Sean Desmond (Monkstown) teeing off the 9th in Lahinch during the third round of the South of Ireland Championship. Pic: Niall O’Shea
Sean Desmond and Greg O’Mahony are set to earn their first Munster senior caps having been named in the Munster Interprovincial team today. The Cork duo are among three new faces in the Munster team that also see’s Pat Murray return after missing out last year. Captain Michael Coote and Manager George Mellerick have assembled a strong team as Munster hope to retain the title. Desmond was a strong contender for a spot after winning the South Of Ireland earlier this month, and although be missed out on an automatic spot he was certainly to the forefront of the selectors minds. Greg O’Mahony also picks up his first cap on the back of solid championship performances. He reached the last 32 in the South and the last 16 in the Irish Close in Ballybunion earlier this week. Pat Murray makes a welcome return to the team, the Tipperary native has a long and distinguished record and his matchplay experience will balance the young look to the team.
Peter O’Keeffe and Eanna Griffin were automatic picks having finished in the top three in Continue reading
Cathal Butler bowed out of the AIG Irish Close Championship this afternoon after the Kinsale man reached the last 8 of the domestic major in Ballybunion. Of the six Cork golfers to make the top 64 matchplay stage, just Butler and Greg O’Mahony remained after two rounds of matchplay, and O’Mahony went out in the third round, losing to Charlie Denvir. Butler came through this morning’s match against Stephen Walsh, beating the former South champion on the 17th. In the quarter final he faced Robbie Brazill, the on form Irish international.
Brazill got off to a flier and Butler found himself four down after six. He won the seventh to pull one back but Brazill got the lead back to five by the turn, snuffing out any chance Butler had. The match was eventually settled on the 16th when the Naas man won 4&2. Brazill will face Alan Fahy tomorrow morning while leading qualifier Ronan Mullarney will play Charlie Denvir in the other semi-final.
AIG Irish Amateur Close Championship at Ballybunion
Match Play – Round 3
R Mullarney (Galway) bt N Hearns (Mountrath) 5&4; S Flanagan (Portmarnock) bt TJ Ford (Co. Sligo) 2&1; E Stack (Ballybunion) bt R Knightly (Royal Dublin) 2&1; C Denvir (Elm Park) bt G O’Mahony (Fota Island) 6&5; C Butler (Kinsale) bt S Walsh (Portmarnock) 2&1; R Brazill (Naas) bt D Morley (Oughterard) 2 holes; E Murphy (Dundalk) bt C Campbell (Warrenpoint) 4&3; A Fahy (Dun Laoghaire) bt E Farrell (Ardee) 2 holes
R Mullarney bt S Flanagan 2 holes; C Denvir bt E Stack 19th; R Brazill bt C Butler 4&2; A Fahy bt E Murphy 3&1
Wednesday 7 August Semi Finals
0845 R Mullarney v C Denvir
0900 R Brazill v A Fahy
Just two Cork golfers remain from the six that started in Ballybunion this morning. Cathal Butler and Greg O’Mahony are through to the last 16 in the AIG Irish Close in Ballybunion. Butler is on a good run of form at the moment, and he was delighted to come through the first two rounds considering the challenge that the Old Course put up. “It was blowing an absolute gale, so there was serious ball control needed” said the Kinsale man. “Obviously I had some bad holes and plenty of bogies thrown in but managed to get over the line. I just didn’t get down at all no matter what was thrown at me.” Cathal had beat Jordan Hood on the 18th this morning, and he won 3&1 over Conor Ryan this afternoon. Butler had plenty of home support in Ballybunion with all the lads staying on to support him. “Shane O’Connell from Kinsale caddied for me at the end of my first match and in the afternoon and he was a huge help. John Murphy, Gary Ward, Robbie Walsh and Eric Rumley came out to support me and it was a huge help to get me over the line especially when conditions were so tough. I love Ballybunion, it requires such precision with approach shots – it’s not easy though”
Butler will now face Portmarnock’s Continue reading
Six Cork golfers made it through the first test in Ballybunion this weekend, they’ve qualified for the matchplay stage of the AIG Irish Close Championship. In testing weather conditions the Old Course played much tougher than Saturday. Peter O’Keeffe ended up as the top Corkman, his level par round today saw him finish in 11th, 21 places higher than yesterday. Greg O’Mahony, Cathal Butler and John Murphy have all matched their Lahinch achievements in making the matchplay – although in Murphy’s case he had to qualify this time, doing so comfortably with three shots to spare. Mel Deasy made it through to his first championship matchplay he was the best of the +8’s and is through to tomorrow’s draw. South Champion Sean Desmond added a second 75 today to also finish on +8, he is through to the matchplay, hoping his form from Lahinch will continue. For a while it looked like Deasy, and especially Desmond would miss out, but as the afternoon score came in, all the +8’s were safely through and there was even a few +9’s to qualify. Overnight leader Ronan Mullarney added a three under par 68 to yesterday’s 65 to finish as top qualifier on -9. Eoin Leonard shot a best of the day 67 to Continue reading
The AIG Irish Close Championship got underway this morning in Ballybunion, with Kinsale’s Cathal Butler posting the low score to hold the clubhouse lead for most of the day. Despite delays due to a funeral and a nosebleed, over 130 golfers were out on the Old Course today. They were completing the first of two rounds to determine the top 64 qualifiers to go through to the matchplay stages starting on Monday.
After a good performance in Lahinch, Butler made to most of his early start. He had three birdies in a row from the 4th to the 6th, and added another on the 8th to turn on three under. Butler got to -4 on the 16th, but a bogey on the last saw him sign for 68, goo enough to hold the clubhouse lead for much of the day. The former Kerry Boys winner played very will in Lahinch last week, and he’ll be hoping that the good golf will continue as he aims to reach the final stages in Ballybunion. Butler is three behind Ronan Mullarney who opened with a blistering 6 under. Clubmate Gary Ward also finished in the red, he shot a one under par 70, thanks in part to a tasty eagle three Continue reading
Pictures from this afternoon in Lahinch: Continue reading
Greg O’Mahony after winning the Douglas Scratch Cup earlier this year
Greg O’Mahony was the only Cork golfer to break par on a tough day in Lahinch today. The Fota Island golfer went around in three under as the wind and rain tested golfers.
A total of eight golfers made the cut for tomorrow’s matchplay. Peter O’Keeffe finished his 36 holes on one under and Sean Desmond was two shots behind. Cork duo Gary O’Flaherty and Paul Buckley were both safely through on +2, and Cathal Butler had to endure a short wait before all of the +4’s were safely inside the top 59. With James Sugrue and John Murphy, there will be a strong Cork challenge tomorrow with eight golfers hoping to make it through the first round.
Gallery: South of Ireland Day 2, strokeplay qualifier second round
Play gets underway at 7am tomorrow, with the second round starting after the completion of the first round matches. Live scoring will be available at regular intervals.
South of Ireland Matchplay Draw
7.00am: James Sugrue v Jack Doherty
7.36am: Peter O’Keeffe v James Fox
7.45am: Paul Buckley v Shane O’Connor
8.48am: John Murphy v Aaron Ryan
10.18am: Greg O’Mahony v Evan Farrell
10.45am: Sean Desmond v Jack Ryan
11.12am: Cathal Butler v Ronan Mullarney
11.21am: Gary O’Flaherty v TJ Ford
Pictures from Lahinch on Thursday afternoon: Continue reading
Gameface; Peter O’Keeffe in action in the South of Ireland in Lahinch last year
Following his great performance at the North of Ireland two weeks ago, Peter O’Keeffe kept the championship momentum going with an opening 68 in Lahinch today. The opening round of the South of Ireland got underway today in benign conditions, and O’Keeffe was the first of the early starters to post a low score. The Douglas golfer started with a hot hand, birdieing the first two holes. He gave a shot back on the Klondyke, he got it back on the 9th to turn on three under.
Another birdie followed on the 10th and Peter had eight steady pars before a final birdie on the last. That put him in the clubhouse lead, although lower scores would follow. Cathal Butler had shot a 71 (-1), and Sean Desmond would follow with an impressive 67 later in the morning. Paul Buckley and Greg O’Mahony both shot level par, and Paul Tobin and Gary O’Flaherty finished on 73 to Continue reading
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.