It’s been a busy off season for Peter O’Keeffe, while many golfers have put the sticks away until January, O’Keeffe is still working hard. The Doulas elite amateur was in Spain last week, and he finished sixth in a Gecko Tour event. The Gecko Tour is a mini-tour based in Spain, generally featuring emerging professional golfers. O’Keeffe shot a final round 67 to jump up the leaderboard and finish on -4 for his 54 holes. It was a good finish for Peter, he was +3 halfway though his second round so his strong finish was a real positive. Peter has had another good year at the top level. In March he retained his Kerry Scratch Cup title, and while he didn’t repeat his 2017 feat of winning a national championship, he was competitive in almost every event. He reached the quarter final of the Irish Close and finished in the top eight on the Bridgestone Order of Merit. He retained his place on the Irish team for the Home Internationals, a team that narrowly lost out to England. O’Keeffe has risen up the international rankings also, he started the year at 752 on WAGR, but he Continue reading
2018 was a breakthrough year for Sara Byrne, and that was recognised last week when she won the Irish Golf Writers Womens Amateur of the Year award. The award was a reflection on the results Sara achieved during the year as well representing Ireland at two international competitions. It was a busy year for Sara, although she committed to playing in fewer events this year, the competitions she did select were higher in profile and the quality of the field was generally stronger. In terms of other awards, Byrne topped the Girls Order of Merit by a clear margin, and she also finished third on the women’s order of merit. Sara’s season started in March when she finished third in the Munster Womens Championship in Killarney. Rounds of 74, 75 and 78 saw her claim a podium finish although she did miss out on retaining her Munster Girls title by one shot. Despite playing well, she couldn’t manage to claim the top spot until she got to Enniscrone in June for the Irish Womens Close. She came through two rounds of Strokeplay and five rounds of matchplay golf to win the national title. Aside from the mental battle of matchplay, she also had to contend with extreme weather as wind and Continue reading
Douglas Golf Club is now open for applications for a new General Manager, as Conor O’Brien will retire from the post in the coming months. Founded in 1909, and now boasting a large membership, the club is in the middle of an ambitious development plan which includes enhanced practice facilities, a new six hole short game course, and eventually the redevelopment of the famous clubhouse. Further details are available below.
Sean Reddy is one of Cork’s emerging young golfers who continues to work on his game and improve, and the 2018 season was an important one for the 11 year golf nut. Having started playing golf many years ago, Sean joined Douglas Golf Club at the start of the season and quickly became a regular on the course. The young golfer rounded off his season when he got his hands on some important silverware last month, he won the Minor Matchplay Cup in Douglas in September. Any the way he won was pretty impressive. Playing in a matchplay competition, he won the 18th with a birdie to force the match onto the 19th hole. And on the testing par four he won the match with a par. Sean was a busy boy all Summer, playing competitions and practicing. Like most young golfers, the summer holidays meant more time on the course and he put himself to good use picking up the club almost every day. “All summer I played most days in Douglas and then other days I practiced in the Academy in Fota Island” said Sean, “I was usually playing or practicing everyday. I got to play Hollywood in Belfast, Rory Milroy’s home course, it was incredible to play there. My favourite also was the K Club, last time I was there on a Sunday was to watch Rory win the Irish Open in 2016.” Unlike many other golfers of his age, Sean doesn’t just practice for fun, he does it to improve. And he spent the summer working on a few important areas. I worked on my swing path and alignment mostly, trying to keep my swing consistent on every shot” explained Reddy, “I know my swing speed and distance will come as I get older, I am not 12 until next year and I want my swing to be perfect now so when I am older it hopefully will be always be consistent as I swing faster. I worked on many speed and strength drills with Peter for most of the summer.” Now playing off an official GUI handicap, Sean has seen this tumble as he played in Douglas over the Summer. He dropped ten shots and he’s now playing off 14 – a very impressive mark for an eleven year old. “In February had a handicap of 24” explained Sean, “I am now down to 14 since Continue reading
There was cause for celebration in Tipperary on Sunday as Cork clubs came away with four of the six pennants on offer. Macroom and Monkstown both had two teams in action but each club came away with one win. Macroom losing the Junior Foursomes and Monkstown losing the Junior Cup to East Cork. The four Cork sides won all of the singles events, and now look forward to the All Ireland finals in Knightsbrook at the end of this month.
Zak Collins and Eoghan Cassidy have been named on the Irish squads to play in the Reid Trophy (Under 14 English Championship) in Reading next week. Collins from Douglas and Cassidy from Kinsale have been playing well all season and both golfers featured on the successful Munster team who won the Under 14 interprovincial championship last week. The event is a great opportunity for the cork duo, it attracts a top quality field of English and international players whose playing handicap is 7.4 or better. The 54-hole stroke play championship is played over three days. The full field plays 18 holes on each of the first two days with the leading 70 competitors going on to play the final 18 holes on the third day. The Cork pair will be joined by two Limerick golfers, Ballyneety’s Morgan O’Sullivan and Iestyn Winn in a strong Munster line-up. Faithlegg’s Alex King Continue reading
While there are thousands of Cork people who have just completed exams, it was a different time for Davey Barry as he got word that he had passed his final PGA exams, meaning he has now a qualified teaching professional. The Douglas based Pro had been working hard for the past three years, combining work in the pro shop with his studies, but Davey is delighted that he now joins the PGA as a full member. “It’s fantastic to have finished the course. It’s a lot of work and long hours but it’s a great feeling to have gotten here” said Davey. “It was a long journey for me, I had to do some extra exams before I started the course, it was well worth it though. This is something that I’ve always wanted to do since I was young, and it’s a career that can Continue reading
James Sugrue and John Murphy have both qualified for the matchplay stage of the British Amateur after the opening strokeplay quaifier. The hot shots comfortably made it through along with Robin Dawson, Rowan Lester and Conor Purcell.
John Murphy qualified just outside the top ten, he shot a 69 on the Mulcar Links yesterday to close on +2. Murphy was three under after four holes and steady golf under pressure saw him maintain a solid level of golf. This time last week, he was still only the fourth alternative on the waiting list.
James Sugrue, who is part of the Irish squad at the event, was three shots back from Murphy in 40th place. He shot two rounds of 73 on both Royal Aberdeen and Mulcar Links. Both golfers have proven themselves at the highest levels, Sugrue is the reigning South of Ireland champion while Murphy won the St Andrew’s Links Trophy less than two weeks ago. A good run in the matchplay stages will help their case for selection for the six man Irish team for the European Championships.
There was disappointment for Peter O’Keeffe who missed out on the matchplay stage, he missed the cut by two shots after a disappointing final few holes in yesterday’s second round. The matchplay qualifier (for those tied in 64th place) takes place this morning with the first round proper starting later this morning. James Sugrue is out at 11.08 and John Murphy starts at 13.51.
Teenager Sara Byrne is the new Irish Women’s Close Champion. The Douglas golfer beat all before her in Enniscrone over the past three days to claim the prestigious national title. A 2&1 win over Louise Coffey this afternoon meant that another national title is headed back to Douglas Golf Club.
“This is just amazing, I knew I could do it” said a delighted Byrne. “When Louise won the 3rd I knew that it was better to be up at the end of the match than at the start, I knew that a one hole difference was nothing so I stayed patient. This is definitely my number one achievement to date, on the final few holes I got a bit nervous but I told myself that I had worked too hard to give this one away. This brings my golf career up a step and any event now I play in I can tell myself that I can win because I am Irish Champion!”
The Irish and GB&I capped golfer now joins an elite group, Continue reading
Eoghan Long claimed his first scratch cup win on Sunday when he won the 36 hole Douglas Senior Scratch Cup. The Monkstown man posted the best score of the afternoon when he signed for a two under par 70. Added to his level par 72 from the morning, his total of 142 for the 36 holes was enough to win the title by one shot. Long had two challengers, both Peter O’Keeffe and Eric Rumley had shot 70’s in the first round, but they both finished with 73’s in the afternoon.
Play in Douglas was delayed on Sunday morning due to heavy rain. Although the overnight downpour had stopped the course staff needed some time to clear some standing water. Although the threat of rain was never too far away the course dried out and some good golf was on display. O’Keeffe and Rumley were the only golfers to break par. Long along with Stephen O’Neill and Darren Continue reading