Irish Mid-Am title for Peter O’Keeffe

Peter O'Keeffe Irish Mid Amateur Sept 2019_2

Peter O’Keeffe (Pic: Golffile)

Peter O’Keeffe scooped a second national title today, winning the Irish Mid Amateur in Royal Belfast.  The Douglas golfer had a wire to wire win following rounds of 68,70 & 71.  His winning score of 209 was the only score to break par on the Harry Colt designed course.  O’Keeffe jumped into the lead after an opening 68 on Saturday morning, the two under par round had four birdies and one double bogey in the opening round to lead the field by one.  He followed that with a level par 70 in the afternoon, again closing with birdies on the 16th and 18th.  The 2017 Irish Open winner had a one shot lead going into today’s final round.  Rathmore’s Ben Best was one behind but two bogies on the first and second gave Peter a lead of three.  O’Keeffe went out in a steady level par, made up of seven pars, one birdie and one birdie.  The back nine was even steadier, eight pars and just one bogey on 17th say him sign for a 71.  Playing with the two nearest competitors, O’Keeffe knew he was in the lead and closed out the win with ease.  Colm Campbell and France’s Christophe DeGrancey were one back on level par for the tournament.

Kinsale’s Kieran McCarthy finished in the top ten, he finished on eight over for 8th place.  Mark Collins was one shot back and finished in 11th place.  Lee Valley’s Jason Galway was the Continue reading

Mullingar win for Murphy

John Murphy (Kinsale)4

John Murphy, Pic: Pat Cashman

John Murphy reaped the rewards after long frustrating summer – one that demanded plenty of resilience and perseverance – he won the prestigious Mullingar Scratch Cup today to record his biggest win on home soil.  “It’s been a tough season, and while I kept plugging away, things weren’t happening for me” said an excited Murphy.  “I am heading back to Louisville next Saturday so I said I’d give it one more crack instead of just throwing in the towel on the summer. I am very relieved with this one.”  Originally a Walker Cup panellist, Murphy has had a frustrating three months at home.  Trips to England and Scotland were fruitless and outside of Kinsale qualifying for the Barton Shield finals Continue reading

Desmond & O’Mahony claim first Munster Caps, Senior Interprovincial team named

Sean Desmond

Sean Desmond (Monkstown) teeing off the 9th in Lahinch during the third round of the South of Ireland Championship. Pic: Niall O’Shea

Sean Desmond and Greg O’Mahony are set to earn their first Munster senior caps having been named in the Munster Interprovincial team today.  The Cork duo are among three new faces in the Munster team that also see’s Pat Murray return after missing out last year.  Captain Michael Coote and Manager George Mellerick have assembled a strong team as Munster hope to retain the title.  Desmond was a strong contender for a spot after winning the South Of Ireland earlier this month, and although be missed out on an automatic spot he was certainly to the forefront of the selectors minds.  Greg O’Mahony also picks up his first cap on the back of solid championship performances.  He reached the last 32 in the South and the last 16 in the Irish Close in Ballybunion earlier this week.  Pat Murray makes a welcome return to the team, the Tipperary native has a long and distinguished record and his matchplay experience will balance the young look to the team.

Peter O’Keeffe and Eanna Griffin were automatic picks having finished in the top three in Continue reading

Butler & O’Mahony through to last 16 in AIG Irish Close

South of Ireland 2019

Cathal Butler

Just two Cork golfers remain from the six that started in Ballybunion this morning.  Cathal Butler and Greg O’Mahony are through to the last 16 in the AIG Irish Close in Ballybunion.  Butler is on a good run of form at the moment, and he was delighted to come through the first two rounds considering the challenge that the Old Course put up.  “It was blowing an absolute gale, so there was serious ball control needed” said the Kinsale man. “Obviously I had some bad holes and plenty of bogies thrown in but managed to get over the line.  I just didn’t get down at all no matter what was thrown at me.”  Cathal had beat Jordan Hood on the 18th this morning, and he won 3&1 over Conor Ryan this afternoon.  Butler had plenty of home support in Ballybunion with all the lads staying on to support him.  “Shane O’Connell from Kinsale caddied for me at the end of my first match and in the afternoon and he was a huge help. John Murphy, Gary Ward, Robbie Walsh and Eric Rumley came out to support me and it was a huge help to get me over the line especially when conditions were so tough.  I love Ballybunion, it requires such precision with approach shots – it’s not easy though”

Butler will now face Portmarnock’s Continue reading

Six through in Ballybunion, AIG Irish Close Championship

Gameface; Peter O'Keeffe in action in the South of Ireland in Lahinch last year

Peter O’Keeffe

Six Cork golfers made it through the first test in Ballybunion this weekend, they’ve qualified for the matchplay stage of the AIG Irish Close Championship.  In testing weather conditions the Old Course played much tougher than Saturday.  Peter O’Keeffe ended up as the top Corkman, his level par round today saw him finish in 11th, 21 places higher than yesterday.  Greg O’Mahony, Cathal Butler and John Murphy have all matched their Lahinch achievements in making the matchplay – although in Murphy’s case he had to qualify this time, doing so comfortably with three shots to spare.  Mel Deasy made it through to his first championship matchplay he was the best of the +8’s and is through to tomorrow’s draw.  South Champion Sean Desmond added a second 75 today to also finish on +8, he is through to the matchplay, hoping his form from Lahinch will continue.  For a while it looked like Deasy, and especially Desmond would miss out, but as the afternoon score came in, all the +8’s were safely through and there was even a few +9’s to qualify.  Overnight leader Ronan Mullarney added a three under par 68 to yesterday’s 65 to finish as top qualifier on -9.  Eoin Leonard shot a best of the day 67 to Continue reading

Butler in second place at Irish Close in Ballybunion

Cathal Butler

Cathal Butler

The AIG Irish Close Championship got underway this morning in Ballybunion, with Kinsale’s Cathal Butler posting the low score to hold the clubhouse lead for most of the day.  Despite delays due to a funeral and a nosebleed, over 130 golfers were out on the Old Course today.  They were completing the first of two rounds to determine the top 64 qualifiers to go through to the matchplay stages starting on Monday.

After a good performance in Lahinch, Butler made to most of his early start.  He had three birdies in a row from the 4th to the 6th, and added another on the 8th to turn on three under.  Butler got to -4 on the 16th, but a bogey on the last saw him sign for 68, goo enough to hold the clubhouse lead for much of the day.  The former Kerry Boys winner played very will in Lahinch last week, and he’ll be hoping that the good golf will continue as he aims to reach the final stages in Ballybunion.  Butler is three behind Ronan Mullarney who opened with a blistering 6 under.  Clubmate Gary Ward also finished in the red, he shot a one under par 70, thanks in part to a tasty eagle three Continue reading

O’Mahony goes low in Lahinch, South of Ireland Day Two…

Douglas Senior Scratch Cup 2019_Greg O'Mahony_4

Greg O’Mahony after winning the Douglas Scratch Cup earlier this year

Greg O’Mahony was the only Cork golfer to break par on a tough day in Lahinch today.  The Fota Island golfer went around in three under as the wind and rain tested golfers.

A total of eight golfers made the cut for tomorrow’s matchplay.  Peter O’Keeffe finished his 36 holes on one under and Sean Desmond was two shots behind.  Cork duo Gary O’Flaherty and Paul Buckley were both safely through on +2, and Cathal Butler had to endure a short wait before all of the +4’s were safely inside the top 59.  With James Sugrue and John Murphy, there will be a strong Cork challenge tomorrow with eight golfers hoping to make it through the first round.

Gallery: South of Ireland Day 2, strokeplay qualifier second round

Play gets underway at 7am tomorrow, with the second round starting after the completion of the first round matches.  Live scoring will be available at regular intervals.

South of Ireland Matchplay Draw

7.00am: James Sugrue v Jack Doherty
7.36am: Peter O’Keeffe v James Fox
7.45am: Paul Buckley v Shane O’Connor
8.48am: John Murphy v Aaron Ryan
10.18am: Greg O’Mahony v Evan Farrell
10.45am: Sean Desmond v Jack Ryan
11.12am: Cathal Butler v Ronan Mullarney
11.21am: Gary O’Flaherty v TJ Ford