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
This year could be summarised as a game of two halves for John Murphy. The Kinsale golfer spent the first half of the year playing well but struggling to get results, but the second half saw him hit some key milestones. These included an international win, an Irish cap and get finish to the season back in college in the US. While 2018 may have been his best year, Murphy didn’t feel like that at the beginning of the year a he explained. “The college semester was difficult for me” recalled Murphy. “I didn’t feel like I was competing as I had in the past. I wasn’t producing results that were reflecting how I was playing. In all honesty, I was worried, I was shooting some poor scores and I was getting very frustrated with myself. It was tough. I remember having a call with my parents at regionals where I just shot 7 over par. I told them I was playing well but I just couldn’t score, and then we all realized that I had been saying that all semester, and maybe I was being delusional. The week I got back Continue reading
Lee Valley Golf Club will head for Limerick on Saturday to play in the Munster finals of the Irish Mixed foursomes. It’s the first time that the club has reached the finals in this competition and excitement is building from all the players and members. Limerick Golf Club is the venue for the finals and the Clashnure club will be hoping to bring home the pennant after some very good performances to get through to the final. After taking advantage of hosting the qualifier, Lee Valley faced Fota Island in the area final. Despite a slow start Lee Valley came from behind to win the area final which was held in Cork Golf Club. As play reached the top of the hill at the 12th they were down in three matches and up in only one. The short 13th hole was a catalyst for a swing however as the first pairing of Colette O’Callaghan and Jason Galway started to recover their Continue reading
Kinsale’s John Murphy was named on the three man Irish team to play in the World Amateur Team Championship in Carton House next month. Murphy is joined by Tramore’s Robin Dawson and Portmarnock’s Conor Purcell. The team, which is captained by Bandon’s John Carroll will play in the Eisenhower Trophy which is played over four rounds starting on Wednesday 5th September. Dawson, who is ranked number six in the world rankings, secured his place as the top Irish golfer in the WAGR rankings, the Tramore man played on the Irish team in European Championships last month and won the Irish Amateur Open in Royal County Down at the start of the season and he was runner up at the Amateur Championship last month. Murphy and Purcell were both selected on their form this season, it’s Purcell’s second year on the Irish Mens team, a former junior tennis champions he recorded five top ten finished this year is addition to reaching the semi-final at the AIG Irish Close this week.
Speaking after the announcement, John Murphy was in great form. “I’m obviously delighted to have made the team, it still hasn’t really sunk in. I remember when I was at a boys panel session and Continue reading
Cork interest in the AIG Irish Close finished today as James Sugrue and Peter O’Keeffe lost in the third and fourth rounds respectively. Sugrue was up against Conor Purcell and the match went all the way to the 20th hole before it was settled. Unlike the result of extra holes in Lahinch, Sugrue came out on the wrong side when the match finished on the 2nd hole. Purcell went on to beat Eugene Smith this afternoon and will face Eoin Leonard in tomorrow’s semi-final.
Peter O’Keeffe had a good win this morning, beating Jack Walsh with two holes to spare. He faced Alex Gleeson in the quarter-final and unfortunately for O’Keeffe the 2016 winner from Castle won by a single hole. Gleeson will now face Robbie Cannon in the other semi-final.
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
Pictures from Tramore Golf Club: Continue reading
There was great news in Kinsale Golf Club earlier this week when John Murphy became the latest Corkman to earn full Irish honours. He has been selected in the six-man Irish team to compete in the European Amateur Team Championship in Germany in two weeks’ time. Murphy was almost a certain pick given his recent form. He won the St Andrews Links Trophy earlier this month, and last week he reached the quarter-finals of The Amateur Championship in Royal Aberdeen.
The Louisville student represented Ireland at the Boys Home Internationals in 2016, and gaining a full international cap this year was definitely a target. “Being named to the Irish senior team is very exciting” said Murphy after the announcement. “I still remember going to Carton House for the champions dinner when I was young and seeing the Irish panels. I was in awe of even being in the presence of players like Continue reading
In a bold move the GUI have just published a wave of proposals that could see major changes to the Cups and Shields. The final decision on the proposals will also go back to club via the Provincial delegate meetings which take place next month. Clubs are now being asked to discuss proposed changes to Junior Cup, the Jimmy Bruen and Purcell Purcell competitions in the biggest shake up in three decades. With over 40,000 golfers taking part in the national competitions each year, the proposals represent the outputs of a survey involving 4,000 golfers. The survey highlighted the significant need for reform, and a full review took place over the past six months to build a comprehensive set of proposals which give clubs the opportunity to amend the main inter-club handicap competitions. While various club motions through the years have been defeated, there is a feeling now that a number of key central proposals will have a great chance of being passed. The first proposal is to reduce the handicap limit for the Junior Cup from 5 to 4, and this is being proposed by three Continue reading