driven well so far and my wedges have been good so I have given myself a lot of birdie chances.
“This is my first time at Ballykisteen – it is a really enjoyable course to play and it is in great condition. It will probably be similar scoring tomorrow. If you get to 16 or 17 under that would be tough to beat but there is a very low one out there so you are going to need to keep making birdies.”
David Higgins also had six birdies but the Waterville man had two bogies and signed for a 68. He’s tied for 16th place, five behind the leader on -6. Monkstown’s Cian McNamara dropped back after is one under a 71. Despite five birdies in six holes on his front nine, he dropped for shots. Although he’s safely inside the cut mark, he’s seven off the lead and will be hoping for a good day tomorrow to earn a decent cheque.
Niall Turner carded a five under par round to lies in 3rd place on the opening day of the Great National Hotels Irish Masters at Ballykisteen Golf & Country Club. The Europro Tour event saw over 150 professionals tee it up today for Munster’s first Europro event in several years. Turner started on the back nine and reeled off four birdies in a row from the 15th to 18th to turn on -2. He added another four birdies in six holes on the front nine and one dropped shot on the par three 6th hole saw him sign for a 67. Turner is two shots off the lead which is held by England’s James Ruth.
Cian McNamara was one of the early starters this morning and he set the tone, birdieing the 1st & 3rd holes. He added another on the par five 18th and finished on -3 in a big group of 19 players. Waterville’s David Higgins is one Continue reading
David Higgins retained his PGA Irish Club Professional title in Dromoland today. The Waterville man shot a second successive 70 to win by three and ahead of a three way tie for second which included Colm Moriarty, Brian McElhinney and Richard Kilpatrick. Higgins had a steady round one birdie on the front nine was balanced by a bogey on the back nine as he eased to his first Irish Region win of the new season.
Cian McNamara carded a two under par 70 which tied for the low round of the day. He was level par for the front nine but an eagle 2 on the par 4 tenth hole got his round going. He birdied the 15th to get to -3 but a dropped shot on the last hole saw him finish on +5 for the tournament and take a share of 10th place.
Padraig Dooley added a 78 today after shooting a 73 yesterday, he finished two shots behind McNamara in 14th place. David Ryan was the only other Cork golfer in action in Dromoland, he shot a second round 78 to finish in the middle of the pack in 34th place.
“I was delighted with that today. With it being so windy there was disaster around every corner so I kept it steady and kept the big numbers off my card,” said the 44-year-old. “It was a great couple of days, fantastic weather and a spectacular setting for the course which was set up tough. It played a bit ‘linksy’ which was right up my alley and considering the course set-up and the high winds I was delighted to shoot level par.”
Higgins was happy to get off the mark today: “I’m delighted to get off to a good start. The standard is getting better each year on the Irish Region and every win is going to be crucial in the order of merit race. I was my first time to Dromoland, its a cracking venue and definitely worth a visit for any golfer.” Next up for Higgins is a EuroproTour even in Ballykisteen next week and then it’s on to the Roganstown Golf Hotel Pro-Am in Monday week.
As well as a busy schedule on the Irish Region tour, Higgins also has a place in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, and the links specialist is looking forward to July: “I haven’t played Portstewart yet but I hear it is a great links. I would love for the wind to blow really strong during the week of the open. I feel this would play right into my hands and give me my best chance of doing well.”
David Ryan and David Higgins came out on top on a glorious day in Monkstown today as the annual Morgan O’Donovan Perpetual Trophy competition took place. Both players shot an impressive 67 and although the sun was out the combination of a hard wind blowing and fast greens meant that only a few golfers managed to break par. The competition is now in it’s fifth year and commemorates Morgan O’Donovan who was Head Professional in Monkstown before his death in 2012. The competition today was sponsored by Ping and the pro-am format saw plenty of Munster PGA Professionals take the opportunity to get out and play with an amateur partner.
It was Higgins third time in a row to win the prestigious tournament. Higgins had missed out on the opening events, playing his first event in Cork a few weeks ago where he shot a 73. The former European Tour player shook off the cobwebs as he went out in a very tidy 32 strokes. Birdies on the 4th & 5th were followed by a birdie on the 9th hole to turn on -3. Another birdie followed on the 11th but he handed back a shot on the par three 13th. He birdied the 15th to get back to -4, but there was one more bogey on the 18th where a tricky pin position was causing trouble for a good number of golfers.
David Ryan followed up his current good form with another 67. He went Continue reading
David Ryan (Cahir Park) and David Foley (Dromoland Castle) came joint top in Dooks today in the first outing of the Munster PGA Winter Series. The two David’s were the only golfers to finish under par, shooting an impressive 70 in cool windy conditions. The pair had a four shot cushion over the field. Dooks was in great condition for the Ping sponsored event which attracted PGA professionals from all over the province. Third prize was shared between Limerick’s Tim Rice and Tralee’s John Sugrue after they both finished with a 74. Rice will miss the next outing as he’ll be in Tarragona, Spain hoping to earn a place at final qualifying for then European Tour. Rice qualified for the second qualifying stage last month, and will be hoping for another good performance there. Monkstown’s Cian McNamara and his amateur partner Alec O’Donnell took the pro-am prize.
The next event on the PGB sponsored schedule takes place in Killarney on Monday 7th December. After Killarney its on to Dromoland, and Castlemartyr will host the final event before Christmas in December.
Waterville’s David Higgins missed today’s competition as he’s in action in the PGA Playoffs, being held in Saunton Golf Club in Devon. Higgins carded and opening round of 72 (+1) and is in the top ten just three shots off the lead. The 72 hole event continues tomorrow.
The 106th Irish PGA Championship came to a conclusion today with two Cork golfers in the top 10. Monkstown’s Cian McNamara finished of his tournament in style with a two under par 70. The Limerick native got off to a great start with three birdies on the front nine and another one on he 11th. He bogied the 13th and 16th which pegged him back a little but still stayed in the red and signed for a 70. Davey Barry also rounded off a great week, finishing in a tie for 7th place alongside McNamara. Davey signed for a one over par 73 today but jumped up two places on the leaderboard. Barry was three over par through 11 holes but added two birdies on the way home to get back on track and ensure his top ten finish.
David Higgins had a 71 to stay inside the top ten and finish in 6th place just ahead of McNamara and Barry. David Ryan shot a level par 72 to move up into the top 30. Mallow’s Ciaran McKenna had another disappointing round and finished near the back of the field.
Damien McGrane joined the legendary past winners with a hugely impressive 69 to put his name alongside some of the greatest Irish golfers. Overnight leader Continue reading
Davey Barry shot a one under par 71 at Moyvalley today in the third round of the Irish PGA Championship. Barry moved up the leaderboard on day three and now he’s in 10th place. The Douglas assistant professional started brightly with a birdie on the first but a bogey on the 5th brought him back to level par for the day. A bogey on the 16th was book-ended by birdies on the 12th and 17th which meant that Barry signed for a 71. Cian McNamara slumped to a 77 for this third round, a double bogey on the last was a tough way to finish for the Monkstown Professional who had recovered from a poor start. McNamara is now in 13th place. David Higgins is the best placed Munster Pro, he had a 71 today and is tied for 8th place. The lead is still held by Colm Moriarty from Drive Golf Performance. Moriarty’s 70 was one of the low rounds of the day and he has a one stroke lead over Damien McGrane and holder Niall Kearney.
David Ryan jumped up 14 places on the leaderboard thanks to his 73 today, but Ciaran McKenna dropped out of contention after a disappointing round. Tomorrow will see the final round of Continue reading
Cian McNamara shot an impressive 73 today in very testing conditions to stay in contention at Moyvalley. High winds hampered golfers all day with the later starters suffering the most. McNamara’s solid round means that he’s in 7th place and just four shots off the lead. David Higgins also carded a 73 and he’s in 12th place. David Barry had one of the best rounds of the afternoon, his two over par 74 has him on +1 for the tournament and in a tie for 15th place.
Ciaran McKenna is tied for 36th place after a second round 78. He’s on +8 for his first 36 holes. David Ryan looked like missing the cut after a second round 78, but the afternoon scores saw him jump a few places and he made it through to the weekend right on the cut mark of +11. Padraig Dooley, Stephen Hayes, Ronan Collins and Conor Coyne all had round in the 80’s and missed the cut which was limited to the top 50 plus ties. Daniel Crowley and Peter Hickey also missed the cut after poor opening round yesterday. The lead in the Continue reading