Busy off-season for O’Keeffe

Interpros 2016 Peter O'Keeffe

Peter O’Keeffe (Douglas) rejoins the Munster team for the first time since 2007 when he was part of the winning team. Picture: Niall O’Shea

It’s been a busy off season for Peter O’Keeffe, while many golfers have put the sticks away until January, O’Keeffe is still working hard.  The Doulas elite amateur was in Spain last week, and he finished sixth in a Gecko Tour event.  The Gecko Tour is a mini-tour based in Spain, generally featuring emerging professional golfers.  O’Keeffe shot a final round 67 to jump up the leaderboard and finish on -4 for his 54 holes.  It was a good finish for Peter, he was +3 halfway though his second round so his strong finish was a real positive.  Peter has had another good year at the top level.  In March he retained his Kerry Scratch Cup title, and while he didn’t repeat his 2017 feat of winning a national championship, he was competitive in almost every event.  He reached the quarter final of the Irish Close and finished in the top eight on the Bridgestone Order of Merit.  He retained his place on the Irish team for the Home Internationals, a team that narrowly lost out to England.  O’Keeffe has risen up the international rankings also, he started the year at 752 on WAGR, but he Continue reading

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Solid Season for Sugrue

James Sugrue Dec 2018 Cork CoCo ReceptionAlthough the competitive golf season is well and truly over, James Sugrue was back in the news last week when he picked up an award.  He was one of two recipients for golf at Mayor Patrick Gerard Murphy’s Co Council reception last week.  Although Sugrue didn’t hit the high of a championship win, he continued to progress with two local wins and some great individual performances during the year.  The season was book-ended by his two wins, the first in the Fota Island Senior Scratch Cup in early April, and the second in September when he won the John Whyte Fermoy Senior Scratch Cup to close out the season.  The two wins may be highlights, but to be fair the Mallow golfer has had a very impressive summer of golf which was recognised with his selection to the Irish team.  Sugrue joined the Irish Mens panel this year and represented the Irish selection at the South African and Spanish Amateurs in the early season, and in October he travelled to South America for two international events.  His full cap finally came when he was selected to play for the Home Internationals which took place last week.  Capped on multiple occasions in Boy’s golf, this was a big step up for Sugrue but one he took in his stride.

The easy going 20 year old went on to win four matches as Ireland finished as runners-up in the four team tournament.  “There was actually no real difference, I didn’t feel as if I was under any extra pressure.  I know all the lads and I know Neil Manchip for a long time as well” said James.  “I was really happy with the way I played down the stretch in a few matches.  In the opening foursomes we were two up with three to play and I hit an approach to around six inches to close out the match.  On the second day I had a four iron on a par three into the wind, and I managed to get it to inside a foot to close out that match.”   You can feel the confidence in Sugrue as he tells that story.  Continue reading

O’Leary Leads Ireland to 3rd European Win

Sean O'Leary

Sean O’Leary

Mahon and Munster representative Sean O’Leary masterminded a third successive win for Ireland in the European Senior Men’s Team Championship.  The competition was held in Bulgaria in Pravets Golf Club.  While Team Captain O’Leary planned the campaign, he was helped on the course by Cork’s Tom Cleary.  The current Munster Senior’s champion went through the 36 hole strokeplay qualifier in -4, second in a field of over 120 golfers.

Ireland finished the strokeplay phase in first place, 24 strokes clear of second place.  In the matchplay phase Cleary was partnered with Tramore’s John Mitchell as Ireland’s foursomes pair.  They won their quarter-final and semi-final but lost out in their final match against Italy.

Tom ClearyIn a tense final against Italy that went down to the wire, all eyes were on Kelly when Garth McGimpsey squared the match at two points apiece. Italy had taken the foursomes point while Adrian Morrow was beaten 4&2 in the singles. However Arthur Pierse led the Irish revival, romping home with a 7&6 victory in the top singles match. His old sparring partner, McGimpsey, followed him in, taking the back match 3&2 and that left Kelly fighting for the championship on the 18th green against Vincenzo Sita. The Naas veteran held his nerve to deliver the decisive point.

R&A Level 2 Rules School Announced

R&A, GUI and ILGU announce Level 2 Rules School to be held in October 2014
The Golfing Union of Ireland (GUI), the Irish Ladies’ Golf Union (ILGU) and The R&A are delighted to announce that for the first time, a joint GUI/ILGU/R&A Level 2 Rules School will be run in Ireland on Friday 10th, Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th October 2014.  The School will be facilitated by experienced and qualified instructors from The R&A, GUI, and ILGU. Continue reading

Sugrue & Tobin in Fairhaven Trophy

Sugrue & Tobin in Fairhaven Trophy

By Niall O’Shea

James Sugrue and Paul Tobin represented Ireland last week in the Fairhaven Trophy with Sugrue leading the Irish charge.  The competition is one of the leading international scratch competitions for juniors and attracts a field of almost 150 golfers from across Europe.  Fairhaven is a championship links course next to the Open Championship venue, Lytham & St Annes. Continue reading

West of Ireland 2014

There were a large number of Cork entries into the West of Ireland Championship at Co Sligo this week, although only five golfers qualified from the strokeplay stage.  Unfortunately none of the qualifiers made it past the first round, ending Cork interest.  Lee Valley winner Rory McNamara also made an early exit.

Strokeplay Scores (Q):

144 John Hickey (74,70)
144 Mark Shanahan (69, 75)

146 Eoghan Murphy (74, 72)

147 Kieran McCarthy (72, 75)

148 Keith Crowley (76, 72)

Golf Rules Always to the Fore

Golf Rules Always to the Fore

By Niall O’Shea

Rory McIlroy hit the headlines over the weekend over his reaction to an incident regarding the rules of golf.  He suffered a two shot penalty for an incorrect drop, a penalty that ultimately had a big bearing on his second place finish.  McIlroy was penalised for standing on the boundary of an obstruction, in this case a spectator crossing point on the fairway.  Local PGA professional Padraig Dooley however had a different take and defended the rules of the game, many of which have endured over time.

Padraig from Drive Golf Performance has taken the PGA Advanced Rules and Refereeing course is well placed to give an opinion on the rules of golf.  He explained: “The requirement to take full relief from an immovable obstruction or abnormal ground conditions is far from stupid.  Both Rules 24 & 25 allow for relief from the conditions if it interferes with not only the ball but the stance and area of intended swing as well.  If there wasn’t a requirement to take full relief, the player by not taking full relief could drop and if not liking the lie could re-drop as many times as required to get a good lie as the player would always be entitled to relief.  This isn’t really a stupid rule.”  McIlroy had commented that “There are a lot of stupid rules in golf and this is one of them”.  While Dooley spends most of his time teaching, his is acutely aware of the importance of the rules and the influence they have in every game “all the rules of golf are well thought out and have a lot of history and cases behind them, none can be called stupid”.

While many golfers think that the Rules of Golf are complex, the Glanimre based teaching professional doesn’t agree; “A very good working knowledge of the rules doesn’t take too long to grasp.  There are 34 rules, it might take 15 minutes to get reacquainted with each of them.  An hour each evening in the winter months will mean it just takes over a week to get a great deal of the knowledge that will help every player.”  It should also be noted that the Rules of Golf booklet can be downloaded for free from the R&A website.

Working from their own extensive facility in Riverstown, Padraig and his brother John have built a large customer base in under two years.  In addition to lessons, also offer junior lessons, custom fitting and golf fitness programmes.  Padraig is a qualified junior golf and golf fitness coach, both qualifications coming from the renouned Titleist Performance Institute.  Padraig’s final bit of advice is “Why not grab a rule book while watching the TV and during the ad breaks, read a rule, you never know when it might save you a stroke or two.”