Archives for 2015

Mernagh wins first Turkey competition

The first sign that Christmas is fast approaching came on Sunday when members teed off in the first Turkey Competition of 2015.

Brian Mernagh (13) led the pack home with a super score of 44pts and was one of ten golfers who shot at least 37pts or better to claim their Christmas Turkeys.

Wednesday’s Open competition was won by Ardee visitor Brendan Lawlor (4) who shot 39pts to win by two points from Stephen Buckingham (17) with veteran Gerry Martin (14) finishing third. Ciaran Johnson (21) took the Juvenile Prize.

The Wednesday Open competition has been extended into November and can be booked via the BRS system with visitors extremely welcome.

Sunday, November 1 – Turkey Competition – Brian Mernagh (13) 44pts, Christie Ward (13) 42pts, Barry Cunningham (12) 40/21pts, Mark Cumiskey (11) 39/18pts, Brian Crombie (20) 39/17pts, Stephen Lynch (6) 38/20pts, Neal MacKell (4) 38/18/12pts, Martin Farrelly (13) 38/18/11pts, Eamon Hoey (18) 37/21pts, John McCann (16) 37/19pts. CSS 71 (37pts).

Wednesday, October 28 – Singles Stableford Open Competition – Brendan Lawlor  (Ardee, 4) 39pts, Stephen Buckingham (17) 37/23pts, Gerry Martin (14) 37/19pts, Jim Caraher (10) 37/16pts. Juvenile: Ciaran Johnson (21) 39pts. CSS: 73 (35pts).



McCaul pips Brennan on back nine

A better back nine was enough for Niall McCaul (8) to pip 2014 Golfer of the Year Gerry Brennan (3) in Sunday’s Singles Stableford competition.

After a front nine of 17pts, McCaul found his scoring touch once he turned for home and his 23pts gave him an overall total of 40pts.

Brennan, who had lost a shot during the week, matched McCaul on 40pts after delivered two steady nine of 20pts each, but he missed out on the overall prize on countback.

The steady progress towards single figures of teenager Cian Lynch McCrave (11) continued as he returned 39pts to take Category 1 ahead of the experience Denis Cunningham (9) while Richard Barry (13) won Category 2 and Adrian Kenny (21) captured Category 3.

Gerry Brennan, playing off four on Wednesday, won the Gross Prize in the weekly Open Singles Stableford competition with 35pts. The overall prize went to Liam O’Mahony (20) who returned 42pts to win by three from Barry Cunningham (11) with Junior Cup team member Richard Newell (3) another two shots further back.

Sunday, October 11 – Singles Stableford – Overall: Niall McCaul (8) 40/23pts, Gerry Brennan (3) 40/20pts. Category 1: Cian Lynch McCrave (11) 39/21/14pts, Denis Cunningham (9) 39/21/13pts. Category 2: Richard Barry (13) 38/19pts, Danny Miele (13) 38pts. Category 3: Adrian Kenny (21) 39pts, Diarmuid McAdam (22) 36/19pts. CSS: 71 (37pts).

Wednesday, October 7 – Open Singles Stableford – Overall: Liam O’Mahony (20) 42pts, Barry Cunningham (11) 39/21pts, Richard Newell (3) 37/20pts. Gross: Gerry Brennan (4) 35pts, Visitor: K Stevenson (3) 35pts. CSS: 73 (35pts).



Irish PGA Championship at Dundalk a big success

Irish PGA ChampionThe hosting of the Irish PGA Championship at Dundalk Golf Club proved to be a big success with the professionals full of praise for the course and their hosts.

Defending champion Niall Kearney (Royal Dublin) cruised to a record-breaking 14-shot win after finishing on 22-under-par with the trio of Richard Kilpatrick (Banbridge), Eamonn Brady (Clontarf) and James Quinlivan (Mullingar) sharing second place on eight under par with Brendan McGovern (Headfort) alone in fifth on seven under par.

Afterwards, Kearney led the praise for the Dundalk course which has firmly re-established itself as one of Ireland’s top parkland championship courses after successfully hosting the Irish Professional Golf Championship for the first time since 1969 and only the third time in its 110 year history.

“It was a course that suited my eye. I felt comfortable here right from the start of the week and that was reflected in the scoring. The course this week reminded me a lot of many of the Challenge Tour venues we play. It was great all week, superb facilities, a huge thanks to the all the greens staff and the volunteers who helped during the week,” said Kearney while Kilpatrick was also fulsome in his praise of the challenges the Dundalk course presented.

“This is the type of course that you need to be finding the fairway off the tee and unfortunately I wasn’t doing that today. It was great to get the opportunity to play in the event. I thoroughly enjoyed the week, the tournament, the course, everything was excellent,” said Kilpatrick after his final round.

The tournament began in earnest on Wednesday with the Pro-Am with Brady and Mark Staunton sharing the professional’s prize after shooting five under par 67s while Brady’s team won the Pro-Am.

The 72-hole championship commenced on Thursday morning in perfect scoring conditions with the course in fantastic shape and the slick greens running at over 11.5 on the stimpmeter. Keanrey and Brady both shot seven under pars 65s with James Quinlivan (Mullingar GC) one shot back and Moriarty two shots off the pace.

Kearney then took a firm grip of the championship on day two when he carded a second round 66 that gave him an eight-shot lead over his nearest rivals. Kilpatrick and Moriarty emerged as his nearest challengers with David Ryan (Cahir Park) and David Higgins (Waterville) a shot further back on four under par after 36 holes.

Heavy fog led to a three hour delay on Friday morning and by the close of play, over 50 competitors had still to complete round two. They returned early on Saturday morning to wrap things up with the cut eventually falling at six over par with 52 players making it through to the final 36 holes.

Saturday’s third round got underway at noon and produced some low scoring with Brendan McGovern bagging a best of the day 66 that moved him up the leaderboard. Kilpatrick grabbed second place on 10 under par with Moriarty a shot further back on nine under par. Kearney however, refused to give any hope to his chasers, signing for a third round 67 that featured six birdies and one bogey.

A blustery wind made for the trickiest conditions of the week on day four and. as a consequence, the rest of the field found it difficult to mount any meaningful challenge.

Kearney started the final day with an eight-shot lead over nearest rival Kilpatrick with Colm Moriarty (Drive Golf Performance) a shot further back on nine-under. He dropped only his third shot of the tournament at the par four third but far from it causing a wobble, he bounced back with a birdie at the next and a second birdie of the day at the sixth saw him reach the turn in one under par.

In contrast, Kilpatrick and Moriarty both struggled over the opening nine holes and as they turned for home, Keanrey had extended his lead to 11 shots, effectively putting the tournament to bed. He made smooth progress on the back nine, grabbing birdies at the 12th, 14th and 18th as he came home in three under 33 for a final round 68.

Kilpatrick steadied the ship somewhat on the back nine, coming home in level par 36 to sign for a closing 74, while Moriarty played his final nine holes in one under par 35 to wrap up his tournament with a four over par 76 finishing in share of sixth place alongside Simon Thornton (Royal County Down).

“I was hoping to come here, and get a confidence boost to take with me into the rest of the season,” said Kearney. “I’m looking forward to a busy stretch of golf now and meeting new challenges next week on the European Tour in Woburn at the British Masters and then over on the Asian Tour.”

Victory saw the 27-year-old join an illustrious list of back-to-back champions that includes Padraig Harrington, Paul McGinley and Christy O’Connor Snr.

“I see Christy Snr around Royal Dublin the odd time and it’s good to have matched something he has done but I’ve some way to go to equal his record of 10 Irish PGA titles,” said Kearney.

Hopes that one of the local professionals participating in the championship would mount a strong challenge over the week failed to materialise with Greenore’s Robert Giles the best of the bunch in finishing tied for 23rd place. He was well placed after three rounds for a top ten finish but a five-over par 77 in the difficult final round conditions put paid to that.

His Greenore colleague Ian Brennan finished on 12 over while Leslie Walker (Dundalk) and Brian Kerley (Green Life Golf Centre) failed to make the cut.

Dundalk hosts Low Fuel Card Irish PGA Championship


TOP class golf comes to Dundalk this week when the Low Fuel Card Irish PGA Championship is staged at Dundalk Golf Club.

It’s only the third time, and the first occasion since 1969, that the Irish Professional Golf Championship has been held in Dundalk and course has been set up to challenge the top club professionals over the tournament’s four rounds which will be played from Thursday to Sunday.

The names of some of the biggest names in Irish golf such as Christy O’Connor Senior, Harry Bradshaw, Des Smyth, Eamonn Darcy, Paul McGinley, Darren Clarke and Padraig Harrington have had their names etched on the famous trophy over the past 107 years and there will be no shortage of players wanting to join that illustrious list.

The defending champion is Niall Kearney who is looking to become the first player since Padraig Harrington to record back to back victories in the event having just returned from America where he holed the winning putt for Great Britain & Ireland in their historic PGA Cup win over USA on American soil.

“I like Dundalk Golf Club,” said Kearney. “I have played it quite a few times over the years but I have to admit, it has been a while – could even be back when I was playing boys interpros. It’s an ideal venue for me because I can stay at home, sleep in my own bed, all that sort of thing.”

“Winning the title last year provided me with a real springboard,” added Niall. “I got into the PGA Play-offs in Turkey and won that which gave me another confidence boost.

“That led to other opportunities like playing in the PGA Cup and the BMW PGA Championship but I wasn’t thinking of any of those at the time. I just wanted to win the championship because of the names that were on the trophy, the history and kudos associated with the event.

“This year is no different. I don’t feature on the Order of Merit, I haven’t been active enough this year but I still want to defend the Championship.”

The battle for the Irish Order of Merit has turned into a two horse race between Waterville’s David Higgins and Clontarf’s Eamon Brady and with plenty of points on offer at Dundalk this week they are not surprisingly among the favourites to relieve Kearney of his crown along with Simon Thornton who was the 2011 champion and is a European Tour regular.

Ladies European Tour regular, Rebecca Codd, will make her debut in the Irish PGA Championhip having come through qualifying on September 21. She will be joined in the field by Victoria Bradshaw, Marian O’Riordan (Ballykisteen) and Hazel Kavanagh (Carr Golf Services).

Kearney gets his campaign up and running fron the first tee at 12.50pm alongside Higgins and the vastly experienced Damien Mooney (Ballyliffin). In-form Jimmy Bolger (Kilkenny) a two-time winner in recent weeks, will tee off alongside Thornton and Brady at 12.40pm.

There will be plenty of support for local professionals Leslie Walker (Dundalk), Robert Giles (Greenore), Brian Kerley (Green Life) and Ian Brennan (Greenore) who all know the Dundalk track well. Walker had some great duels in this event a few years ago with Harrington and could reel back the years on his home track.

Dundalk Golf Club has been busily preparing for this event since it was announced and the greenkeeping staff have the course in superb condition and it is set to provide a stern test for the 105 players who tee off on Thursday.

Spectators are welcome to attend – entry is free.







History of the PGA Championship at Dundalk

While Dundalk has been associated with the Professional Golfer Associations for almost 30 years since the organisation decided to base its offices at the Blackrock course its flagship tournament has only been played there on two previous occasions.

The first was in 1953 and it attracted what was then regarded as big entry of 54 players which included some of the top players of the era including the first Irishman to win a major, Fred Daly, as well as Christy O’Connor and Harry Bradshaw who in 1958 were to team up and win the Canada Cup, later to become the World Cup, for Ireland.

The 72-hole tournament was played over two days in September and turned out to be a duel between Bradshaw and Daly, who was the defending champion.

Bradshaw opened with a carefully constructed five under par 67 which was eight better than Daly but the Balmoral player bounced back with a 67 of his own in the afternoon with included a bogey at the last when it seemed he would birdie it set a new course record.

However, Bradshaw had a 68 in the second round to take firm control of the tournament and when followed that up the following morning in the third round with a 67, his afternoon round became a procession towards his coronation as Irish champion and he returned a 70 for a four round total of 272, 16 under par.

Of the locals, Dick Ferguson finished fourth alongside Christy O’Connor Senior, while Daly finished third behind up and coming star Jimmy Martin from Greystones who was runner-up to Bradshaw.

Martin had to wait 16 years before the Irish PGA Championship returned to Dundalk and when it did he showed that his second place finish in 1953 was no fluke with a comprehensive victory as he recorded his first and only Irish PGA victory.

Level with Jimmy Kinsella of the Castle on 268, 20 under par, after four rounds, Martin took one of the few titles to have eluded him on the Irish circuit when he once the resultant play-off at the second hole of a sudden-death play-off.

The event took place in June 1969 over two days and Kinsella set the pace from the start, leading the first round with a 65 before a 66 saw him still in front at the end of the second round. A third round 67 got him to 198, two shots ahead of Martin heading into the afternoon. He maintained that two shot lead to the 17th, then a 428 yards par four, where his bogey five and Martin’s birdie three left the duo level heading to the 18th which they both parred to set up a play-off.

All Ireland Junior Cup 2015

Meet the Junior Cup squad

Front (L to R) maurice Sheridan Vice Captain, Pat Greensmith Captain Portarlington, Brendan Keane Captain Dundalk Golf Club, Joe McNamara Hon Sec Leinster Branch, Glen Walsh Manager Dundalk Team, Terry Conlon Asst Manager Dundalk Team. Back (Lto R) Aaron King, John Conlon, Alan Hurley, Connor McGaughy, Billy Cairns, Fergal Park, Eoin Murphy, Richard Newall, Cian Sheridana nd Josh Macken winners of the Leinster Golf AIG Junior Cup 2015, Portarlington Golf Club, Portarlington, Co Laois.  26/07/2015. Picture: Golffile | Fran Caffrey All photo usage must carry mandatory copyright credit (© Golffile | Fran Caffrey)

Dundalk Junior Cup Squad 2015 (© Golffile | Fran Caffrey)


Billy Cairns

The most experienced player in the team, this six handicapper is chasing his first national title having come up short in the past in both the Barton Cup and Jimmy Bruen Shield. A tough competitor with a strong short game he is a former winner of the Dundalk Intermediate Scratch Cup and was previously Golfer of the Year at Killinbeg Golf Club where he also won the club matchplay titles.


John Conlon

A member of the 1999 Barton Cup winning team this 32-year-old seven handicapper has also played Jimmy Bruen, Provincial Towns and Junior Cup for Dundalk. A good performer in internal club competitions.


Fergal Harte

This 34-year-old six handicapper was part of the Dundalk team which won an All-Ireland pennant in 2004 when the club captured the Jimmy Bruen Shield. Over the years he has represented Dundalk in Monarch Boys, Pierce Purcell, Provincial Towns Cup, Jimmy Buren Shield, Barton Cup and Junior Cup. An excellent putter he was previously won the Gold Medal for the club’s matchplay competition.


Alan Hurley

Originally from Bantry, Co Cork, he has a wealth of inter-club experience having played in the Junior Cup, Barton Cup and Seinor Mixed competitions. A five handicapper, he played in the Leinster semi-final against Woodbrook.


Aaron King

His win on the 18th in the Leinster semi-final against Woodbrook proved crucial and this five handicapper’s short game makes him a very difficult player to beat. The 25-year-old has represented Dundalk at different levels including Monarch Boys, Jimmy Bruen Shield and Junior Cup and currently plays off five.


Conor McCaughey

Another of the squad’s experienced players this six handicapper has previously represented Dundalk in many inter-club competitions including Provincial Towns Cup and Barton Cup. He has also been a key member of the Course Committee over the last few years overseeing a major redevelopment programme.


Josh Macken

Although he is the youngest member of the squad at 14 years old, Macken is vastly experienced having finished second in the National U13 Boys Championship last year and competed in the English U14 Boys Championships this year. A four handicapper, he is also the current Juvenile Captain at the club and has represented the club in several inter-club competitions.


Eoin Murphy

Although only 15 years old, this four handicapper has emerged as a key member of the squad having progressed through the Monarch Boys and Provincial Towns Cup teams to the Junior Cup. Strong off the tee, he produced a superb performance in the Leinster final against Clontarf to close out his match on the 15th with an impressive birdie.


Ricky Newell

He was the star performer in the Leinster Finals at Portarlington where he won all three of his matches including the decisive match in the final against Clontarf where he showed great composure to win a nail-biting encounter on the 19th hole. Has been in great form all year and is now off three.


Ciaran Sheridan

A 26-year-old five handicapper who is chasing a second All-Ireland title having been part of the squad which won the Jimmy Bruen Shield in 2004. A strong putter, he has been the star performer within the club this season and leads the Golfer of the Year competition by seven shots with one round to go.

Management Team

Clem Walshe

His many skills have come to the fore in the management of the Junior Cup team this year as has his vast experience. Although he only joined Dundalk in 2008, this four-handicapper had already tasted a lot of success at his previous club St Anne’s where he was part of their 1995 Barton Cup winning team and also won the All-Ireland Daily Mail Foursomes in addition to capturing two captain’s prizes, two club fourballs, four club foursomes, two mixed foursomes and one Gold Medal at the Dublin club. He has played Senior Cup, Barton Shield, Barton Cup, Junior Cup, Senior Mixed and Jimmy Bruen and is two-time winner of the Greenore Junior Scratch Cup.

Terry Conlon

A vastly experienced single figure handicap golfer whose experience of playing for Dundalk in Junior Cup, Barton Cup, Jimmy Bruen Shield, Provincial Towns and Carlingford Cup have been utilised in his selector role. He was part of the Dundalk squad that won Barton Cup in 1999 and was also a member of the last club team to win the Carlingford Cup. A quiet operator whose keen eye misses nothing.


Carton House Spectator Guide

Dundalk supporters heading to Wednesday’s AIG All-Ireland Junior Cup semi-final against Westport should consult this spectator guide prior to heading to Carton House.

Spectator Guide All Ireland Cups & Shields Finals 2105