Close Call for Howard at Irish Open Qualifier

Jack Howard (Fota Island)

Jack Howard (Fota Island)

Jack Howard came agonisingly close to a spot in Lahinch this week, the Fota Island golfer was just one shot away from making the Irish Open field.  Playing alongside 130 of Ireland’s top professionals and amateurs in Moy Valley, Howard shot a three under par 69 in his opening round.  Five birdies and two bogies saw him reach the halfway point in fifth place and in with a great shot of claiming one of the four passes to Lahinch.  David Ryan was also in on -3 while Conor Coyne was the next best Cork golfer on level par.  While several golfers completed their first rounds on Sunday morning, the leaders had to wait to start their second rounds.  Although Howard opened with two bogies in Sunday’s second round he recovered before the turn.  A birdie on the 13th and an eagle two on the 15th put him back in a positive position but a bogey on the second last hole meant that he missed out on the playoff by one shot.  A four under total, with two under par rounds is a strong performance, and given the quality of the field Howard’s top ten finish is impressive.  David Ryan carded a second round Continue reading

More to do for Cork crew in Rosapenna

Cian McNamara_1Cian McNamara and James Sugrue have a solid chance of making the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open after the opening round of the Rosapenna qualifier. McNamara shot a three under par round of 69 to lie in 4th place at the halfway stage.  After a bogey on the 5th he came back in four under par, with a final birdie on the 17th to get himself back into contention.  James Sugrue is two shots back on -1, and currently in 10th place.  Sugrue had an interesting round, made up of seven birdies and six bodies.  irrespective of what happens tomorrow both golfers will travel to the UK from Donegal to take part in final qualifying for the British Open.

Jack Howard is tied for 15th on +1, Davey Barry and Padraig Dooley are both tied for 25th place after rounds of 75 (+3).  Given that the best scores today were -5 it’s unlikely that Continue reading

Mardyke Arena to Host Golf Seminars

As the build up to the Irish Open continues, Cork’s Mardyke Arena have announced two golf seminars that will take place in June.  On Tuesday 17th June the Arena will host a conference focused on fitness in golf, and a large number of amateurs, professionals and coaches are expected to attend.  The seminar is being run by the newly formed Confederation of Golf in Ireland (CGI), the European Tour Performance Institute and the Mardyke Arena UCC.  The CGI is a new body made up from the GUI, ILGU and the PGA.  Junior Golf Ireland has been subsumed into the new umbrella body and their key objectives include increasing participation and driving elite performance in both amateur and professional codes. Continue reading

Con on the Course – Fota Island Irish Open

Con is in Charge in Fota

Fota Island_Con O'Driscoll_Apr2014

By Niall O’Shea

Walking around the Fota Island Resort this week, you’d be mistaken for thinking it’s just another year at the prestigious Cork golf course,  The pro-shop is busy, as is the clubhouse, a society prepares to head out and there’s about six people practicing in the Academy.  All in all it’s pretty standard for the championship resort.  But Fota is right in the middle of preparations for the Irish Open which take place from 18th to 22nd June.  While it’s business as usual as far as any of the golfers are concerned, the course staff are busy working with a plan to deliver the course in perfect condition for the tour professionals in June.  It’s 12 years since the European Tour event last took place in Cork and for many of the professionals that were in tour in 2002, they’ll notice a few additions.  While the Deerpark course is still the same, the hotel and lodges are new, the additional nine holes are new and the Academy is now.  All of the developments were opened between 2006 and 2007 and now Fota Island stands out as the premier golf resort in the south of the country. Continue reading