Munster Seniors winner John O’Brien (Castlemartyr). Picture: Niall O’Shea
John O’Brien bagged one of his most impressive wins to date when he captured the Munster Seniors Amateur Open in Tipperary Golf Club last week. The Castlemartyr golfer was in fine form, shooting under par on both days to win by a margin of four strokes. O’Brien shot an opening round 71, his one underpower total was just one shot off the lead. He returned on the second day and shot a hugely impressive 69. His very steady round comprised of three birdies on 15 pars.
“It was a great week, I played well and drove the ball well” said O’Brien after his win. “I didn’t miss many fairways and the greens were excellent. I putted great didn’t make many mistakes. On the back nine on Wednesday knew I had a chance so avoiding bogeys was all I was trying to do for the Continue reading
James Sugrue pictured with Irish Mens Captain John Carroll
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
Ireland had a super win against hosts Denmark in semi-final of the European Seniors today. In a match that went all the way to the wire Ireland ended up on the right side of the result after one additional hole. Alan Condren won with a few to spare and Steven Graham won on the 18th. Karl Bornemann & Jim Carvill lost their foursomes match on the 17th, and Peter Sheehan also lost his singles match. With four matches in the score was 2-2, meaning O’Brien’s match would decide the outcome. The Castlemartyr member was one down after 15, and despite winning the 16th the momentum shifted when he lost 17 to a birdie. With the pressure of the match on him, O’Brien birdied the last to extend the match. On the 19th, he calmly slotted a ten foot putt to send Ireland through to tomorrow’s final. It’s been a great week for O’Brien on his international debut, and his form has been matched by his teammates who also have been very solid all week. Ireland now face England tomorrow in the final.
Pat Lyons has been included in the Irish team for the Seniors Home Internationals later this month, making it three Cork golfers in the seven man team. It’s a first international call up for the Cork Golf Club member, and his selection Continue reading
Karl Bornemann and John O’Brien are both in action today at the European Senior Mens Team Championships in Denmark. Ireland are among the ten teams in action, hoping to make the top eight after the opening strokeplay qualifier. John O’Brien is appearing in Irish colours and he was delighted to get the call a few weeks ago. He’ll tee it up at 8am this morning alongside England’s Paul Wharton and Italy’s Filippo Cleaici. Bornemann makes a return to the team after playing in Sweden in 2017. He’s off later on today at 12.50. The 36 hole strokeplay takes place today and tomorrow, with the matchplay phase beginning on Thursday. Hopes are high that Ireland will regain the title they last won in 2017. The competition takes place in Rungsted Golf Club in north east Denmark.
European Senior Men’s Team Championship (Rungsted GC, Denmark; 3-7 September) — Ireland:
Karl Bornemann (Douglas)
Jim Carvill (Banbridge)
Alan Condren (Greystones)
Steve Graham (East Sussex National)
John O’Brien (Castlemartyr)
Peter Sheehan (Ballybunion)
Captain: Michael Coote (Tralee)
Manager: Matt Donohue (Portumna)
John O’Brien and Karl Bornemann have been named on the Irish team that will take part in the European Senior Mens Championship next month. It’s a first call up for O’Brien while Bornemann returns to the team after playing on the winning team in 2017.
Earlier this week, O’Brien got a call from Irish Seniors Captain Michael Coote and it was a a dream come true. “It was the best feeling ever” said the Castlemartyr man. “I worked so hard this year with Cian McNanara and put in a lot of work to get down to my lowest handicap of +1.1. I’ve been playing a lot of golf and it’s starting to pay off. I can’t wait to play in Denmark representing Ireland in the European championships, it’s a dream come true for me I hope to do my family and club proud.” O’Brien recently set the course record in Blarney where he is also a member, and he was runner up at the Ulster Seniors last week. His consistent performances had caught the Continue reading
John O’Brien (Castlemartyr)
Castlemartyr’s John O’Brien took second place at the Ulster Seniors in Lough Erne yesterday, the Corkman shot a second round 77 to finish one behind Ballybunion’s Peter Sheehan. O’Brien also claimed top spot in the 55-59 category. The Castlemartyr member had held the lead after opening with a two under par 70 on Monday, O’Brien was the only golfer to break par in the first round. It was looking good for O’Brien but Sheehan played the back nine in two under to leapfrog the Corkman. Sheehan was the only golfer to master the back nine, effectively sealing the win for the Ballybunion member. O’Brien has been playing some great golf recently and less than two weeks ago he shot a 66 in Blarney to set a new course record.
Karl Bornemann was just one shot back from Continue reading
Robbie Walsh leads the Connacht Boys after an impressive round where he shot a 68. The Kinsale teenager had five birdies on his way the the four under par round in Oughterard. A bogey on the final hole spoiled an otherwise flawless round, and he ties the overnight lead with Joshua Hill. Keelan McCarthy (Lee Valley) and Shane Connor (East Cork) are the next best Cork players, they shot level par and are tied for 13th place. Muskerry duo Fionn Hickey (+2) and Jack Egan (+3) are both inside the top thirty, along with Mallow’s Ronan Feerick. Round two in Oughterard takes place tomorrow with the top 45 qualifying for the final round.
Pat Lyons leads in Kilkenny – Irish Seniors Close Pat Lyons shot an opening one Continue reading
Donal McDonnell was the winner on Sunday, picking up his first Senior Scratch Cup title. Fota Island held their annual showpiece on Sunday, again in association with Top Golfer. There was a full timesheet for the event on the Deerpark course, and the three time Irish Open venue proved itself yet again as nobody could break par. Although the course was in great condition, it did play all of it’s 6,927 yards. Donal McDonnell from Monkstown was the winner after four players tied on 73. McDonnell took the title ahead of John O’Brien (Castlemartyr), Kieran Kennedy (Thurles) and David Howard (Fota Island). The Monkstown golfer is a regular on Monkstown’s successful Senior Cup team and has a provincial winners medal, Donal is also Junior Officer in Monkstown. This was his first senior scratch cup title and needless to say he was delighted with his win. Although he was four over par at the turn, McDonnell put together a great back nine. He shot two under for the second nine, and finished 3,3,4 which was crucial in terms of his placing for the countback. Although the top four were tied, John O’Brien took second place, Kennedy was third and David Howard was fourth. Howard had a busy weekend, on Saturday the four handicapper shot a 75 in Muskerry in the Ford Junior Scratch Trophy qualifier, and on Sunday he beat his handicap by two when he shot the 73. Anyone looking to play Fota this week can take advantage of their Masters Week specials, full details are available from the pro shop.
Fionn wins in East Cork
Castlemartyr’s Hugh O’Leary is just one off the lead going into the final round of the Irish Seniors Close. O’Leary was in the top ten after the first round and a one under par 71 today saw him rise to second place, just one shot behind Banbridge’s Jim Carvill. O’Leary had a spectacular back nine. After three bogies on the front nine and another on the 10th, he bounced back with five birdies in seven holes to sign for a 70. O’Leary and Carvill were the only players to break par in the second round.
Douglas Captain Karl Bornemann proved the duties of high office needn’t interfere with your golf as he continued his recent good form. Bornemann is tied for 7th after a tidy 74 today. Michael Quirke (Doneraile) is just inside the top 20 on Continue reading