Close Call for Howard at Irish Open Qualifier

Jack Howard (Fota Island)

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

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Howard runner up in Irish Club Professional at Dromoland

Jack Howard (Fota Island)Jack Howard finished runner-up in the Irish Club Professional Tournament in Dromoland last week, losing out to Damien McGrane after a play-off.  Howard, representing Fota Island shot a four under par 68 to lead the tournament.  That included important birdies on the 17th and 18th to get into a tie for the lead.  It was in impressive round from Howard in a strong field, and it included seven birdies.  At the end of the round the two leaders were tied on -4, and unlike other PGA events it was on the a play-off.  After halving the first play-off hole, McGrane put the pressure on by hitting the green on the short par four 10th.  When Howard missed his 12 foot birdie attempt the former European Tour winner tapped in or birdie to claim the title.

Davey Barry and Shane Irwin were the next bet placed Cork golfers, they both carded one par rounds of 73 to get a top ten place, while Cian McNamara and David Ryan were three back in a share for 24th place.

While Jack will be disappointed at missing out on the win, there are several positives.  As well as the prize money for second place, the high placed finish means that the 22 year old will now be able to enter several of the high profile events as the Irish Continue reading

Sugrue Strikes again in Cork

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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

Two from Two for Sugrue

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Danny Sugrue receiving first prize from Cormac Flannery (Killarney) and Padraig Dooley (Captain, Munster PGA)

Danny Sugrue claimed his second win of the Munster PGA Winter Series in Killarney yesterday, shooting a 69 on Killeen.  Although the ground has softened and the air temperatures are cooler, the course in Killarney was in great condition.  Sugrue made the most of the clam conditions, posting his second bogey free round of the series to win by one stroke.  The Dooks Club Professional, who served his time in Killarney, is clearly back on form after taking time off to recover from serious surgery.  Cahir Park’s David Ryan was second with a 69, helped by a great recovery on the 8th hole after being blocked out after his drive  (scroll down for video).  There was a tie for third place with Gary Howie and Paul O’Neill finishing on 73.  The day also featured a team three ball event, just to keep everyone on their toes.  The first prize was taken by David Hayes, Gary Howie and Padraig Dooley with David Ryan, Shane O’Sullivan and Colin O’Gorman taking second place.  The next event in the series is scheduled to take place in Castlemartyr Golf Links. Continue reading

Rice wins in Killarney, Munster PGA

Tim Rice Munster PGA Killarney Dec 2017Tim Rice won his second Munster PGA event of the season when he shot a five under par 67 in Killarney today.  Rice knocked in six birdies in an impressive round on Mahonys Point.  Close to 30 PGA Professionals played in the event, which was sponsored by John Caulfield from TaylorMade.  The scoring was very impressive with 11 golfers shooting par or better.  Cian McNamara took second place with and Fota Island’s Jack Howard picked up his first prize as a pro, he shot a 69 to finish tied for 3rd place.  Lahinch’s Donal McSweeney was fifth with a two under par 70.  The over 45 prize went  to David Whyte while the team prize was won by Tin Rice, Alan O’Meara, Jamie O’Sullivan and David Whyte.

Donal McSweeney Munster PGA Killarney Dec 2017Mahony’s Point was in great condition and Munster PGA Captain Cian McNamara thanked Cormac Flannery and David Keating for their help with another great outing.  Killeen is currently undergoing some work as a new green is being constructed on the iconic first hole.  The new green brings the water into play for the second shot and a large proportion of the work has been completed with an opening due for early next year.  The Captain also passed on his best wishes Danny Sugrue, the Dooks professional underwent major surgery last week for an ongoing condition and everyone was delighted to hear that he’s making a good recovery.

The last event of 2017 will take place next Monday in Castletroy and another good turn-out is expected.  After that a further four events are planned for early 2018, and the series is scheduled to conclude with a pro-am in Monkstown where the Morgan O’Donovan Perpetual Trophy will be played for.  The Munster PGA winter series is sponsored by Premium Golf Brands.

Munster PGA Winter Series #3
Killarney (Mahony’s Point)
Sponsored by TaylorMade Golf (John Caulfield)

1: Tim Rice, Limerick (67)
2: Cian McNamara, Monkstown (68)
T3: Jack Howard, Fota Island (69)
T3: David Ryan, Cahir Park (69)
5: Donal McSweeney, Lahinch (70)

Over 45: David Whyte
Team: Tim Rice, Alan O’Meara, Jamie O’Sullivan, David Whyte.

McNamara on form, Irish PGA Championship Pro-Am

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Monkstown PGA Professional Cian McNamara pictured with PGA Tour member Seamus Power on a visit to Monkstown Golf Club. Picture: Niall O’Shea

Monkstown’s Cian McNamara was tied second in today’s Irish PGA Championship Pro-Am in Moyvalley.  McNamara has been improving steadily in the early part of the season, last week he carded a final round 69 in the PGA Professional Championship to claim 6th place.  The event was held in Lutrellstown Castle which featured 150 PGA professionals from all over the UK and Ireland.

Today he followed up with another solid round in Moyvalley in the pro-am on the eve of the the 72 hole Irish PGA Championship.  The Limerick native was second, two shots off the lead set by David Higgins.

Moyvalley is a course that McNamara likes, he finished in the top ten last year and he’ll be hoping to challenge at the top of the leaderboard and add his name to the famous trophy.  Davey Barry (Douglas) also finished in the top Continue reading

Top Ten for McNamara as Higgins wins, Irish Club Professional Tournament

David Higgins 2017David 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.”

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Ryan & Higgins on top in Monkstown, Munster PGA

Morgan O'Donovan Perpetual Trophy 2017David 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

Cork win for Dooley & Ryan, Munster PGA

munster-pga-cork-feb-2017Local knowledge seemed to give two local golfers the edge in Cork today as Padraig Dooley (Drive Golf Performance) and David Ryan (Cahir Park) won the Munster PGA event.  Over 20 golfers started out this morning and while there was a cold wind blowing through Little Island, the course was in great condition and surprisingly dry given the heavy rainfall over the weekend.  Both golfers trained under Peter Hickey and they returned today to triumph over a field of talented professionals.  Both golfers played very steady golf, Ryan was an early starter and had birdies on the 6th, 11th & 12th.  The only blemish came on the 17th, but the two under par 70 was enough to get into the winners circle.  It was a similar story for Dooley, he also birdied the 6th and the 12th.  A bogey on the 14th brought him back to -1 but a birdie on the 17th saw him sign for a 70 and take a share of Continue reading

McNamara wins in Dromoland, Munster PGA Winter Series

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Munster PGA Captain Stephen Hayes presents Cian McNamara (Monkstown) with first prize.

Cian McNamara won on the double today when he won the singles and the pro-am competitions at Dromoland Golf Club.  The Monkstown Professional won by one shot from David Ryan and only two golfers managed to break par.  Gary Howie took third place with level par and Patrick Sheehy was fourth with a 73.  Dan Sugrue, Diarmuid Frazer and David Foley all tied for fifth place

It was McNamara’s first win in the 2016 PGB Winter Series had a steady start but dropped a shot on the long par five 6th.  He struck a purple patch around the turn, knocking in four birdies in five holes.  McNamara birdied the 9th, 10th, 12th & 13th.  Unfortunately he dropped a shot in the 14th but he bagged another birdie on the closing hole.

  • McNamara also claimed the honours in the pro-am when he partnered Peter Brazil (Limerick GC) to a winning 44 points.  Ian Colleran and amateur partner Brian Lenihan took second place with 42 points.

The next event in the series takes place in Castlemartyr next Monday, the event is a pro-only event.

PGA Winter Series Event #3, sponsored by Golfbuddy
Dromoland Golf Club
1st Cian McNamara 69
2nd David Ryan 70
3rd Gary Howie 72
4th Patrick Sheehy 73
5th Dan Sugrue 74 Diarmuid Fraser 74 David Foley 74

Pro-Am Results
1st Cian McNamara and Peter Brazil 44
2nd Ian Colleran and Brian Lenihan 42

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