Two Cork golfers through in Irish Close

AIG 2017 Irish Amateur Close Championship at Galway Golf Club

Peter Kerr (Royal Portrush) driving at the 6th tee during the second day of the AIG 2017 Irish Amateur Close Championship at Galway Golf Club. Picture by Pat Cashman

Cathal Butler and James Sugrue will tee it up this morning in the matchplay stage of the AIG Irish Close in Galway.  Butler carded two rounds of 73 to get through in the middle of the qualifiers (top 64), and James Sugrue battled tonsillitis to shoot a great 72 yesterday to finish one shot behind Bulter on +7.  Mark Healy and Kieran Lynch were unlucky, they both missed to cut by one shot.  John Hickey recovered from a disastrous opening day to shoot a one under par 69 on the second day, but that wasn’t enough to get him into the top 64.  There was also disappointment for Shane Kenneally, Sean Desmond, Conor Dowling and Darragh O’Connor but all will have gained valuable experience at the elite level of Irish amateur golf.  The leading qualifier was Peter Kerr from Royal Portrush after he shot two rounds of 69.

The matchplay commences this morning, Butler faces West of Ireland and Munster Strokeply winner Barry Anderson.  Sugrue will be up against James Fox Continue reading

Butler through to last 16 in AIG Irish Close at Ballyliffin

Munster Strokeplay Championship 2016Cathal Butler is the last Cork golfer left in the Irish Close at Ballyliffin, winning both of his matches today.  The Irish international and Munster Strokeplay winner beat Jonathan Yates 3&2 this morning and followed that with a 19th hole win over John Cleary.  Butler faces Jake Whelan in the second match tomorrow morning and is off at 8.09am.

Despite finishing in the top 20, James Sugrue ended up with one of the toughest draws, he was up against defending champion Tiernan McLarnon.  Unfortunately for Sugrue, McLarnon won on the 16th, and he also won in the afternoon to go through to the last 16.

Both John Hickey and John Murphy won their first round matches but exited the competition this afternoon.  Hickey beat Ronan Mullarney on the 18th today, and he took Richard Knightly to the 20th hole before losing out to the Royal Dublin man.

John Murphy saw the 20th as well, his morning match needed two extra holes before he saw off Rob Brazill.  The effort took Continue reading

Shanahan into last 16 in Irish Close Championship

Mark Shanahan pictured after winning the Castlemartyr Senior Scratch Cup last September. Picture: Niall O'Shea

Mark Shanahan pictured after winning the Castlemartyr Senior Scratch Cup last September.

Mark Shanahan had two impressive wins in Tramore today as he negotiated his way through the first day of Matchplay at the Irish Close Championship.  Shanahan recorded strokeplay rounds of 72 &75 to finish in the top 30.  This morning he drew Gavin Young from Birr GC and beat him 3&2 on the 16th.  The 16th was again the final hole for Shanahan in the afternoon as he recorded a 4&2 over Conor O’Rourke (Naas).  The Castlemartyr golfer will now face Daniel Holland in the last Continue reading

Sean Barry top Cork Qualifier at Irish Close

Sean Barry (Fota Island) faces Jeff Hopkins in the first matchplay round of the Irish Close at Tramore tomorrow morning.  Barry who celebrated the birth of his daughter just over a week ago got back into the swing of things when he added a tidy 74 to yesterday’s 71 to finish the strokeplay in 15th place (tied 12th).

Ian Spillane (Mallow) and Mark Shanahan (Castlemartyr) both finished in the top 30 posting a three over 147 total for the 36 holes.  Spillane faces Jordan Hood tomorrow and Shanahan was drawn against Gavin Young.  Muskerry’s Ronan Twomey was three shots back on +6 and he also comfortably made it through to the matchplay – he’ll face 2nd placed qualifier Thomas Mulligan tomorrow morning.

Mallow’s Paul McCarthy was one of the unluckiest golfers in the competition, he finished tied for 59th place but on the countback he was 65th and missed the top 64 matchplay placings by one.  Paul Tobin (Cork) added a second round 79 to his opening 75 to finish well outside the qualifying mark.

Irish Close Strokeplay Scoring      —–       Irish Close Matchplay Draw

Golffile Irish Close Galleries

Barry leads Cork Challenge at Irish Close

Sean Barry (Fota Island) pictured during the AIG Senior Cup, South Munster qualifiers at Fota Island Golf Club, Sunday 12th July 2015. Picture: Niall  O'Shea l Cork Golf News

Sean Barry (Fota Island) pictured during the AIG Senior Cup, South Munster qualifiers at Fota Island Golf Club, Sunday 12th July 2015.
Picture: Niall O’Shea l Cork Golf News

Fota’s Sean Barry fired a one under par 71 to lead the Cork Challenge at the Irish Close Championship at Tramore.  The first strokeplay round took place yesterday and Tramore was in excellent condition and led to some very low scoring.  Mark Shanahan and Ian Spillane shot a 72, and Paul Tobin and Ronan Twomey both shot 75 to finish inside the top 64.  After today’s second strokeplay round, the top 64 will qualify for the matchplay phase starting tomorrow morning.

Irish Close Championship Live Scoring

Irish Close Championship Round 1 Pictures: Golffile

Shane Lowry looking forward to return to Cork

Shane Lowry looking forward to return to Cork

By Niall O’Shea


GOLF_Lee Valley_Senior Scratch Cup_Shane Lowry_APR2009

 Shane Lowry winning the Lee Valley Senior Scratch Cup in 2009

Former Irish Open Champion Shane Lowry is looking forward to returning to Cork next month as Fota Island plays host to the Irish Open.  Lowry won on his last two occasions playing competitive golf in Cork.  In 2007 he won the Irish Close at Cork Golf Club, beating local hope Niall Turner.  In 2009 he won the Lee Valley Senior Scratch Cup, the first year it had been expanded to a 54 hole competition.  The Lee Valley was Lowry’s final won as an amateur in an amateur competition. Continue reading