James Sugrue is the best of the Cork golfers at the halfway stage of the West of Ireland Championship in CO Sligo Golf Club. The Mallow man shot a two under par 69, helped along the way with an eagle on the back nine. Sugrue started smartly with an opening birdie but a seven on the par five 3rd hole set him back. He recovered with a birdie on the fifth and his eagle on the 12th brought him back into the red. Added to his opening 72, Sugrue is on -1 at the halfway stage – tied for fourth place. He’s four shots behind joint leaders Caolan Rafferty and Max Kennedy.
Mel Deasy added another 73 today to finish +4 in a tier for 30th place. The leading qualifier was three over after his front nine, but came back in one under to match yesterday’s score.
They are the only two golfers inside the top 50, the cut line after tomorrow’s third round. Greg O’Mahony and Gary Ward are just one shot outside the top 50 on +8 (T56) while Sean Desmond is a shot further back, currently placed T76. It was another tough day for Peter O’Keeffe, he shot a 78 which makes qualifying for Sunday a big ask. Cathal Butler also suffered after a horrendous front nine, which put paid to his chances. Kieran Murphy, Keith Fitzpatrick, Padraig O’Connor and Eric Rumley are all outside hopes for making it through to Sunday, but they do have one more round at the famous links to post a memorable score.
West of Ireland Championship Leaderboard
Eric Rumley came home in three under in Killeen today to sign for a 69 and lead the Leinster Students after the opening round. Fresh from helping Kinsale to their first AIG Barton Shield title in Thurles on Sunday, the Kinsale man opened with a birdie but gave shots back on the third and fifth holes. A birdie on the ninth got him back to even par, and set him up for the impressive back nine. Birdies on the 12th and 13th got him into the red and a final birdie on the par three 18th saw him tie for the lead. Stackstown’s John McCarthy is also on -3 while there are ten more golfers within three shots in the 54 hole tournament.
Gary Ward is in the top 15 on +3 while Darren Hourihan is in the top 30 two shots back. The second round gets underway tomorrow morning with the top 45 plus ties qualifying for Friday’s final round. The holder is John Murphy but he’s unable to defend his title as he returned to the University of Louisville last week.
Leinster Students Amateur Open Championship Continue reading
It may have taken Kinsale over 100 years to win their first Munster pennant, but it was a much shorter wait for their second. Just four weeks after winning the Jimmy Bruen Shield, Kinsale doubled their haul when they won the Munster Final of the AIG Barton Shield in Thurles last Sunday. On paper Kinsale were up against it, in the semi-final they faced Dungarvan who had won the AIG Senior Cup title the day before. In the semi-final they were up against it when Dungarvan stretched their lead the three holes early in the back nine. The four Kinsale golfers battled back, and two birdies on the 17th turned the match to send Kinsale into the final. After a quick break it was back to the first tee in Thurles to face off against a fancied Continue reading
Rachel Thompson put on a great display of golf in Mount Julliet last week to win the Faldo Series qualifier. Played over three days on the testing championship course, Thompson was trailing by two shots after the opening round. She went on to fine an impressive one over par round on the second day, that was eight shots better than the field and gave her a six shot lead. Thompson had a solid final day, holding her big cushion and claiming the win. The Cork golfer now qualifies for the Faldo Series final which takes place in Dubai in November. It promises to be an exciting few weeks for the Cork golfer. She will be moving to Scotland in September to take up a golf scholarship in the University of Sterling. Before that she’ll tee it up in the English Womens Strokeplay and she’s heading to Yale in October in a college tournament. There was disappointment for Kinsale’s Gary Ward, he was within two shots of the lead after two rounds. Opening rounds of 71 and 72 had him on -1, just two behind Rosslare’s Paul Murphy. Unfortunately for Ward he had a disappointing final day, he dropped to fifth overall after a final round 79. Cathal Butler and Mark Healy were also in action, Butler also finished tied for fifth and Healy was in the top ten. It was another positive week for Kinsale considering they are preparing for the Munster finals of the Barton Shield.
Peter O’Keeffe in action in Lahinch at the South of Ireland. Picture: Niall O’Shea
Peter O’Keeffe and Jame Sugrue are through to the last 16 after a tough day at the AIG Irish Close Championship at the European Club. O’Keeffe, who had been struggling with illness yesterday, had a one hole win over Noel Crawford this morning, that was after being one down at the turn. In the afternoon he faced John Murphy in an all-Cork clash. Murphy wrapped up his first round match against Gary Cullen on the 12th signalling he was still the form player. It was O’Keeffe who started better, going two up after the first three holes. Murphy recovered quickly, levelling the match by the 6th, and he held a one shot lead at the turn. O’Keeffe had another purple patch on the back nine, he was one up through 15, and he won the 16th to double his lead. He won the match on the 17th, winning that hole to record a 3&1 win over Murphy. O’Keeffe will face Jack Walsh in tomorrow’s third round.
James Sugrue also Continue reading
It was a good weekend for Cork golfers as seven have made it through to the matchplay stage of the AIG Irish Close Championship. The European Club in Co Wicklow is the venue for the final major of the year and the challenging Ruddy designed links saw the scores vary from 66 to 90+ over the opening two days.
The leader from day one, Peter O’Keeffe (Douglas) finished in tied third place. Although he had a 76 today, his opening 66 from yesterday was always going to be enough to see him safely through to the matchplay phase. A few early bogies set the tone for his day and despite a recovery on his second nine, two late bogies meant he finished on +5 and level par for the 36 holes. Gary Ward (Kinsale) is just one shot behind in fifth place, tow rounds of 71 and 72 left the Kinsale golfer on +1.
Macroom’s Padraig O’Connor has reached the matchplay stage for the first time. He shot a one over par 72 today, and finished on +5 to take 16th place. John Hickey and Cathal Butler both made their second successive championship cut with solid play over the opening two days. Hickey carded rounds of 75 and 75 to finish in 33rd place and although he’ll be disappointed by the two late bogies, he’s safely through to Continue reading
The second round in Lahinch came to an abrupt halt today as heavy rain flooded the course causing the second strokeplay round to be abandoned. With the first round scores counting, the top 64 cut fell at +2 with not all on that score qualifying. Kinsale’s Eric Rumley was one of those to miss out, the countback from yesterday costing him a place in the matchplay.
The seven Cork qualifiers are James Sugrue (Mallow), Cathal Butler (Kinsale), Gary O’Flaherty (Cork), John Hickey (Cork), Peter O’Keeffe (Douglas), Sean Desmond (Monkstown), Gary Ward (Kinsale). With drier weather forecast for tomorrow the organisers will be hoping to complete the two planned rounds. The first round Continue reading
Defending Champion James Sugrue was among the pace-setters in Lahinch today as he marched around the famous links. The Mallow man had six birdies and no bogies, he was two under at the turn and came back in four under par thanks to more birdies at the 10th, 12th, 13th and 18th. It’s been a few decades since anyone has retained the South of Ireland, and while James will not be of Sunday afternoon just yet – it does mean he’s still holding the form that saw him feature in several competitions in June and July. Sugrue is in third place after Mark Power and Reece Black posted rounds of 65. With the 36 hole strokeplay cut (top 64) currently around the +2 mark, it looks like all three golfers will just need a level par round or slightly worse tomorrow to book a place in the matchplay phase.
Kinsale’s Cathal Butler set the early pacewith a four under par round of 68. That was despite being two over after his opening three holes. It was a good day for several Cork golfers, Gary O’Flaherty joined Butler on 68 and John Hickey was two shots back on 70.
Gary Ward, Peter O’Keeffe and Sean Desmond are all in the clubhouse on level par, their currently in the top 40 and another similar round tomorrow should see them advance Continue reading
Peter O’Keeffe from Douglas being presented with the 113 year old Kerry Scratch up by Frank Hayes (Director of Corporate Affairs Kerry Group PLC) and Kevin McCarthy (Captain Tralee Golf Club). Photo by Domnick Walsh Eye Focus LTD
Peter O’Keeffe claimed his first win of the 2018 season when he successfully defended his Kerry Scratch Cup title in Tralee last weekend. It was the perfect weekend for O’Keeffe as he fine-tuned his game in preparation for the Irish Amateur Open which started today. O’Keeffe has been a big fan of the event in Tralee and having finished second in 2016, he won the event last year. The Douglas man held the overnight lead after 36 holes. He was tied with Monkstown’s Sean Desmond who Continue reading
Gary Ward had a double win last weekend, the Kinsale man scooped two senior scratch cups over the course of two days. On Saturday he headed to Kanturk and went around the North Cork course in one under par to record his second win of the year. On Sunday it was off to Co Clare for the 36 Dromoland Senior Scratch Cup, and Ward topped the leaderboard again after shooting rounds of 69 and 77. Ward won the Cobh Senior Scratch Cup in May, shooting a course record 66 on the way to his first senior scratch cup title. Ward played Kanturk for the first time on Saturday and it was a winning debut as he described. “It was my first time playing Kanturk and all I knew was that it was tight” said Ward. “I hit the ball where I could see it and played really steady golf the whole way around. The pins were very tough, a few hanging off slopes so it was tough to put it close. I never went over par and never went better than -2, my 3rd birdie on the par 3 16th saved my round and took my pars on 17 and 18 for a 70 to win by 1 from Peter Duane.”
After that win it was off to Dromoland for the Top Golfer 36 hole scratch cup. There was a top class field in Continue reading