Pictures from Farrangalway this morning: Continue reading
2019 was a stellar year for Cork golfers. With seven Corkmen winning international caps, there were plenty of great performances among several notable individual wins. Just three years ago there wasn’t a single Cork golfer on the national mens squad, this year there were three golfers to reach that standard in what must be regarded as a great run for Cork golf. With three seniors, one boys and three mens representatives, it was an impressive number of caps. Top of the list of course was James Sugrue, the Amateur Champion. The Mallow man won the Castletroy Scratch Cup in May, but less than a month later his world would change with the win of a lifetime in Portmarnock. An Amateur Championship win seemed unlikely at a few stages during that week in Dublin. After just five holes on the first day of qualifying Sugrue branded the course as “insanely long”, and he found himself three down deep into the back nine in the second round of matchplay. In what was a marathon rather than a sprint, Sugrue played himself into form, thanks in equal parts to a new Titleist driver, solid advice from Neil Manchip and a hot putter. On that Saturday morning playing in the Amateur Championship final, few would have thought it was his seventh round of the week. He sprinted into a five up lead against Scotland’s Ewan Walker. Despite the impressive start, the final would prove to be another marathon lasting the full 36 holes. The Mallow man, watched by a record crowd of over 3,000 claimed the win on the final green, becoming the second Cork golfer after Jimmy Bruen to win the Amateur Championship. That win saw Sugrue’s schedule change, with an unplanned visit to Portrush for the Open championship taking priority in his calendar. James was very unlucky to miss the cut, a lost ball on the 14th on Friday cost him a place at the weekend when Shane Lowry created his own bit of history. Although injury hampered Sugrue towards the end of the season he had the honour of raising the Irish flag at the Walker Cup in Royal Liverpool in September.
Peter O’Keeffe started the year off with a win, he came out on top in Muskerry in April winning their senior scratch cup. A five under par 66 gave O’Keeffe a good start and he was under par again in the second round to win the competition by two strokes. It was the second time that O’Keeffe won in Muskerry, his first coming 13 years ago in 2006. O’Keeffe was fifth in the East of Ireland and topped that by reaching the final of the North in July. Prior to the North he spent the week in Lahinch caddying for Robin Dawson in the Open. Peter finished second in the North of Ireland, which this year moved to Portstewart and Castlerock due Portrush staging the Open Championship. He lost out to Englishman Aaron Edwards Hill after a final that went to the 17th hole. The Douglas man was back in Lahinch later on in July, this time as a player in the South of Ireland. He started well, finishing in the top ten after the Strokeplay qualifier. He then Continue reading
Kinsale’s John Murphy was back Cork for a few weeks in December, and the Kentucky based golfer took a well deserved break after a busy few months on the course. After 30 plus tournaments in 2019 John took advantage of the winter break to recharge with family and friends in Kinsale. Having used the 2018 Christmas break to practice in Australia, John took a different angle this year with an extended break at home.
“The last few weeks were very different to my normal schedule,” said Murphy. “Apart from having to study for my finals a lot, I had a lot of time to spend with friends and family which I don’t normally get to do, so I really enjoyed it. I took a couple weeks away from golf just to recharge. “Towards the Continue reading
John Murphy claimed his first win on US soil today, winning the Bearcat Invitational in Coldstream Country Club. His 54 hole total of -17 (196) was a result of three rounds in the 60’s. Murphy finished his summer with a win in the Mullingar Scratch Cup, and he continued his good form with an impressive start to the college season. Yesterday he shot rounds of 67 and 66 to lead the tournament on nine under, and there was no let up today. A birdie on the second was followed by an eagle three on the fourth hole, and another birdie on the sixth saw him turn on four under. Another eagle followed on the tenth and he went par, birdie, bogey, birdie to get to -7 on the 14th green. A final birdie on the 18th saw him sign for a 63 on the par 71, 7,111 yard course. It was Murphy’s lowest competition score, beating the several impressive scores he posted on his home course in Kinsale over the summer. The 17 under total contained 17 birdies and two eagles, and beat his previous 54 hole score of -15 from Hawaii when he finished in second place.
Murphy’s Louisville Cardinals also won the team event, with the first second and eighth places, Louisville finished on -37, an amazing 26 shots ahead of second placed Arkansas. The Cardinals have a break next week before they are back in action in Tennessee in the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate.
John Murphy opened his 2019/20 college season with a flourish last weekend, scooping a top ten finish in the opening tournament of the year. Murphy shot rounds of 71, 66, 76 in the Roy Myers Invitational which took place at Duke University. Four birdies and three bogies made up Murphy’s opening round on Saturday morning, and later that day he returned a blistering 66 which tied the lowest score of the tournament. The 66 got off to a steady start, the Louisville golfer was level par after four with two birdies and two bogies. A birdie four on the ninth saw him turn on one under. He had a hot hand on the back nine though, he was five under for the five holes from the 11th to the 15th. That included three birdies and an eagle as he finished the back nine with three pars to sign for a six under score.
That 66 in the second round saw Murphy lead the event going Continue reading
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 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