Collins set for Gold Medal Challenge

GUI LogoMonkstown’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 & East Cork taste success

monkstown team 2019 Intermediate Cup

The Monkstown Golf Club team who won the intermediate cup in the AIG ILGU Cups and Shields Munster finals at the Lee Valley Golf Club & Country Club, Ovens, Co Cork. Included are Hilary Harte, team manager and Carol Murphy, captain of the ladies club with team members Sue McGuire, Fabienne Moloney, Grace Coakley, Liz Whitaker, Marian Reidy, Mary Egan and Martina McCarthy.   Picture Pat Cashman

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.

Gallery: Limerick v Monkstown, Michael Cashman Trophy Munster Final 2019

Desmond is King of the South

Sean Desmond South of Ireland Winner_1

South of Ireland Champion Sean Desmond.  Pic: Brian Arthur

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.

Gallery: South of Ireland Saturday

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.

Sean Desmond Golffile_2

The Champion!  Pic: Thos Caffrey, Golffile

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:

 

Brian & Cian conquer Monkstown challenge

Monkstown Golf Club 180 Hole Challenge

Brian & Cian still smiling after completing ten rounds of golf

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

Monkstown’s 180 hole Challenge

Cian McNamara Jul 2019Monkstown Golf Club are hosting a unique challenge on Saturday, two golfers will try and complete 180 holes in one day. Monkstown’s Club Professional Cian McNamara and General Manager Brian Hurley have set themselves the challenge to play ten rounds of golf in one day. Playing under the rules of golf, and counting both scores, the pair will be walking the course adding to the difficulty of the task. Starting at 4.30am on Saturday morning (28 minutes before dawn!), the challenge is expected to last well into the evening, and with no guarantee of success the two PGA Professionals will have a long day ahead of them on Saturday. The only other similar feat in Cork was completed by Lee Valley’s Denis O’Brien who completed seven rounds at the Clashnure course in Ovens well over a decade ago.

While other similar challenges have been completed in the US, the ten round target is a unique event in Ireland. The event is a fundraiser for the Monkstown Cups and Shields teams, and give that the Club Pro and the GM are doing all of the hard work, it’s not surprising that many of the club members have jumped in to sponsor the holes. All 180 holes in the challenge are now sponsored and with Ronan Murphy’s Smarttech 24/7 joining in as the main sponsor for the event, the club is well on the way to achieving the €10,000 target they set for themselves.

The event has become a real talking point in Monkstown, with many golfers question the reality (and sanity) of trying to complete the 180 hole challenge. That said there’s a great atmosphere around the fundraiser and a large number of members and supporters are expected to come out to cheer on the two golfers on Saturday. While there won’t be too many out for the 4.30am start, it is expected that the crowds will build, especially on Saturday evening.

Busy times for Monkstown’s Shane Irwin

shane irwin monkstown_dec 2018

Shane Irwin

Monkstown’s Shane Irwin will have a busy few months ahead, as he closes off his second year of training as a PGA Professional.  The Limerick native has spent two years in Cork, working with Cian McNamara in the Monkstown ProShop.  In September 2017 he started his PGA training, having worked in the US and South Africa prior to that.  It was the next step in a plan for Shane.  “First year was very interesting for me as I went straight to the states to work in the golf industry after my leaving cert, so it was all a new experience for me” explained Irwin.  “Going to the states was in itself a learning, the way the American golf industry works and the contacts and friends I have made benefited me greatly to bring all that knowledge back home to Ireland.  The plan was always do America and play in South Africa and come back to do my PGA studies.”  Traditionally the PGA apprenticeship was Continue reading