There was great excitement in Kinsale on Thursday for the fourth staging of the annual Pro Shop Challenge. This year’s charity match was titled the “Internationals v Professionals, as Kinsale’s two Irish Internationals John Murphy and Eoghan Cassidy took on Kinsale’s PGA Professionals Ger Broderick and Ian Stafford. Murphy has been a senior international for two years while Cassidy picked up his first international cap at under 14 level this year. There was a special guest there on the day, the Mullingar scratch cup was in the pro shop, that was thanks to John Murphy’s win a week before in the famous Leinster tournament. As play got underway it was the Professionals who took the lead, thanks to a birdie from Stafford on the first. Cassidy levelled the match on the 5th with a tap in birdie after a perfect approach shot.
John Murphy was impressed with his new partner, it was the first time they played together in a competition. “Eoghan was so impressive, he drove the ball like a professional” said the college Senior. “He’s a class act and has huge things in store for him. I really enjoyed watching him learn and gain experience in front of a large crowd, it was an opportunity I could only have dreamed of when I was his age.” There was a hint of green keepers revenge on the course for the event, tight fairways and lightning fast greens challenged all four golfers as they put on a show for the large gallery. The course in Farrangalway was in excellent condition, the new changes to the 9th, 17th and 18th have bedded in and there was scarcely a blade of grass out of place on the championship course. The birdies were a little bit scarcer than usual, but the banter between the players entertained everyone, with referee Gerry Waldron keeping Continue reading
John Murphy, Pic: Pat Cashman
John Murphy reaped the rewards after long frustrating summer – one that demanded plenty of resilience and perseverance – he won the prestigious Mullingar Scratch Cup today to record his biggest win on home soil. “It’s been a tough season, and while I kept plugging away, things weren’t happening for me” said an excited Murphy. “I am heading back to Louisville next Saturday so I said I’d give it one more crack instead of just throwing in the towel on the summer. I am very relieved with this one.” Originally a Walker Cup panellist, Murphy has had a frustrating three months at home. Trips to England and Scotland were fruitless and outside of Kinsale qualifying for the Barton Shield finals Continue reading
There’s less than a week to go to Kinsale’s Pro Shop Challenge is back, the fourth staging of the annual charity fundraiser. And there’s a change this year with Kinsale’s two amateur internationals taking on the Pro’s. The Kinsale Pro team remains the same, Ger Broderick and Ian Stafford are currently in training in the hope of winning back the title they lost last year. The line up on the other side has changed though, the amateurs are now restyled as the “internationals” with 14 year old Eoghan Cassidy teaming up with senior Irish international John Murphy. Murphy is currently on the senior Irish team while Cassidy is on both the Irish Under 14 and Under 16 squads. The event takes place next Thursday, and there should be a great afternoon of golf and fun. “The event itself is a fourball betterball match between Ger and myself and John Eoghan” explained Continue reading
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
Pictures from the third round in Lahinch: 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
Peter O’Keeffe staged a huge recovery at the North of Ireland today, jumping over 100 places on the leaderboard to make it into the matchplay stage of the provincial championship. O’Keeffe, who only arrived in Portstewart yesterday after a week in Lahinch, needed to dig deep after an opening 78 (+5) in Castlerock yesterday. And the big hitting Douglas golfer did just that, shooting a three under par 69 to finish inside the top 40, with two shots to spare from the cut mark of +4. It wasn’t plain sailing for O’Keeffe on Portstewart’s Strand course, host of the 2017 Irish Open. The 2017 Irish Open winner was two over after three holes, but two birdies and an eagle over the next four holes got him back in track. A handful of pars followed until he dropped two more birdies on the 14th and 17th. A bogey on the last meant he signed for a 69 and at that stage O’Keeffe was thinking it Continue reading
James Sugrue was the only Cork golfer to make it trough to the last 64 in the Amateur Championship. After two strokeplay rounds in Portmarnock and The Island, the Mallow man finished in 46th place on +3 after two testing rounds. Sugrue, with his usual partner Conor Dowling on the bag, was out on Portmarnock yesterday. And like the majority of the field he found it a tough day. While he commented the it was “insanely long”, he knew that a patient approach was probably the only way to survive the 7,000 yard course. The wind picked up mid-morning and Sugrue couldn’t avoid a few bogies on the front nine. A run of six pars was a welcome Continue reading