Pictures from Saturday morning at Lahinch: Continue reading
The second round in Lahinch came to an abrupt halt today as heavy rain flooded the course causing the second strokeplay round to be abandoned. With the first round scores counting, the top 64 cut fell at +2 with not all on that score qualifying. Kinsale’s Eric Rumley was one of those to miss out, the countback from yesterday costing him a place in the matchplay.
The seven Cork qualifiers are James Sugrue (Mallow), Cathal Butler (Kinsale), Gary O’Flaherty (Cork), John Hickey (Cork), Peter O’Keeffe (Douglas), Sean Desmond (Monkstown), Gary Ward (Kinsale). With drier weather forecast for tomorrow the organisers will be hoping to complete the two planned rounds. The first round Continue reading
Defending Champion James Sugrue was among the pace-setters in Lahinch today as he marched around the famous links. The Mallow man had six birdies and no bogies, he was two under at the turn and came back in four under par thanks to more birdies at the 10th, 12th, 13th and 18th. It’s been a few decades since anyone has retained the South of Ireland, and while James will not be of Sunday afternoon just yet – it does mean he’s still holding the form that saw him feature in several competitions in June and July. Sugrue is in third place after Mark Power and Reece Black posted rounds of 65. With the 36 hole strokeplay cut (top 64) currently around the +2 mark, it looks like all three golfers will just need a level par round or slightly worse tomorrow to book a place in the matchplay phase.
Kinsale’s Cathal Butler set the early pacewith a four under par round of 68. That was despite being two over after his opening three holes. It was a good day for several Cork golfers, Gary O’Flaherty joined Butler on 68 and John Hickey was two shots back on 70.
Gary Ward, Peter O’Keeffe and Sean Desmond are all in the clubhouse on level par, their currently in the top 40 and another similar round tomorrow should see them advance Continue reading
James Sugrue wrote his name into the history books today, he captured the famous South of Ireland at Lahinch. The Mallow man joins Mervyn Owens and John McHenry as the only Cork winners in the past fifty years. Sugrue qualified in the top half of the draw after the 36 hole strokeplay phase, and came through two matches on Friday to reach the final 16. On Saturday he beat Gary O’Flaherty and John Murphy to set up a semi-final match with Peter O’Keeffe. In a tight match Sugrue beat O’Keeffe on the 17th, setting up a final against Conor O’Rourke Continue reading
Today started with five Cork golfers still in contention in Lahinch, however as play came to a close that was reduced to just two. The draw meant that there were two all-Cork clashes this morning, and one more this afternoon. Tomorrow will see another all-Cork match with Peter O’Keeffe taking on James Sugrue.
Peter O’Keeffe marched on to the semi-final of the South of Ireland today, the Irish Open Champion was up against Cathal Butler this morning and beat the Kinsale man on the 17th. This afternoon he was up against Robbie Cannon and again closed out the match on the 17th. O’Keeffe has surely done enough at this stage to secure his place on the Home International side, he’ll be hoping to go further and become the first Cork man to win the South since Mervyn Owens. James Sugrue will be having similar ideas after his two wins today.
James Sugrue was up against Gary O’Flaherty in the other Cork match, Sugrue won that contest on the 16th green. Sugrue faced John Murphy in the quarter-final after Murphy beat Colm Campbell on the 19th. This morning Murphy was three down but birdied the 12th, 13th and 14th to level the match. He had a putt to win on the 18th but the ball refused to drop while resting on the lip. He made no mistake on the 19th however and booked his place in the final eight. On paper, Murphy probably had a slight edge over Sugrue, but it was the Mallow man who won. It was a tight match all the way through with Sugrue one ahead for a few holes on the back nine. Sugrue stretched that the two holes when he won the 16th, giving him the upper hand. A half on the 17th was enough to see Sugrue go through to the semi-final.
In the other semi-final Conor O’Rourke will take on West of Ireland winner Barry Anderson. O’Rourke had a marathon 27 hole match this morning to get past Thomas Mulligan and was taken to the 18th this afternoon by leading qualifier Lester Rowan. Play in Lahinch get’s underway at 8.30 in the morning.
It isn’t too often that a scratch golfer would have six bogies and a double – and still be happy with his round. Well that’s exactly what happened Sean Desmond in Lahinch today. Playing is his first South of Ireland, the Monsktown teenager shot a 74 in very testing conditions. That 74 included four birdies and an eagle, which helped Desmond to bounce back from the bogies. He was actually one under after an eagle on the 5th and he finished the front nine on level par. That included a lost ball on the 7th which led to a double bogey. A birdie on the 12th saw Desmond back in the red but three consecutive bogies on 13, 14 and 15 saw him return to the black and sign for a two over par 74.
Desmond held the clubhouse lead for a few hours but was surpassed by Rowan Lester who came home in three under to record a level par 72. Desmond is currently tied for second alongside Robin Dawson. Gary O’Flaherty and Peter O’Keeffe are the next best of the Cork lads, they both shot a four over par 76. John Hickey is two Continue reading
A dozen Cork golfers will be hoping to bridge a 13 year gap and win the South of Ireland Championship this week. Mallow’s Meryvn Owens was the last man to bring the famous trophy back to Cork in 2003, when he beat the holder Colm Moriarty on the 18th green in Lahinch. Cork winners have been few and far between, John McHenry won in 1986 and before that there’s a 22 year gap to W A Kelleher’s win. The statistics would suggest that a few more years should pass before the next Cork winner, but given the strength and depth of the Cork golfers competing this year, don’t rule out a good run from a few of the form golfers.
Irish Amateur Open winner Peter O’Keeffe leads the Cork challenge, and O’Keeffe be hoping to play all seven rounds over the five days that will see him into the final. The big hitting Douglas member is currently playing of +3.3, and he’ll be joined by his friend and Barton Shield teammate Karl Bornemann. Kinsale have three representatives in the field, John Murphy has two wins in the bag this year and will be hoping to gain his first senior title. Cathal Butler won the Munster Strokeplay Continue reading
John Hickey (CIT) captured the Irish Intervarsity Championship today after he put together a great six under par round. After shooting a flawless 68 yesterday, the Cork Golf Club golfer went two better today. Hickey had a steady front nine and turned on two under thanks to birdies on the 4th and 7th. He parred the 10th and then had three consecutive birdies to get to five under for the day. He added another birdie on the 18th to get to nine under for the tournament. Hickey had to sit on the clubhouse lead while the last three groups played out the final holes. Overnight leader Jack McDonnell was the closest challenger, nut he had a very mixed opening nine, and a bogey on the 15th dropped him back to -7. He did birdie the last but that meant that the CIT golfer won his first national title by one stroke. Cathal Butler (Maynooth) slumped to a 77 after a disappointing back nine, he finished in a tie for 9th place alongside James Sugrue (CIT) who shot a 72 in Continue reading
Adam McSweeney (CIT) and Cathal Butler (Maynooth) lead the Cork challenge at the Inter Varsity Championship aft both shot 69’s in today’s first round. Lahinch was in great condition for the opening round and the benign weather made for some good scoring. Kyle McCarron (Maynooth) led the way with a great 66.
McSweeney had seven birdies in a colourful round. A double bogey on the 6th hurt, as did a bogey on the 17th when he was standing on -4. Cathal Butler had a tough start with bogies on the first and second, but he soon made up for it with an eagle on the 4th. Six birdies followed but three dropped shots meant that he signed for a 69. Both are well inside the top ten going into the second round.
James Sugrue (CIT) was out early this morning and finished with a one under par 71, an eagle on the last brought him back into red figures and he’s in 12th place going into the second round. John Hickey (CIT) is two shots back Continue reading
Friday was a bad day for Cork golfers in Lahinch as the matchplay stages of the Pierse Motors South of Ireland got underway. Four Cork golfers qualified through to the top 64 matchplay, but by Friday evening all four had exited the competition. Paul McCarthy made a stunning start to the competition on Wednesday and Thursday during the strokeplay qualifying rounds. McCarthy was -5 for 36 holes but lost out in the matchplay when David Foy beat him on the 16th green. Peter O’Keeffe also lost out in the first round. Robbie Cannon, his playing partner from Wednesday and Thursday got the better of him with an impressive 6&4 win.
John Hickey won his morning match against Rosslare’s Gary Collins but then lost out in the second round when beaten by Daniel Holland by one hole. Kinsale’s Cathal Butler also made it through the first round with a win on the 18th green over former champions Pat Murray. Like the other Cork golfers though, he lost out in one of the later matches this afternoon, losing on the 16th to Stephen Watts. The final 16 are back on the course tomorrow morning and four more round face the finalists when the competition concludes on Sunday.
South of Ireland Amateur Continue reading