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
Following Ireland on the Montgomerie Course: Continue reading
James Sugrue and Peter O’Keeffe were both named in the Irish team for the Home Internationals which take place in Wales in less than two weeks. For the first time in well over a decade, Cork will be represented by two golfers in an Irish Mens team. After missing out on selection for the European Team Championships in July, Sugrue finally gets his first senior international cap after coming close earlier this year. The Mallow man earned several caps at boys level and after a three year gap, he’ll be back in Irish colours in Conwy, Wales. Ireland won an unprecedented fourth title in a row last year, and this year they’ll be hoping to retain the title.
Both Sugrue and O’Keeffe have been on form Continue reading
James Sugrue and Peter O’Keeffe lead a five strong Cork contingent on the Munster team for the interprovincial championship later this month. Cork GC duo John Hickey and Gary O’Flaherty along with Kinsale’s Cathal Butler make up the majority of the eight man team to play in Athenry.
Sugrue and O’Keeffe were assured of their places thanks to finishing in the top three on the Munster Order of Merit. Both have recorded wins this year and they have also been playing well, reaching the latter stages of the South of Ireland and the AIG Irish Close. Gary O’Flaherty retains his place and he’s be hoping to add to the six wins that he’s racked up since his first appearance in 1996. John Hickey and Cathal Butler return to the side after missing out last year, they both played in Fota Island in 2016.
Geoff Lenehan, Andrew McCormack and Eanna Griffin also retain their places from last year in what is a very experienced side. There are two notable absentees though 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
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
The Amateurs reclaimed the bragging rights in the Pro Shop Challenge last week, as Cathal Butler and John Murphy beat Ger Broderick and Ian Stafford in Kinsale. It was the third staging of the unique event and while the amateurs won on the course the real winner was the charity partners. Over €4,000 was raised for Marymount and the RNLI. Organiser Ian Stafford was delighted with the results of their fundraising event. “We’re absolutely delighted with the amount of money that we have raised to date which is in the region of €4,500” said Stafford. “To surpass our target of €3,600 by nearly €1,000 is phenomenal and much of this is down to the hard work of our captain Brian Doran who has been a huge help in securing sponsorship to the event. This year we had local businesses sponsoring each hole as well of a number of sponsored challenges throughout the round. To think when we first discussed this event three years ago that we would have raised nearly €11,000 from the first 3 events is hard to believe and we are absolutely delighted with the support we have got.”
Cathal Butler was delighted to win back the title they lost last year, although they may have had some assistance from Continue reading
Peter O’Keeffe and James Sugrue are safely through to the matchplay stage of the North of Ireland, comfortably finishing in the top 64 from the mammoth field of 300 golfers. O’Keeffe carded rounds of 68 and 70 over both courses in Royal Portrush to finish on -5 and in a tie for 4th place. The Douglas man fired in eight birdies and an eagle over the two rounds and if he can continue in that form he should extend his time in Portrush. He’s currently in action against Haryey Byers from Walton Heath in the first matchplay round.
James Sugrue continued his good form with a top 13 finish in the strokeplay qualifier. He shot rounds of 68 and 72 to book his place in the matchplay where he faces Marc Norton from Belvoir Park this morning. There was disappointment for Cathal Butler as he finished just one shot outside qualification on +3, and there was no joy for Continue reading
The Pro Shop Challenge returns to Kinsale Golf Club this month, this will be the third staging of the very popular charity fundraising event. The brainchild of Ian Stafford and Cathal Butler, the challenge started in 2016 with Ian and Cathal partnering with Ger Broderick and John Murphy respectively. The amateurs took the win that year, the young guns took an early lead and never looked back as the the confidence of youth helped them to wrap up a win. Most importantly the event raised over €3,000 for Special Olympics. Delighted with their efforts in 2016, Butler and Murphy spearheaded the second staging of the event last year. This time however their wings were clipped. Broderick and Stafford used all of their experience and knowledge to take down the cocky amateurs, beating them by a clear margin in the end. Both professionals, who were involved first hand in the coaching and development of Butler and Murphy, were delighted to beat the amateurs in front of a huge crowd in Kinsale. Yet again the main winner was the charity partner. Marymount Hospice was the selected beneficiary and over €3,000 was handed over after the event. With the series score at 1-1, interest is building in this years competition. The event was first proposed by Ian Stafford who quickly enlisted a core team to turn the idea into an event. Keeping the event going is now the priority for Ian. “With the third edition this year, the fact that the pro’s managed to win last year has given the event this year a heightened sense of interest” said Ian Stafford. “The event needs to stay competitive to be a success. Having said that both Ger and I have thoroughly enjoyed our year as Champions Continue reading