Pictures from Blarney: Continue reading
One of Monkstown’s most famous golfers Tom Egan passed away on Friday aged 89. The Irish International dominated the amateur game for two decades in the 50’s and 60’s. TW, as he was known, was Monkstown born and bred, his home was bordering the course and regularly jumped the wall to practice around the old fourth hole as a boy.
Egan’s practice played dividends and it showed when he played in his very first competition. Just short of his 18th birthday he was given a handicap by the club, this normally didn’t happen until juniors turned 18. TW was given a handicap of 12 and went on to shoot s 78 (66 nett) to win the 1947 President’s Prize. His handicap was swiftly cut to six and he was down to scratch soon after.
Outside of Monkstown, Tom went on to win two major amateur titles in addition to a large number of local wins. Having reached the final of the South of Ireland in 1951 he went on to win the Irish Close in 1962. He defeated Joe Brown of Waterford at the fifth playoff hole at Cragivad (Royal Belfast). His greatest performance came ten years later when he won the 1962 East of Ireland. In the third round Egan blitzed the field with eight consecutive birdies on the front nine. That was a record (amateur & pro) that would last over 40 years until Mark Calcavechia birdied nine in a row in 2009. Egan’s wins include the Cork Scratch Cup in 1960 and 1969, Douglas in ‘59, ‘62 and ‘67, as well as wins in Muskerry and Castletroy.
In total Egan earned 54 caps for Ireland and his most celebrated performance in the green came in the final of the European Team Championship in Turin in 1967. The final was nip and tuck until the Monkstown man produced a lengthy putt on the 18th green that saw Ireland win by 4 matches to 3. One of his more recent outings on a course happened in 2004 when Baltray hosted an Irish open. Tom was invited to play a round with Padraig Harrington and received a special award in recognition of that amazing front nine 42 years earlier. Although he played for Cork GC in the Senior Cup in the early 50’s, Egan was always a Monkstown man first and foremost. In 1963 he was part of the Monkstown Senior Cup team who won the Munster title, and he was very proud when the 2016 winning team called to him after the Munster final. Tom is survived by his wife Angela and nine children Paula, Anne, Frank, Denise, Tommy, Michelle, Robert, Michael and Louise.
The AGM of the ILGU took place last weekend and it was a special occasion for Monkstown’s Ada O’Sullivan as she was awarded Honorary Life Membership by the national governing body. Ada has one of the most comprehensive records of any female golfer in Ireland. She represented Munster, as a member of the girls’ team in 1980 & 1981 and the Women’s Team from 1982 -1997, fifteen years. She was the first ever winner of the Girlie Hegarty Trophy in 1994. As a player she represented Ireland at the Girls’ Home Internationals in 1980 & 1981.
She then played on the Women’s Home International Team seven times between 1982 & 1997 and at the Women’s European Team Championships in 1993, 1994 and 1995. She was the winner of the Sherry Cup in 1994 (European Masters 72 hole stroke play). Following her playing career, Ada represented Ireland as Captain of the Girls’ Home International Team in 1999 & 2000 and the Under 21 Team at the European Championship in 2000. She would go on to become the first High Performance Director on the ILGU Board in 2010.
Her first experience of Captaining a GB&I Team was at The Espirito Santo Trophy in Malaysia in 2002. This preceded GB&I Captaincy in 2003 & 2005 when her Team brought home the Vagliano Trophy playing at Co. Louth. In 2004 and 2006 Ada was invited to be Captain of the GB&I Curtis Cup Teams. ILGU President Brigid McCaw was delighted to present Ada with the award on Saturday. “Ada is a very capable, strong, fun loving person who – when asked to take on a responsible task – takes it on with great enthusiasm and leaves no stone unturned to make it a success” said McCaw upon presenting her with Life Honorary Membership. “We are very proud of all our Honorary Life Members and Past Presidents. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for being, as it were, “on call” and for their willingness to sharing their experiences and sound knowledge.” Life Membership was also Continue reading
Pictures for a rainy Monkstown: Continue reading
Monkstown’s Ferghal Collins tees it up in the K Club this week, he’s the only Cork golfer to make it through to the inaugural finals of the All Ireland Gold medal. Collins is among the top 36 golfers, the finalists made it through to play on the famous Palmer Course in the K Club, the host course for the 2006 Ryder Cup. There were three stages to the event, which is a unique to the GUI calendar. It’s the only event that club golfers can participate at individual level in an all-Ireland GUI event. Spread across three different handicap categories, the competition was open to all club members with free entry for all affiliated golf clubs. To qualify for the new competition each club who entered nominated one of their singles competitions as a club qualifier. Entrants on the day competed in one of three handicap categories – 9 and below, 10-17 or 18 and over. The best nett score in each category qualified for the regional final. From there the three golfers progressed to the regional finals hosted by Cahir Park in August. Collins was one of the top three in his category (10-17) and qualified for the All Ireland final this week.
Sharon Smurfit, Director of Golf at The K Club said: “I, along with my team are honoured that The K Club is hosting the inaugural 2019 All Ireland Gold Medal Final on our Ryder Cup Course. We look forward to welcoming the all-Ireland finalists to what will be a thrilling end to this new competition. The Ryder Cup course has hosted many special events including the Ryder Cup in 2006 and more recently the Irish Open in 2016, so the finalists will have a challenging day.” The winners of each of the three handicap categories will be awarded the Gold Medal.
Monkstown tasted success at the ILGU District finals in Lee Valley last Sunday, winning the Munster Final of the Intermediate Cup. Mary Egan led the charge from the front winning her match 3&2, while Liz Whitaker and Fabienne Moloney added the required wins. Grace Coakley and Sue McGuire were the other team members. In the Challenge Cup final East Cork got the better of Kinsale in an All-Cork derby. Nora Kelleher and Orla Evans won the first two matches, beating Lucy Carter and Sarah Galvin respectively. Naomi McCarthy got a point for Kinsale when she beat Geraldine Coughlan but the win was sealed for East Cork when Aileen O’Sullivan beat Ann O’Mahony on the 16th. Deirdre O’Doherty and Kay Galvin halved their match after they were called in. East Cork and Monkstown will now go on to the All Ireland finals in Knightsbrook later this month. Monkstown’s Cashman Trophy team were also in action in a Munster Final on Sunday. They took on Limerick in Mitchelstown and unfortunately for the Cork side, they came out on the wrong side of the result. While Monkstown put an early point on the board when Maurice McGrath and Roy Dennehy won, that was about as good as it got for the Cork club. Limerick brought in the first match thanks to Eamonn Grimes and Pat Lee, with Gavin Cross and Gerard Gleeson also winning. Hugh Colon and John O’Brien won the fourth match giving Limerick the important third point, and the title.
Sean Desmond took full advantage of a South of Ireland that was full of shocks to become the 118th winner of the famous championship. Desmond was a part of those shocks, beating Irish Internationals Conor Purcell and Tiarnan McLarnon. His good run started on Wednesday when he shot a five under par 67 in the fine conditions in Lahinch. Although he followed with a 78 on day two it was enough to finish in the top thirty to get safely through to the matchplay. There was an impressive list of golfers in the top 64, but after just two rounds of matchplay ten of the top ranked players were gone. Desmond was part of that, beating Walker Cup panelist Conor Purcell on the 18th green in the second round. Desmond was on fire on Saturday morning, but that was the standard needed – he was four under through nine holes and all square with Paul Coughlan, he went on to win on the 17th. Later on Saturday afternoon he took out another international, he beat Tiarnan McLarnon in the fourth round when the match went to the 19th hole. With his cousin Eoin Sawyer on the bag for the week resilience seemed to be Desmond’s theme for the tournament, whether it was a big gun or a few bad holes, Desmond took it one hole at a time and battled when he needed to.
That win on Saturday evening took him through to this mornings semi-final where he faced Sligo native Sean Flanagan. Desmond was up at the turn but things changed on the back nine when Flanagan went ahead. Even though Sean’s drive on the 17th ended up on the 15th fairway, he made a great recovery and birdied the hole to get back to level terms. He went on to birdie the 18th with a clutch five footer to advance to the final.
The Monkstown man faced Keith Egan in the final, and his opponent had also slayed a few giants. The Carton House member had a good start and was two up after three. Desmond hung in there, the resilience came to the fore again and he pegged back Egan to level. He went ahead on the 13th but lost his lead on the 16th. A nine foot par putt on the 17th gave him a lead going up 18. When Egan missed his birdie, that effectively crowned Desmond as the Champion. It was another amazing five days in Lahinch, with the course, the club, the village and the atmosphere making it one of the most popular events on the calendar.
See the action from the final green below thanks for Brian Keogh:
Monkstown Golf Club was the place to be last Saturday, with warm sunshine, a members barbeque, chipping competitions for adults and kids, it was a really enjoyable atmosphere. That wasn’t the case for everyone as there were two players out on the course completing their final round in a 180 hole challenge. Monkstown PGA Professional Cian McNamara and General Manager Brian Hurley set themselves a pretty unique challenge of playing ten rounds of golf in one day. Just after 9.30pm, Cian and Brian had their chance to sit back and enjoy the atmosphere and the hospitality. Close on 17 hours after they started out, they putted out on the 18th green for the final tine after completing all 180 holes.
The day started at 4.30am – 28 minutes before dawn broke, when both golfers hit the first ball. A crowd of members gathered at the first tee, including the Captain and President to cheer McNamara and Hurley as the set off on the Continue reading
Pictures from the 17 hour marathon of golf in Monkstown today: Continue reading
Pictures from the four matches starting on the back nine this morning: Continue reading