Sugrue in contention in St Andrews

James Sugrue_22

James Sugrue (Mallow) 

After rounds of 67 and 68, James Sugrue is in 5th place at the St Andrew’s Links Trophy in Scotland.  It’s another boost for the Mallow man has been on a good run of form.  Sugrue won the Castletroy Scratch Cup two weeks ago, before finishing in the top twenty in the Brabazon.  Although he is in 5th place, he is eight shots off the lead held by England’s Matty Lamb after a super 63 today.  Sugrue had a great run of four birdies in the middle of his round in the home of golf.  It was part of a five bogies in six holes starting at the fifth.  Sugrue had three birdies on the back nine but bogies on the 15th and 17th before a closing par would see him sign for a four under par 68.  Sugrue is the second best placed Irish golfer, he’s one behind Caolan Continue reading

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O’Keeffe takes 5th place at East of Ireland

Douglas Senior Senior Scratch Cup
26th May 2019Peter O’Keeffe fired himself into a fifth place finish at the East of Ireland, thanks to a three under par 69 in his final round this afternoon.

O’Keeffe has an impressive back nine, he went on a birdie run and was three under for his final seven holes, and it was an impressive finish given the difficulty of the course in Baltray.  The result is a nice boost for the 2017 Irish Open Champion as he looks to cement his place on the Irish Squad.  O’Keeffe started the season with a win in the Muskerry Senior Scratch Cup, and the performance in Co Louth signals that he’s back on form.  Greg O’Mahony built on last week’s win in Douglas with a top twenty finish.  The Fota Island member will probably be disappointed with a closing 75 having been well placed after a 71 this morning.

Sean Desmond was the only other Cork golfer to make the cut, he finished in 23rd place on +5 after a final round 72.

Mallow’s James Sugrue and Kinsale’s both missed the East as they played in the Brabazon Trophy in The Alwoodley Club in Leeds.  Sugrue had a an impressive event, finishing in the top twenty.  Like much of the field, Sugrue batteld with the back nine over the four days, but on Sunday he had four birdies on the first ten holes before he eventually succumbed to two bogeys on the closing holes.  It meant that he finished with a 70, which saw him jump from 35th to tied 18th.  Both are back in action this week in the St Andrews Links Trophy.  Murphy will be keen to show some of the form he had on display recently in the NCAA Regionals and Finals, especially as he missed the cut in Leeds last weekend.

Super 65 for Butler in Co Sligo, Flogas Irish Amateur Open

AIG Senior Cup Area Semi Finals 2018 Cork Golf Club Sunday 24th June 2018A birdie three on the last hole was the perfect finish to Cathal Butler’s round in Co Sligo today, as he signed for a 65 after a great second round.  Butler, who had a four over par 75 in his opening round, got to work early today and was three under through five holes.  He added another two birdies before the turn to go out in 31 (-5).  Although he had a few good birdie chances on the back nine he ended up with eight consecutive pars. He did close out on the 18th with a birdie, leaving him on -2 and tied for 20th at the halfway stage.  Needless to say the Kinsale golfer was in a positive frame of mind after his round.  “It was a relief as much as anything – it feels like a long time since I shot a low one” said Butler after the round.  “I was hitting it lovely, I only missed one green and hit a lot of the shots close.  The putter was steady throughout and it was nice to hole a long one on 18 to finish.”  Butler has been struggling with a back injury for the past while and that has contributed to his lack of recent appearances near the top of the leaderboard.  “I’m off around 2pm tomorrow so I’ll get a chance to go to the gym before hand.  My back has been troublesome for the past few weeks so I’ll do some exercises before I go out to play.”  As for the strategy for tomorrow, it more of the same for Cathal.  “I’ll just keep trying to make good decisions and smooth swings.  If I can stay as relaxed as I was today it should be another good day.”

James Sugrue followed his opening 70 (-1) with a two over par 73 today.  The Mallow man had a colourful back nine, comprised of two pars, three birdies, three bogies and an unfortunate double on the par five 12th.  He’s just inside the top 50, and a good round tomorrow should see him through to Sunday.  The 54 hole cut after tomorrow’s third round will see the top 50 (plus ties) go forward for Sunday’s final round.  Mel Deasy, back at the venue where he led the qualifier for the West just a few weeks ago has found the going a little tougher.  Rounds of 72 & 74 has him Continue reading

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

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