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.
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 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
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
Monkstown 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.
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
Hilary Madden pictured with Martin Travers and Cian McNamara
Monkstown’s Hilary Madden will retire this week after 16 years as general manager in the golf club. It’s been a very eventful time for golf clubs in Ireland, with big changes happening in those two decades. In 2002, when Hilary took on the role in Monkstown golf in Ireland was very different. There were waiting lists and large entry fees for anyone wanting to join, that period also marked a big increase in the number of courses. Like many other courses, Monkstown had impressive development plans at the time which included an impressive new clubhouse, a new maintenance and greenkeeper compound. Work on the course which drainage and bunker redevelopment, and it fell to the manager to oversee the plans which was set to reposition Monkstown back to the top table. Luckily for Monkstown the work was completed by time the downturn came, but they still had to finance the projects which was a challenge for the club. “As common with most clubs in Ireland the economic depression from 2008 to 2014 resulted Continue reading
After 16 years at Monkstown, General Manager Hilary Madden recently announced his retirement and the club has just started the recruitment campaign for his replacement. Monkstown was one of the original “four Cork clubs” and it remains a private members club. With a history that dates back over 110 years, the club is steeped in history. Having come through the past decade the club, Monkstown is now ideally positioned to continue the positive work that has been ongoing over the past six years.
The successful candidate will report to Monkstown’s Committee of Management and the club has listed a number of requirements for suitable candidates. Applications can be addresses to email@example.com and the closing date for applications is Friday 14th September. Full details on the role are listed below Continue reading