Peter O’Keeffe fired himself into a fifth place finish at the East of Ireland, thanks to a three under par 69 in his final round this afternoon.
O’Keeffe has an impressive back nine, he went on a birdie run and was three under for his final seven holes, and it was an impressive finish given the difficulty of the course in Baltray. The result is a nice boost for the 2017 Irish Open Champion as he looks to cement his place on the Irish Squad. O’Keeffe started the season with a win in the Muskerry Senior Scratch Cup, and the performance in Co Louth signals that he’s back on form. Greg O’Mahony built on last week’s win in Douglas with a top twenty finish. The Fota Island member will probably be disappointed with a closing 75 having been well placed after a 71 this morning.
Sean Desmond was the only other Cork golfer to make the cut, he finished in 23rd place on +5 after a final round 72.
Mallow’s James Sugrue and Kinsale’s both missed the East as they played in the Brabazon Trophy in The Alwoodley Club in Leeds. Sugrue had a an impressive event, finishing in the top twenty. Like much of the field, Sugrue batteld with the back nine over the four days, but on Sunday he had four birdies on the first ten holes before he eventually succumbed to two bogeys on the closing holes. It meant that he finished with a 70, which saw him jump from 35th to tied 18th. Both are back in action this week in the St Andrews Links Trophy. Murphy will be keen to show some of the form he had on display recently in the NCAA Regionals and Finals, especially as he missed the cut in Leeds last weekend.
John Murphy, Credit: Tristan Jones
John Murphy and James Sugrue were the best placed Cork finishers in the East of Ireland which concluded on Monday. Murphy ended up claiming a spot in the top ten, finishing in a tie for 6th place on +2. Murphy birdied the last to sign for a 73 and continues a good run of form. Like many other Cork and Munster golfers he’ll now head for Tralee for the Kerry Scratch Cup which takes place this weekend. With more Munster Order of Merit points on offer the competition for places on the Munster interprovincial team is heating up. Janes Sugrue closed with a two over par 74 today but signed for a very impressive 69 yesterday. The Mallow man tied the low round of the day with five birdies and two bogies which saw him jump up on the field. The winner was Reece Black from Hilton Templepatrick who blew the Continue reading
John Hickey shot a two under par 70 in Baltray this morning to finish the first round in 5th place. A steady round saw Hickey turn on -2 after two birdies. He added a third bridie on the 14th but bogied the par three 15th immediately after that. Two more pars followed and he signed for a 70 which is just one shot off the lead set but a group of four golfers. Gary O’Flaherty returned to competitive golf after a short break and he went round the Co Louth links in a very respectable 71 strokes. Like his Cork Golf Club partner Hickey, Gary also had a very tidy round. Two birdies, one bogey and fifteen pars made up the card that saw him tie for ninth place just two shots away from the leading bunch. The fourway tie Continue reading
Murphy pictured during the Alps Tour event in Clement Ader last week. Pic: Tristan Jones
Peter O’Keeffe was a late withdrawal this afternoon from the East of Ireland Championship which gets underway in Co Louth Golf Club tomorrow. O’Keeffe was one the highest ranked qualifiers but a neck injury has prevented him from taking part. He struggled with the problem last week during the Douglas Senior Scratch Cup and with no improvement he made the tough call to withdraw late this afternoon. Although the Irish Open champion is missing, there’s still a strong challenge from Cork.
Munster Students Champion John Murphy (Kinsale) returned from France earlier this week and he’ll be confident from a run of recent good form while fellow Kinsale member Cathal Butler will be looking to return to the form he displayed at the Munster Students in March. Both Sean Desmond (Monkstown) and Gary Ward Continue reading
John Hickey (Cork) remains the leading Cork golfer after the second round of the East of Ireland Championship at Baltray. Today Hickey added a 73 to yesterday’s 71, and his level par total saw him safely through to the final day tomorrow. Mallow’s Paul McCarthy is one shot behind Hickey, as is Kinsale’s Cathal Butler. Paul O’Hanlon still holds the lead, his -9 total is four shots clear of the field.
Gary Ward (Kinsale) was very unlucky to miss the cut, he shot a wonderful 69 today. Although he opened with two bogies in his first four holes, he rattled off three birdies and an eagle in five holes in the middle of his round. Unfortunately for Ward he missed the cut by one shot, Saturday’s untidy 78 came back to cost the Kinsale man a place in the final day. James Sugrue also missed the cut following a second round 75.
Hickey, McCarthy and Butler have 36 holes to play tomorrow, with order of merit points on offer all three will have an added incentive for finishing strongly.
East of Ireland Amateur Open Championship Scores
Cork’s John Hickey is safely positioned in the top 20th after the first round of the East of Ireland at Co Louth. Two bogies and one double threatened to distract Hickey but he birdied four of his final seven holes to sign for a one under par 71. James Sugrue is one shot behind Hickey, the Mallow teenager had a mixed round but an eagle on the last got him back to level par, and a tie for 28th place.
East of Ireland Leaderboard
Cathal Bulter and Paul McCarthy signed for 75’s and Mark Shanahan is a shot behind on 76. All three are currently outside the projected cut (72) and will need a good round tomorrow. Gary Ward is two shots further back.
Draw for Round 2
Six Cork golfers will start in tomorrow morning’s first round of the East of Ireland. Munster Strokeplay winner Cathal Butler and Kinsale teammate Gary Ward are in action, as are Mallow duo Paul McCarthy and James Sugrue. Mark Shanahan (Castlemartyr) and John Hickey (Cork) are also playing.
Introduced by Co Louth Golf Club in 1941, the first East of Ireland was won by Joe B Carr, who Continue reading
Mark Shanahan pictured after winning the Castlemartyr Senior Scratch Cup last September.
Picture: Niall O’Shea
Castlemartyr’s Mark Shanahan finished tied 4th in the rain affected East of Ireland Championship. Shanahan was in touch of the lead after the first and second rounds and a final round 73 saw him finish 4th but seven shots behind the winner. The event took place in Baltry and while they got through Saturday and Sunday, only 18 of the 36 holes scheduled for Monday took place. The decision to cancel the final 18 holes marks the first occasion in the 75 year history that the title was awarded after 54 holes. Stuart Grehan (Tullamore) was the runaway leader from the very start with an opening 67 followed by a 68. Although he shot 76 in his final round he still had a five shot margin of victory over the field.
4th: Mark Shanahan (+3),
28th: Paul McCarthy (+11),
34th: John Hickey (+12),
47th: Niall Gorey (+14)
MC Gary O’Flaherty, Conor Coyne, Greg O’Mahony