Mairead Martin (Kanturk), Photo: Pat Cashman
Top qualifier Mairead Martin won her first round match at the Irish Womens Close in Mullingar today. It was a north Cork battle as Karturk’s Martin took on Doneraile’s Walsh.
Martin faced 2017 Munster Women’s Champion Walsh in today’s first matchplay round and got off to a good start, winning 3 of the first 6 holes. Walsh steadied the match but the deficit was too much for her to fight back and the game finished on the 16th green, 3&2 to Martin. Martin now faces Irish Womens Strokeplay Champion Maria Dunne who’ll be looking to complete a rare double. Walsh goes on the the plate matchplay where she faces Shannon Burke tomorrow.
It was a good day for Cork golfers, and the 17th was the hole where the other four Cork matches finished. Sara Byrne had a 2&1 over Alice Hutchinson and Rachel Continue reading
Mairead Martin, Kanturk. (Photo: Pat Cashman Photography)
Kanturk’s Mairead Martin led the qualifiers at the Irish Ladies Close in Mullingar yesterday and now faces Doneraile’s Paula Walsh in an all-Cork matchplay clash. Martin won the Leitrim Cup after finishing the 36 hole qualifier on level par, one ahead of the field. Martin was not affected by tough windy conditions in Mullingar and her second round 73 included 4 birdies at the 1st, 2nd, 8th and 14th. “It was very tough in the blustery conditions, the wind kept changing direction all day. I putted very well this afternoon which was the key and kept my score going,” said Mairead, “I played well last week at the British Amateur in Wales and I got Continue reading
Four Cork golfers were selected on the Irish Girls team today, they’ll be heading off to Finland next month to take place in the European Team Championships. Sara Byrne (Douglas) will be making her debut at this level while Valerie Clancy (Killarney/Mitchelstown), Mairead Martin (Kanturk) and Rachel Thompson (Cork) were all selected on the team for the second time.
It’s a great achievement and a rare case where four of the six team members are from one county. They will be joined by French U18 Champion Annabel Wilson (Lurgan) and Lauren Walsh (Castlewarden), who holed the winning putt at the Girls’ Home International matches on her Irish debut in last year. Byrne was also selected for an Under 16 girls team and has posted some very positive results thus far in 2017, most impressively a 3rd place finish at the prestigious Fairhaven Trophy earlier this month. The Team Captain Gemma Butler said “the girls have had some fantastic results so far this year and having won the second flight at the 2016 European Championships, we are excited to build on that result this time around.”
Irish Girls’ European Team
St. Laurence, Finland (July 11 – 15)
Sara Byrne (Douglas)
Valerie Clancy (Killarney)
Mairead Martin (Kanturk)
Rachel Thompson (Cork)
Lauren Walsh (Castlewarden)
Annabel Wilson (Lurgan)
Cork’s Rachel Thompson finished strongly at the Irish Womens Open Strokeplay in Baltray over the weekend. She captured the Cathy Smith Trophy as the best under 18 and she also finished with the best nett score. Rachel won the U18 prize with a one stroke lead over Germany’s Sarina Schmidt, but when it came to the gross prize she had a five shot lead over the field. The competition was won by Mari Dunne who lead form the first round and closed on -9 for the tournament.
Thompson finished in second place in the Lahinch Scratch Cup recently and since then her golf has moved up a gear. He performances over the weekend has seen her handicap drop from 2 to scratch. Despite not playing in the Portuguese or Spanish Opens, Thompson is currently 9th in the ILGU Senior Order of Merit. Valerie Clancy, Sara Byrne, Mairead Martin, Paula Walsh and Karen O’Neill all feature in the top twenty so there should be plenty of Cork golfers in contention for the Ladies and Girls interprovincials.
Kinsale’s John Murphy had a pretty special bank holiday weekend, Murphy was in Portugal for the Darren Clarke Champions Weekend. As winner of the Munster Youths in August, Murphy was invited to take part in the event which was hosted by the Amendoeira Golf Resort in the Algarve. The 18 winners from the top youths, boys and girls competitions in 2016 invited for the three day trip. Rachel Thompson, Mairead Martin and Valerie Clancy also earned invitations after their performances this year. After a 4am start in Dublin airport on Friday morning, the golfers met Clarke on arrival at the golf club and played golf with the Ryder Cup Captain three times over the two days. Although vastly experienced at top level national and international boys golf, Murphy admitted that it was a pretty special experience. “We went over to the golf club and Darren introduced himself to us. It was kind of weird at the start, but I got used to it after a few hours” said Murphy who is now a student in Maynooth. “We played 18 holes with Darren playing with us and watching us, pointing Continue reading
The ILGU announced their coaching panels for 2016/2017 and there was good news for several Cork golfers. Valerie Clancy and Mairead Martin were both named on the ILGU High Performance panel for 2017. It’s a great achievement for both girls as they have continued to improve through the 2016 season.
2016 was also a breakthrough for Cork’s Rachel Thompson who was added to the funded performance panel for the year ahead. The high performance panel has the stated objective of developing world class players while the funded performance panel is aimed at encouraging golfers to compete at international level, at individual and team events. Thompson, Martin and Clancy all featured on the Irish Girls team that won the home internationals in Wales earlier this year.
Sara Byrne (Douglas) was named on the Horizon coaching panel which is aimed at supporting and developing younger players, and preparing them for the transition to the high performance panel in years to come. The ILGU are currently in the process of developing the new structure with the regional professionals with a view to rolling out the revised plans early in the new year.
HIGH PERFORMANCE PANEL
(*Denotes US based players)
FUNDED PERFORMANCE PANEL
HORIZON PERFORMANCE PANEL
Davey Barry (Douglas) is in action at the PGA Assistants Championship, he shot a level par 72 in his first round at Little Aston Golf Club in Bermingham. Barry had three birdies and three bogies in his opening 18 holes, and he’s just inside the top twenty heading into the second round.
Galvin Green PGA Assistants’ Championship
Cork’s Tom Cleary is in the top ten after the opening round of the British Seniors Amateur Open at Formby. Cleary had an opening 74 and is three shots behind the leader. He’s tied with Tipperary’s Arthur Pierse as the leading Irish players
Valerie Clancy, Rachel Thompson and Mairead Martin all had good starts for Ireland today at the opening day of the girl home internationals. Clancy Continue reading
Cork’s Rachel Thompson along with Killarney’s Mairead Martin and Valerie Clancy have been selected on the Irish Girls team that will compete in the home internationals
All three have shown great form this season. Mairead Martin from Kanturk reached the semi-final stage of the Irish Girls Close over the weekend, while Thompson reached the semi-final of the plate competition. Valerie Clancy from Mitchelstown won the Munster Senior Open in Waterville back in March and followed that with a very good performance in the Irish Ladies Close at Lahinch in May.
Ireland are putting forward an exceptional girls’ team, which includes Julie McCarthy (Forrest Little), Niamh McSherry (Lurgan), Lauren Walsh (Castlewarden) and Annabel Wilson (Lurgan). Leinster, Ulster and Irish Girls Champion, Julie McCarthy is unstoppable and dominating Irish U18 golf alongside in form 15 year old Annabel Wilson. Wilson had a superb performance at the European Team Championships and subsequently at the Junior British Open, where she finished 9th. Having just Continue reading
The Munster Girls side won their second match today to finish up in runner up spot at the Interprovincials in Slieve Russell. There were wins for everyone today as the Munster side had an 8-0 whitewash of Connacht. Sarah Byrne (Douglas) and Grace McGrath (East Cork) won their foursomes match on the 18th while Mitchelstown’s Ciara Leonard wrapped up her match on the 15th. In the singles there were wins for Byrne and Leonard as McGrath was rested. There was no joy for the Munster Ladies as they drew with Connacht to finish in fourth place.
Valerie Clancy, Mairead Martin and Rachel Thompson were all in action in European Girls Championships in Norway again today, this time playing in the matchplay (flight b) stage. Clancy won her foursomes match and there was a win too for Martin while Thompson halved her match. The Irish girls team go on to play Netherlands tomorrow in the semi-final
A final round 76 saw Kinsale’s Mark Healy secured a top ten finish at the Connacht Boys in Galway Golf Club today. John Murphy had a 74 in his final round and he finished in a tie for 15th place. The competition was won by Limerick’s Ciaran Vaughan who finished two clear of the field.
The date for the Bruen Youths in Muskerry has been confirmed and entries are now open. The 36 hole strokeplay event takes place on Monday 15th August and marks the start of Muskerry’s Bruen Open Week.
There was a great deal of excitement yesterday as four Cork golfers were called up for international duty. Mairead Martin, Valerie Clancy and Rachel Thompson were all selected to represent Ireland at the European Girls Team Championship. All three golfers have had very strong starts to the season and the selection is justified on their recent performances. The competition takes place in Oslo over five days in early July.
Kinsale’s Cathal Butler was selected to play in the World University Championship which takes place in France next month. The Maynooth University student is studying for his first year exams at present so is not playing in the Castletroy Scratch Cup this weekend. Castletroy have put a huge effort into their Bank of Ireland sponsored event, and they have attracted a top class field which takes place over 36 holes on Saturday