Sugrue the best of Cork in Co Sligo

Investec Muskerry Senior Scratch Cup Muskerry Golf Club
Saturday 30th March 2019

James Sugrue

James Sugrue is the best of the Cork golfers at the halfway stage of the West of Ireland Championship in CO Sligo Golf Club. The Mallow man shot a two under par 69, helped along the way with an eagle on the back nine. Sugrue started smartly with an opening birdie but a seven on the par five 3rd hole set him back. He recovered with a birdie on the fifth and his eagle on the 12th brought him back into the red. Added to his opening 72, Sugrue is on -1 at the halfway stage – tied for fourth place. He’s four shots behind joint leaders Caolan Rafferty and Max Kennedy.

Mel Deasy added another 73 today to finish +4 in a tier for 30th place. The leading qualifier was three over after his front nine, but came back in one under to match yesterday’s score.

They are the only two golfers inside the top 50, the cut line after tomorrow’s third round. Greg O’Mahony and Gary Ward are just one shot outside the top 50 on +8 (T56) while Sean Desmond is a shot further back, currently placed T76. It was another tough day for Peter O’Keeffe, he shot a 78 which makes qualifying for Sunday a big ask. Cathal Butler also suffered after a horrendous front nine, which put paid to his chances. Kieran Murphy, Keith Fitzpatrick, Padraig O’Connor and Eric Rumley are all outside hopes for making it through to Sunday, but they do have one more round at the famous links to post a memorable score.

West of Ireland Championship Leaderboard

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O’Keeffe wins Investec Muskerry SSC

Investec Muskerry Senior Scratch Cup Muskerry Golf Club Saturday 30th March 2019

Peter O’Keeffe in action in the Investec Muskerry Senior Scratch Cup today. Pic: Niall O’Shea

13 years after his first win, Peter O’Keeffe added a second Muskerry Senior Scratch Cup title to his growing haul of wins.  The Irish International led from the start, a five under par 66 this morning saw him set the tone and take a one shot lead into the second round.  A birdie on the second hole was struck out by a bogey on the 6th, but that would be his only mistake.  The Douglas golfer bounced back with an eagle on the next hole and a birdie on the 8th saw him turn on -3.  Two more birdies on the back nine gave him a one shot lead over James Sugrue.

Both Irish Internationals were level after the opening hole in the second round, but O’Keeffe kicked on with a birdie on the second and never looked back.  Sugrue bagged several birdies but balanced that with a handful of bogies that prevented him from catching his playing partner.  Cathal Butler continued his positive form with rounds of 69 & 70.  That was good enough for third place and valuable points on the Munster Order of Merit.  O’Keeffe also takes the lead in the Munster Order of Merit as a result of today’s win.

Gallery: Investec Muskerry Senior Scratch Cup 2019

Muskerry Senior Scratch Cup Presentation_1

Peter O’Keeffe (Douglas) receiving the Muskerry Senior Scratch Cup from Michael O’Connor (Investec). Also included are Marian Nugent (President) and Diarmuid Linehan (Captain), Muskerrry Golf Club.
Picture: Joe Lane

The story of the afternoon belonged to Kinsale’s Shane Kenneally.  He produced a best of the day round of 64 (-7).  Four birdies on the front nine, an eagle two on the 11th hole, and a birdie on the 18th saw him recover from an opening 77 to take 4th place overall.  Cork’s Gary O’Flaherty was 5th (141, -1) in his first competitive event of the season.  The nett prize went to Muskerry’s Zak Collins, a second round 70 saw him finish on -5 (nett).

Muskerry was in great condition for the showpiece event, the ground was a bit on the soft side but overall the course was great with the greens rolling nicely.  This marks the start of a busy few weeks for Cork’s top golfers.  While some will be heading for Co Sligo next week, both East Cork (Sat) and Fota Island (Sun) are holding Senior Scratch Cups.  The qualifiers for the Ford Muskerry Junior Scratch Trophy also take place on Friday and Saturday next with times still available on both days.

Investec Muskerry Senior Scratch Cup 2019

136 Peter O’Keeffe (Douglas) 66 70
138 James Sugrue (Mallow) 67, 71
139 Cathal Butler (Kinsale) 69, 70
141 Shane Kenneally (Kinsale) 77, 64; Gary O’Flaherty (Cork) 72, 69; Jack Egan (Muskerry) 71,70
142 Sean Leonard (Mitchelstown) 71,71; Ian Bermingham (Douglas) 68,74
144 Andrew McCormack (Castletroy) 73,71; Philip Spratt (West Waterford) 71,73; David Fitzgerald (Tralee) 71,73; Jack McDonnell (Forrest Little) 70,74
145 Zak Collins (Muskerry) 75, 70; Fionn Hickey (Muskerry) 74,71; Noel McGee (Fota Island) 73,72;  Rory Fives (Faithlegg) 73,72; Paul Tobin (Douglas) 72,73
146 Ian Spillane (Killarney) 75,71; Rory Milne (Faithlegg) 71,75
147 Alan Moriarty (Macroom) 74, 73
CSS Round 1:71
CSS Round 2:71

Busy off-season for O’Keeffe

Interpros 2016 Peter O'Keeffe

Peter O’Keeffe (Douglas) rejoins the Munster team for the first time since 2007 when he was part of the winning team. Picture: Niall O’Shea

It’s been a busy off season for Peter O’Keeffe, while many golfers have put the sticks away until January, O’Keeffe is still working hard.  The Doulas elite amateur was in Spain last week, and he finished sixth in a Gecko Tour event.  The Gecko Tour is a mini-tour based in Spain, generally featuring emerging professional golfers.  O’Keeffe shot a final round 67 to jump up the leaderboard and finish on -4 for his 54 holes.  It was a good finish for Peter, he was +3 halfway though his second round so his strong finish was a real positive.  Peter has had another good year at the top level.  In March he retained his Kerry Scratch Cup title, and while he didn’t repeat his 2017 feat of winning a national championship, he was competitive in almost every event.  He reached the quarter final of the Irish Close and finished in the top eight on the Bridgestone Order of Merit.  He retained his place on the Irish team for the Home Internationals, a team that narrowly lost out to England.  O’Keeffe has risen up the international rankings also, he started the year at 752 on WAGR, but he Continue reading

Sugrue & O’Keeffe named on Irish team for Home Internationals

J2016 Flogas Irish Amateur Open Championshipames Sugrue and Peter O’Keeffe were both named in the Irish team for the Home Internationals which take place in Wales in less than two weeks.  For the first time in well over a decade, Cork will be represented by two golfers in an Irish Mens team.  After missing out on selection for the European Team Championships in July, Sugrue finally gets his first senior international cap after coming close earlier this year.  The Mallow man earned several caps at boys level and after a three year gap, he’ll be back in Irish colours in Conwy, Wales.  Ireland won an unprecedented fourth title in a row last year, and this year they’ll be hoping to retain the title.

Both Sugrue and O’Keeffe have been on form Continue reading

Munster win Interprovincial Chamionship in Athenry

Interprovincial Championship 2018

The winning Munster team pictured with Team Captain Michael Coote receiving the trophy from John Moloughney, President GUI, picture Fran Caffrey, Golffile.

There was a dramatic finish to the Interprovincial Championship this afternoon, with Geoff Lenehan again sealing a win for Munster.  The Waterville member won the crucial point in 2012 and 2014, and he was at the centre of the action again in Athenry, winning his singles match to give Munster the win against Leinster and the title.

Munster went into day three with a narrow lead, all four teams had one win each, with Munster ranked first on the basis of matches won.  The meant that a win for Munster should have been enough to seal the title.  The foursomes didn’t quite go to plan, with Munster trailing 3-1 at lunchtime.  The only win came from O’Keeffe and Lenehan.  Munster came out firing in the singles though, with Peter O’Keeffe and James Sugrue claiming the first points.  Munster needed five of the seven points to claim the title and with two in the bag the odds favoured the men in blue.  Eanna Griffin brought in a third point and while Andrew McCormack lost, John Hickey won to make it 4-1 with two matches on the course.  Both playing the final Continue reading

5 Cork golfers named on Munster team for Interprovincial Championship

James Sugrue_22

James Sugrue (Mallow) teeing of in the third round of the South of Ireland.
Picture: Niall O’Shea

James Sugrue and Peter O’Keeffe lead a five strong Cork contingent on the Munster team for the interprovincial championship later this month.   Cork GC duo John Hickey and Gary O’Flaherty along with Kinsale’s Cathal Butler make up the majority of the eight man team to play in Athenry.

Sugrue and O’Keeffe were assured of their places thanks to finishing in the top three on the Munster Order of Merit.  Both have recorded wins this year and they have also been playing well, reaching the latter stages of the South of Ireland and the AIG Irish Close.  Gary O’Flaherty retains his place and he’s be hoping to add to the six wins that he’s racked up since his first appearance in 1996.  John Hickey and Cathal Butler return to the side after missing out last year, they both played in Fota Island in 2016.

Geoff Lenehan, Andrew McCormack and Eanna Griffin also retain their places from last year in what is a very experienced side.  There are two notable absentees though Continue reading

Sugrue & O’Keeffe bow out of Close

AIG Irish CloseCork interest in the AIG Irish Close finished today as James Sugrue and Peter O’Keeffe lost in the third and fourth rounds respectively.  Sugrue was up against Conor Purcell and the match went all the way to the 20th hole before it was settled.  Unlike the result of extra holes in Lahinch, Sugrue came out on the wrong side when the match finished on the 2nd hole.  Purcell went on to beat Eugene Smith this afternoon and will face Eoin Leonard in tomorrow’s semi-final.

Peter O’Keeffe had a good win this morning, beating Jack Walsh with two holes to spare.  He faced Alex Gleeson in the quarter-final and unfortunately for O’Keeffe the 2016 winner from Castle won by a single hole.  Gleeson will now face Robbie Cannon in the other semi-final.

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O’Keeffe and Sugrue advance at the Close

South of Ireland 2018Lahinch Golf Club
Saturday 28th July 2018

Peter O’Keeffe in action in Lahinch at the South of Ireland.  Picture: Niall O’Shea

Peter O’Keeffe and Jame Sugrue are through to the last 16 after a tough day at the AIG Irish Close Championship at the European Club.  O’Keeffe, who had been struggling with illness yesterday, had a one hole win over Noel Crawford this morning, that was after being one down at the turn.  In the afternoon he faced John Murphy in an all-Cork clash.  Murphy wrapped up his first round match against Gary Cullen on the 12th signalling he was still the form player.  It was O’Keeffe who started better, going two up after the first three holes.  Murphy recovered quickly, levelling the match by the 6th, and he held a one shot lead at the turn.  O’Keeffe had another purple patch on the back nine, he was one up through 15, and he won the 16th to double his lead.  He won the match on the 17th, winning that hole to record a 3&1 win over Murphy.  O’Keeffe will face Jack Walsh in tomorrow’s third round.

James Sugrue also Continue reading

Seven Cork Golfers through in AIG Close

AIG Senior Cup Area Semi Finals 2018Cork Golf Club
Sunday 24th June 2018

Gary Ward

It was a good weekend for Cork golfers as seven have made it through to the matchplay stage of the AIG Irish Close Championship.  The European Club in Co Wicklow is the venue for the final major of the year and the challenging Ruddy designed links saw the scores vary from 66 to 90+ over the opening two days.

The leader from day one, Peter O’Keeffe (Douglas) finished in tied third place.  Although he had a 76 today, his opening 66 from yesterday was always going to be enough to see him safely through to the matchplay phase.  A few early bogies set the tone for his day and despite a recovery on his second nine, two late bogies meant he finished on +5 and level par for the 36 holes.  Gary Ward (Kinsale) is just one shot behind in fifth place, tow rounds of 71 and 72 left the Kinsale golfer on +1.

Macroom’s Padraig O’Connor has reached the matchplay stage for the first time.  He shot a one over par 72 today, and finished on +5 to take 16th place.  John Hickey and Cathal Butler both made their second successive championship cut with solid play over the opening two days.  Hickey carded rounds of 75 and 75 to finish in 33rd place and although he’ll be disappointed by the two late bogies, he’s safely through to Continue reading