A 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
Peter O’Keeffe (Pic: Pat Cashman)
Peter O’Keeffe has been playing top level golf for 20 years and today he captured the top prize, the Flogas Irish Amateur Open at Royal County Down. From an elite junior golfer he moved into the US college ranks and from there he spent close to a decade on the Challenge Tour and Europro Tour trying to make the breakthrough in the paid ranks. In late 2015 he was reinstated as an amateur and last year he challenged on the local scratch cup circuit. Today he broke through to elite senior golf ranks when he won the Irish Open in style. One-stroke clear overnight, O’Keeffe cruised through much of the final round, winning by three thanks to a final round 73. The 35-year-old from Douglas ended the week on two over, three clear of Scotland’s Christopher MacLean and England’s Tom Sloman.
Needless to say the Douglas man was delighted with the win. “It feels fantastic. It was tough to keep my emotions in check there going up the last,” said O’Keeffe, who claimed his maiden championship title. “It was nice Continue reading
It wasn’t the low round that he promised – but in any case it was enough to give Peter O’Keeffe the lead going into tomorrow’s final round of the Flogas Irish Amateur Open.
O’Keeffe started quickly with an eagle on the opening par five, but he gave the two shots back before the turn and started the second nine level for his round. It was an interesting back nine for all of the leading contenders. England’s Sean Towndrow took a two shot lead on the 16th thanks to an eagle on the short par four, but two doubles followed and he closed on a 77 and +3 for the tournament. Christopher McClean was level with O’Keeffe after 15, but bogies on the 16th & 18th saw him drop down also.
O’Keeffe continued his pattern of steady golf with the odd birdie or bogey balancing each other out. In the end only himself and Robin Dawson (T7) could match par on the closing three holes. That was enough for two over par 73 on day three, and surprisingly enough that see’s him with a one shot lead over Christopher McClean. O’Keeffe (L) will be joined by Mc Clean (+1) and Marc Norton (+2) in tomorrow’s final group which tees off at 11.12.
John Murphy saw the Continue reading
Peter O’Keeffe and John Murphy both sit within touching distance of the lead after solid performances in round two of the Flogas Irish Amateur Open. Royal County Down was firm and bouncy again today but the links proved a challenge as just a dozen golfers broke par at the testing Irish Open venue. O’Keeffe was out this afternoon and he continued in the same form as yesterday with plenty of birdies. Two early bogies didn’t distract the Douglas member, and he got back to level before bogeying the the ninth to turn on +1. Three birdies followed on the back nine but a dropped shot on the 14th meant that he signed for another 70 and is now one off the lead on -2. Sean Towndrow Continue reading
Peter O’Keeffe shot a one under par 70 on the opening day of the Flogas Irish Amateur Open. Royal County Down was playing firm and fast today thanks to the recent dry weather and it proved a test for the Irish golfers as only seven made it into the top 25. O’Keeffe started brightly with a birdie on the first but dropped shots on 4 and 8 meant that he turned on +1. There were no more bogies for the Douglas member, and he birdied the 10th and 12th before parring his way home. He’s in a tie for 8th place and three shots off the lead.
Ian O’Rourke is the next best Cork golfer but there’s a gap of over 50 players between him and O’Keeffe. The Cobh native had been going well, he was two under to the 14th but dropped five shots in the closing holes. That included a triple on the 15th which saw it’s fair share of bogies, doubles and triples on the opening day. Kinsale’s John Murphy is one shot back from O’Rourke on +4, his card featured four birdies and nine pars but the four bogies, a double and a triple took the gloss from his debut round at the Irish Amateur. Cathal Butler (+6) and James Sugrue (+9) will hoping for an improvement tomorrow.
Scoring: Flogas Irish Amateur Open
Play in the second round gets underway at 7.00am when Ian O’Rourke will lead the field of 144 golfers. Live scoring updates are available from Golfnet.
Cathal Butler bounced back from a few disappointing performances to take second place in the Kilkenny Scratch Cup last weekend. The Kinsale and Munster golfer travelled to Peru a few weeks ago for a 72 hole strokeplay event and despite enjoying the experience, he didn’t feature in the top 10. Two weeks ago he missed the cut in the Munster Strokeplay in testing conditions at Cork Golf Club. He was back in form in Kilkenny however and with rounds of 74/71 he took the runner up spot on the countback, just one behind the winner Graham Nugent. ‘I was really disappointed after missing the cut in Cork for the Munster Strokeplay” said Butler reflecting on the past few weeks
“Kilkenny played firm and fast just like Cork did and that certainly helped. I was delighted to bounce back from the disappointment with some nice golf and a really good strategy which was crucial for dealing with the firm conditions.” With a good performance behind him Cathal is now heading to Royal County Down for the Flogas Irish Amateur Open. “I’m really looking forward to playing one of the best courses in the world this week, from what I have heard it’s very bouncy in Royal County Down so I think that if I can get my strategy right and maintain the level of golf I played in Kilkenny, I will have a good chance of finishing high up the leaderboard.”
The event will see John Murphy make his debut, and Peter O’Keeffe make his first appearance in 10 years. The only other Cork golfers to get on the starting list are James Sugrue and Ian O’Rourke. Play gets underway on Thursday with all five Cork golfers hoping to make an impression.
James Sugrue recovered from an early double bogey to post a two under par 70, and jump into the top ten at the Flogas Irish Amateur Open. Sugrue had a 5 on the par three fourth hole, but bounced back with quick two birdies. More birdies on the back nine saw him move under par and he signed for a 70. The Mallow teenager is the best placed Cork golfer in action in Royal Dublin, he now on -3. Mark Shanahan finished with a one under par 71 to move inside the top 20. It could have been much better only for a double bogey on the 17th and he’s now on -1 for the tournament.
Cathal Bulter continued his consistent form, a level par 72 saw him finish tied for 28th place, slightly better where he say yesterday. Ian O’Rourke also shot a level par round to make the cut which fell at +5. Cork’s John Hickey had a tougher day, he signed for a disappointing 80 that saw his drop out of contention for a place in the top 50.
Colm Campbell remains on top of the leaderboard, he’s two shots clear of the field on -14 after 54 holes. The final round takes place tomorrow.
Flogas Irish Amateur Open Live Scoring
Mark Shanahan and James Sugrue both shot two under par 70’s at Royal Dublin today in the second round of the Flogas Irish Amateur Open. Sugrue is now two under for the tournament and he’s just outside the top 10. Around half of the field have completed their second rounds. Castlemartyr’s Mark Shanahan is two shots behind Sugrue. He had a mixed start to his round but he birdied three of the last six holes to get back into the red and he’s on level par after 36 holes. Shanahan is tied for 20th place currently. John Hickey bounced back from his opening 75, he had four birdies and two bogies and signed for a 70 to get back to +1. Cathal Butler shot a second round 74 and he now also sits in 30th place on +1. Ian O’Rourke is currently on +5, he added a 75 to his opening 74 and he’ll need a better score tomorrow to make the 54 hole cut.
Lee Valley winner Colm Campbell from Warrenpoint leads the competition, he shot a second successive 68 to lead by two shots on -8.
Flogas Irish Amateur Open Live Scoring
Cathal Butler (Kinsale/MU)
Two birdies and an eagle on the back nine yesterday saw Cathal Butler (Kinsale) jump back up the leaderbaord at the Flogas Irish Amateur Open in Royal Dublin. Butler had a poor opening nine as four bogies and a birdie saw him on +3 at the turn. He birdied the 10th and 16th and eagled the par five 14th hole on a back nine charge that saw him go into the red and finish the opening day in a tie for 12th place.
James Sugrue (Mallow) was another golfer to benefit on the back nine. Sugrue was +2 at the turn but added five birdies in the second half of his round. Unfortunately for the Mallow golfer he added a double bogey 5 on the par three 13th hole and he bogied the 18th. He still finished on level par just outside the top 20.
Ian O’Rourke who now plays out of Royal Dublin signed for a 74 (+2), the same as Castlemartyr’s Mark Shanahan. John Hickey (Cork) is one back on 75. Munster golfer Eanna Griffin is just one off the lead on -4 while fellow Munster interpro Geoff Lenehan is on +2 and Robin Dawson in on +3. All 120 golfers will play again today and tomorrow with the top 50 qualifying for Sunday’s final round.
Flogas Irish Amateur Open Live Scoring