Peter O’Keeffe in action in the South of Ireland in Lahinch last year
Peter O’Keeffe’s two week marathon is finally over, but after eight rounds of golf in five days the Douglas member came agonisingly close to claiming his second major amateur title. This morning O’Keeffe dispatched Robert Brazill on the 17th green to reach the final of the North of Ireland in Portrush. This afternoon he faced England’s Arron Edwards-Hill in the final. Having spent last week in Lahinch caddying for Robin Dawson, O’Keeffe was onto day 11 of his golfing marathon. He was heading into his 14th round this afternoon, and he was determined to give it his all in pursuit of the famous provincial title.
Gallery: Golffile’s North of Ireland Final Round Gallery
The final started with a few scrappy holes, Edwards-Hill won the first, Peter won the second, and Edwards-Hill won the third when O’Keeffe lost a ball. But after that the golf improved with both Continue reading
It was another positive day for Cork golfers, 16 year old Fionn Hickey was in the prizes a the Leinster Boys while Peter O’Keeffe dispatched another two challengers and is into the semi-final of the North of Ireland.
Muskerry’s Fionn Hickey continued his positive set of results this summer with a fourth place finish at the Leinster Boys. Played in Waterford Golf Club over the past three days, Hickey close with a one under par 70. Three birdies in his final five holes helped the Muskerry golfer move up one spot on the leaderboard, and he also won the best Under 17 prize. Mel Deasy (Lee Valley) finished inside the top ten, two birdies on the back nine helped improve his position after going through the front nine in +3 today. Keelan McCarthy and Robbie Walsh came home together in 14th position. Both golfers shot identical rounds of 74,73,78 over the three days, while Mallow’s Daniel O’Sullivan was one shot back in 22nd place.
In Portstewart, Peter O’Keeffe claimed his fourth matchplay win in two day, closing out all four matches before he reached the 18th hole. In the round of 32, O’Keeffe faced Jake Rowe from Tandragee, and he beat the Ulsterman 2&1. This afternoon he faced Malone’s Matthew McClean in the quarter-final and closed out the match on the 16th after holding a solid lead throughout.
Tomorrow morning the Douglas golfer will face the top qualifier and 2018 West of Ireland winner Rob Brazill from Naas. Both golfers are currently on the Irish Senior Mens panel and it promises to be an interesting match. In the second semi final, Liam Grehan will take on Arron Edwards-Hill. O’Keeffe has been on the road for well over a week. Last week he caddied for his friend Rob Dawson in the Irish Open in Lahinch, and when they finished up on Sunday, O’Keeffe made the long journey to the Northern coastline for Monday’s first round in the strokeplay qualifier.
The O’Keeffe train kept on pulling today. After well over a week on the road Peter O’Keeffe put together back to back wins in Portstewart today to get through to the last 16 in the North of Ireland. He had another action packed day today, at 8.03am he was on the first tee facing Eoghan Collins. A steady performance saw him dispatch the Laytown & Bettystown member on the 16th. This afternoon he faced Rosslare’s Ian Lynch, and the Douglas man got off to a flier winning four of the first seven holes. O’Keeffe held his lead before eventually winning 3&1. He’s now safely through to tomorrow’s third round where he’ll face Tandragee’s Jake Rowe.
After spending most of last week in Lahinch where he was working with Robin Dawson, O’Keeffe left Co Clare on Sunday to head for the North, where he had an afternoon tee time for the first round in Castlerock. A poor start on Monday (+5) was followed by a very impressive 69 on Tuesday when he played on Portstewart’s championship links.
Paul Buckley had a good win this morning when the Kanturk native had a 4&2 win against Barry Cashman. That saw him face Geoff Lenehan in the second round. Buckley was one up early doors but Portmarnock’s Lenehan, who was tied as the strokeplay leader battled hard and won 4&2.
Cathal Butler was a casualty in this morning’s first round. Despite a bright start which saw him go two up on Aaron Edwards Hill, the Englishman fought back and beat Butler on the 17th.
Peter O’Keeffe staged a huge recovery at the North of Ireland today, jumping over 100 places on the leaderboard to make it into the matchplay stage of the provincial championship. O’Keeffe, who only arrived in Portstewart yesterday after a week in Lahinch, needed to dig deep after an opening 78 (+5) in Castlerock yesterday. And the big hitting Douglas golfer did just that, shooting a three under par 69 to finish inside the top 40, with two shots to spare from the cut mark of +4. It wasn’t plain sailing for O’Keeffe on Portstewart’s Strand course, host of the 2017 Irish Open. The 2017 Irish Open winner was two over after three holes, but two birdies and an eagle over the next four holes got him back in track. A handful of pars followed until he dropped two more birdies on the 14th and 17th. A bogey on the last meant he signed for a 69 and at that stage O’Keeffe was thinking it Continue reading
Peter O’Keeffe and James Sugrue are safely through to the matchplay stage of the North of Ireland, comfortably finishing in the top 64 from the mammoth field of 300 golfers. O’Keeffe carded rounds of 68 and 70 over both courses in Royal Portrush to finish on -5 and in a tie for 4th place. The Douglas man fired in eight birdies and an eagle over the two rounds and if he can continue in that form he should extend his time in Portrush. He’s currently in action against Haryey Byers from Walton Heath in the first matchplay round.
North of Ireland Matchplay Draw
James Sugrue continued his good form with a top 13 finish in the strokeplay qualifier. He shot rounds of 68 and 72 to book his place in the matchplay where he faces Marc Norton from Belvoir Park this morning. There was disappointment for Cathal Butler as he finished just one shot outside qualification on +3, and there was no joy for Continue reading
John Murphy had two matchplay wins today to advance to the third round of the North of Ireland Open in Royal Portrush. They were two contrasting rounds, he needed a huge putt on the last this morning to get past Kiet Van Der Weele but made short work of Andrew Mulholland this afternoon. Murphy always seemed to have a narrow edge over his opponent from Holland this morning but it took a 25 foot putt on the last to go one up and advance to the last 32. This afternoon he faced Castlerock’s Mulholland and solid golf – and a good few birdies – saw him go five up at one stage near the end of the front nine. In the end he closed put the match on the 15th with a 4&3 win. He now goes on to play Derek Downie from Kirkistown Castle. It’ll be another early start for Murphy with a 7.45am tee time. He’ll be hoping for another long day tomorrow with two rounds scheduled to bring the competition down to the final four golfers.
Cathal Butler lost out on the 18th green this evening, he was beaten by Tandragee’s Ross Dutton on the 18th. Butler had gone two down earlier in the match but had levelled it by the time they reached the 14th. The home player persevered however and took the win on the final green. Butler had overcome Andrew Continue reading
James Sugrue is one of three likely Cork qualifiers to make it through to the match play stages of the North of Ireland Championship at Royal Portrush. The Mallow man recovered from a disappointing front nine one the championship course that saw him turn on +3. Sugrue fought back with three birdies to level his score on the back nine on the Dunluce links, he finished with a 36 hole total of 140 (-3) to claim a place in the top 25. Sugrue’s level par 72 was one of the better scores today with many golfers failing to get around the difficult course links without dropping shots. Kinsale’s Cathal Butler carded a three over par 75 today, when added to his 66 from yesterday the Kinsale man also qualified comfortably on 2 under par. He had 15 pars and a birdie, but two consecutive double bogies on the front nine cost him a few spots on the leaderboard. Conditions were much better for day two of the championship which saw 300 golfers play over both courses at the famous resort on the northern coast.
John Murphy had nervy wait Continue reading
Kinsale’s Cathal Butler opened with a very impressive 66 at the North of Ireland Amateur Open yesterday. Playing on the Valley links in Royal Portrush the Maynooth student shot a round of -5 to grab a tie for fifth place. Butler went out in -1 after three birdies and two bodies on the opening nine, but a powerful back nine saw him return in -4. Birdies on the 10th & 11th were followed by an eagle on the par five 16th. That see’s him just two shots off the lead held by Rowan Lester.
Mallow’s James Sugrue recovered from an early bogey on the 2nd, he went on to record four birdies and twelve pars to claim a place in the top 30 on -3. John Murphy shot a one under par round of 70 to lie just inside the Continue reading