Lawlor wins Czech Masters by seven shots

Brendan Lawlor won the Czech Masters by seven shots on the European Disabled Golf Association Tour over the weekend.

Lawlor, who had already won in Portugal and France earlier in the year, opened up with a two under par 70 at Mstětice Golf Club in Prague. His first round included four birdies and an impressive hole in one at the par three eighth.

That left him five shots clear heading into the second and final round and he rolled in another four birdies on his way to a 75 which was enough to see him take the title by seven shots from Sweden’s Joakim Bjorkman.

Lawlor, who is 21, suffers from Ellis-van Crevels Syndrome, a bone growth disorder that leads to shorter limbs. He currently plays off a two handicap and is a member of Dundalk’s Senior Panel which has qualified for the Leinster quarter-finals in both the AIG Senior Cup and AI G Barton Shield.

ENDS

Intermediate title for O’Callaghan as McGuinness takes Minor

Intermediate Scratch Cup Winner Paul O’Callaghan receives his prize.

Minor Scratch Cup Winner Shane McGuinness receives his prize.

Paul O’Callaghan won the Intermediate Scratch Cup and Shane McGuinness won the Minor Scratch Cup on Sunday after both shot rounds of 84.

O’Callaghan (11) shot a superb back nine score of 38, two over par, to claim the Intermediate title on countback from David Smyth (3) with competition sponsor Ultan Herr a shot further back in third having edged out Andrew Coburn and Eamon McEneaney on countback.

O’Callaghan admitted he was a surprised winner as he went out in 46 after a front nine that saw his only pars come at the sixth and ninth and included a triple bogey six at the part three fifth and a double bogey at the second.

However, his round was sparked into life by a birdie four at the par five 10th and he followed that up with a par at the 11th before paring the final four holes for an overall score of 84 and a narrow win.

Shane McGuinness(18) shot a similar score to take the Minor Scratch Cup sponsored by the Park Café and he owed his victory to a stunning front nine which saw him roll in six pars and three bogeys for a 40.

McGuinness then came home in 44 as shot three more pars and was unlucky to double bogey the par five 12th when his six iron second shot rolled up the green and into the water behind.

He also double bogeyed the 18th which was playing into a strong wind but those lapses didn’t cost him as he comfortably took the title by four shots from Sean O’Sullivan (18) with Sean Quigley (17) two shots further back on 90, hving edged out Barry O’Hanrahan (18) on countback for third place.

The Intermediate nett prize went to David Carins (16) who finished with a level par 72 while Peter Kenny (23) took the Minor nett with a 73.

Sunday, July 1 – Dundalk Intermediate Scratch Cup (11-16) – Overall : Paul O’Callaghan (11) 84/38, David Smyth (13) 84, Ultan Herr (13) 85/41, Andrew Coburn (11) 85/43, Eamon McEneaney (15) 85. Nett: David Cairns (16) 72. CSS: 73.

Sunday, July 1 – Dundalk Minor Scratch Cup (17-28) – Overall: Shane McGuinness (18)      84, Sean O’Sullivan (18) 88, Sean Quigley (17), 90/42, Barry O’Hanrahan (18) 90. Nett: Peter Kenny (23) 73/35.

 

Back nine seals it as Redmond wins Professional’s Prize

Sixteen handicapper Kevin Redmond produced a level par back nine to take Leslie Walker’s Professional Prize on countback on a perfect day for golf last Sunday.

Redmond signed for a four under par 68 and his superb score over the final nine holes saw him pip Eddie Rocks (10) and Gerard Daly (13) who had also finished on four under par.

Redmond hadn’t looked like a winner after his opening nine holes which he covered 40 nett, four over par. After a steady start he was one under par nett after a par at the second but a quadruple bogey eight at the eighth and double bogeys at the fifth and seventh left him with a lot of work to do down the back nine.

He was a completely different player heading for home as he rolled in one birdie, seven pars and one bogey for a level par 36 which was a nett 28, eight under par.

Rocks took Category One and Daly won the Veteran’s Prize while the evergreen Peter Rogers (1) claimed the Gross Prize with a 74. Eamonn Laverty (15) and Colm O’Hanrahan (25) took the Category Prizes.

Damien English (10) won the Wednesday Open Singles on countback from Jamie McCaul (20) while Daniel Nordone (18) captured the Juvenile Prize with 41pts and then went on to win Sunday’s Juvenile Prize, off 16, when he shot a 73.

Sunday, June 24 – Professional’s Prize (Leslie Walker) – Overall: Kevin Redmond (16) 68/28. Gross: Peter Rogers (1) 74. Veteran: Gerard Daly (13) 68.    Cat1: (+1-12): Eddie Rocks (10) 68, Alan McDermott (6) 71. Cat 2: (13-16): Eamonn Laverty (15) 69. David Brennan (16) 71/34. Cat 3: (17+): Colm O’Hanrahan (25) 69/32.5, Derek Teather (17) 69. Juvenile: Daniel Nordone (16) 73. CSS: 73.

Golfer of the Year Leaderboard (after four rounds): 218 – David Brennan; 219 – Brendan Keane; 220 – Gerard Daly, Peter Rogers, Neal MacKell; 221 – Jimmy O’Connor, Edward Rogers; 222 – Pat Donaghy, Ciaran Johnson, Ciaran Sheridan.

Men’s senior and ladies juniors march on as three teams bow out

Dundalk Golf Club have qualified for the Leinster Finals of the AIG Senior Cup, the most prestigious inter-club competition in Irish golf, and remain on course for an historic double having already qualified for the Leinster finals of the Barton Shield.

It was a tremendous end to a week that was bookended by two fabulous victories as the Ladies Junior Cup team also advanced to the Leinster quarter-finals when they defeated Laytown & Bettytown at the beginning of the week.

However, in between those two magnificent wins was a lot of heartache as Dundalk’s runs in the Jimmy Bruen Shield, All Ireland Fourball and Revive Active Fourball came to an end.

It is the first time in the club’s history that a team has reached the Leinster finals of the top two inter-club competitions in the same year and the senior team will head to Mount Wolseley in July and Mount Juliet in August with a lot of confidence after three impressive wins over the weekend in the regional qualifying round of the Senior Cup at Laytown & Bettystown.

Having received a bye in the First Round, Dundalk faced Killeen Castle on Saturday afternoon and won by 3.5 to 1.5 with Caolan Rafferty winning 6&5, Aaron Grant winning 3&1 and Conor Curran winning 3&2.

On Sunday morning they met Headfort and there were wins for Rafferty, Curran and Grant while Brendan Lawlor, for the second successive match, was called in while in a strong positive to win his match.

That set up a regional final with Co Louth and Eoin Murphy, who had flown in that morning from England, won two up after being dormie four. Fellow Irish Boys international Josh Mackin, who like Murphy had only finished his Leaving Certificate last Thursday, came from two down to win 2&1 thanks to birdies on three of the final four holes.

Rafferty was six under par in his 5&3 win while Grant was two up when his match was called in.

The win booked Dundalk a place in the Leinster final at Mount Juliet with their quarter-final match against The Island scheduled for August 28.

Earlier in the day, Dundalk’s Jimmy Bruen Shield team came agonisingly close to reaching the Leinster Finals in their regional qualifier at Roganstown.

They opened up with a 3.5 to 1.5 win over leading qualifiers Balbriggan with Pat Purton and Paul O’Callaghan winning 7&6, Billy Cairns & Zak Alderdice winning 4&3 and Damien English and Christy Ward winning on the 20th. Conal Murdock and Conor Murphy were looking good to win their match on the 19th when called in while Shane Hession and Fergal Sexton came up against Balbriggan’s strongest pairing and lost 5&4.

In the regional final on Sunday afternoon Dundalk faced Forest Little and a comfortable 6&5 win for for Ward and English and a 5&4 win for Murdock and Murphy left the tie level at 2-2 after Cairns & Alderdice and Ciaran Traynor and Cian Lynch McCrave had lost their matches.

It all came down to the match involving Purton and O’Callaghan which was all square after 16. However, Dundalk lost the 17th to a birdie and then saw Forest Little sink a 10ft putt for par on the 18th before O’Callaghan’s birdie putt to send the match down the 19th lipped out.

There was more heartbreak in the All-Ireland Fourball Leinster quarter-final against last year’s Leinster finalists, Malahide, who beat Frank Byrne’s charges 3-2 in a dramatic match that was eventually finished at around 10pm on Thursday evening.

In Malahide, Dundalk lost the opening match 4&3 as Colm Garvey and Michael Keating were hit by blitzkrieg from a home pairing that were two under gross for the 15 holes played as they rolled in three birdies, 11 pars and one bogey in a faultless round.

Behind them, Kevin Carthy and Ray Pepper were three down with four to play but won 15, 16 and 18 to draw level with Carthy producing a miraculous chip over a greenside bunker from the trees on the last to find the green and then sank a 15ft putt to send the match down the 19th.

On the first sudden death hole, it was Pepper who came to the fore as he hit a fabulous shot out of a fairway bunker to within six feet of the green and then chipped on to leave himself with two putts for the win and Dundalk’s first point on the board.

The remaining three matches were played in Dundalk where Adrian Kenny and Gerry McDermott maintained their unbeaten run with an excellent 3&1 win having taken control of the match midway through the opening nine when they won the fourth, fifth and sixth to open up a three hole lead.

Peter O’Brien and Dermot McKenna were involved in an extremely tight match which was all square with three to play but they lost 16 and 17 and were edged out 2&1 to leave the tie at 2-2 with one match out on the course.

Eamonn McEneaney and Joe Flanagan had been four down after 10 but they won the next three holes to reduce the deficit to one and, after losing the 14th, they bounced back with wins at the 15th, 16th and 17th to stand one up with one to play.

After Malahide had secured their par on the 18th, the home pair both had putts to send Dundalk into the Leinster semi-finals for the first time in the club’s history but both efforts burned the edge of the hole and sent the match down the 19th where Malahide secured the win with a five.

Earlier that day, the Ladies Revive Action team were beaten in their Third Round match by Ardee who won by 3.5 to 1.5.

At the beginning of last week the Ladies Junior Cup team reached the Leinster Finals with a 3-2 win over Laytown & Bettystown and they will now face Rathfarnham in Foxrock for a place in the semi-finals.

 

Mixed fortunes for teams but two move on

There were mixed fortunes for Dundalk Golf Club teams last Saturday but two teams managed to progress to the next stage of their respective competitions.

The Mixed Foursomes team defeated Greenore on Saturday but the ladies Minor team saw their run come to an end at the hands of Ashbourne in a match played in Beaverstown.

The Jimmy Bruen team, managed by Fergal Harte and Clem Walshe, qualified for the regional semi-final in a blustery Roganstown Golf Club.

The new look line up featured many of Dundalk’s young up and coming players who showed maturity beyond their years to get the job done and ensure the club qualified for the section semi- final which will be played against Balbriggan on Sunday next, June 24, at 8am in Roganstown. The regional final will be played that afternoon against the winners of Forrest Little and Co Louth at 2pm.

Balbriggan were the leading qualifiers on 336, which was five ahead of Forest Little and Co Louth on 341 with Dundalk a shot further back on 342.

A big incentive for Dundalk is that the Leinster Finals take place in Mount Wolseley on Saturday, July 21, alongside the Barton Shield which Dundalk have already qualified for.

This Thursday, the Ladies Revive Active team face Ardee in the Third Round of the competition at 3.30pm with the three matches in Dundalk while at 4pm the All-Ireland Fourball team will meet Malahide In the Leinster quarter-finals with three of the five matches at home.

 

Keane takes Lady Captain’s Prize to the Men

A former Men’s Captain, Brendan Keane, was the winner of Lady Captain Pat Cleary’s Prize to the Men on Sunday when he shot a four under par 68 to win by one shot.

He took full advantage of an early start which allowed him to miss the rain that descended on many of the later starters and made a tough blue course even tougher in the windy conditions.

Keane, playing off 12, went through the opening nine in nett level par as pars at the third, fourth and eighth, where he had shots, cancelled out double bogeys at the first and ninth and a bogey at the second where he didn’t have a shot.

It was much more positive for Keane down the back nine beginning with a birdie four at the par five 10th which was a nett eagle to bring him to two under par. He went to three under with a nett birdie at the par five 12th.

He dropped a shot with a bogey at the par three 13th but got it back with a par into the wind at the index six 15th and went to four under with a wind assisted par at the index four 16th.

Another par three bogey, at the 17th, momentarily took him back to three-under but he eventually signed for a four under par net 68 after a fine par on the last which was playing long into an extremely strong wind.

It proved to be a vital nett birdie as he finished one shot ahead of Mark Browne (16), Danny Miele (11) and Barry O’Hanrahan (20) who all finished on 69 and had to be separated on countback.

Browne, who has been cut six shots already this year, prevailed with a better back nine and his handicap will continue to plummet. Miele took Category One while O’Hanrahan won Category Three and Declan Muckian (14) claimed Category Two after a 70.

Aaron Grant (+2) produced an excellent round of level par 72 to win the gross prize while another former captain, Dermot Duffy (25), took the Veteran’s Prize with a one-under par 71.

Sunday, June 17 – Lady Captain’s (Pat Cleary) Prize to Men – Overall: Brendan Keane (12) 68, Mark Browne (16) 69/33. Gross: Aaron Grant (+2) 72. Veteran: Dermot Duffy (25) 71. Category 1 ( 0-12): Danny Miele (11) 69, Mark Cumiskey (9 ) 70. Category 2 (13-17): Declan Muckian (14 ) 70, Gerard Daly (14) 73/36. Category 3 (18–28); Barry O’Hanrahan (20 ) 69, Caoimhin O’Callaghan (20) 70. CSS: 74.

 

Consistent Connolly takes Sunday’s Singles

JP Connolly took full advantage of the excellent conditions to win Sunday’s Singles Stableford with an excellent score of 43pts which was two better than Benny O’Shaughnessy and Kieran Arthurs.

Connolly, playing off 25, scored at every hole and his only one pointers came back to back on the 12th and 13th as he compiled a round that included one four pointer, seven three pointers and eight two pointers.

His first three pointer came at the index five third which he bogeyed and he then had back to back three pointers when he parred the fifth and sixth holes.

Another followed with a par on the par five 10th and he then covered the last five holes in 15 points courtesy of a four point par at the index four 15th and three point pars at the 14th, 17th and 18th.

Behind him, O’Shaughnessy (20) took second place overall after his 23pts on the back nine was better than that returned by Arthurs but the 12 handicapper did take the Category Two prize. Nicholas McKeown (10) claimed Cateogry 1 with 39pts while Brendan Tinnelly (20) took Category 3 with 38pts. The best gross score came from Maurice Murphy (3) with 34pts.

Sunday, June 10 – Singles Stableford Competition – Overall: JP Connolly (25) 43pts, Benny O’Shaughnessy (20) 41/23pts. Category 1 (0-11): Nicholas McKeown (10) 39pts, Ciaran Sheridan (5) 38/20pts. Category 2 (12-17): Kieran Arthurs (12) 41pts, Derek Teather (17) 38/19pts. Category 3 (18 -28): Brendan Tinnelly (20) 38pts, John McLaughlin (20) 37pts. Gross: Maurice Murphy (3) 34pts. CSS: 72 (36pts).

 

 

 

Rafferty finishes third in East of Ireland

Caolan Rafferty went very close to capturing his first golfing major over the June Bank Holiday weekend when he finished third at the East of Ireland Championship at Co Louth Golf Club.

The Dundalk Golf Club player shot rounds of 69, 69, 66 and 73 to finish on 11 under par, three shots behind the winner Christo Lamprecht from South Africa.

Two steady three-under-par rounds of 69 left Rafferty on six-under par and tied for fourth, four shots off the lead, heading into the final two rounds on the Bank Holiday Monday.

Rafferty then produced a magnificent six-under-par 66 in the third round to moved up to joint second and close the gap on Lamprecht to one shot with 18 holes to play.

The news that he was in contention travelled fast and a large crowd made its way to Baltray for the afternoon round in the hope of seeing a Dundalk member win the East of Ireland for the first time since Mick Ferguson in 1949.

After three putting the opening hole for bogey, Rafferty soon settled down and birdies at the third, fourth and sixth moved him to 14 under. With the South African teenager having dropped shots at the second and fifth, Rafferty found himself leading the Championship with 11 holes to go.

However, a wayward tee shot on the eight found a deep fairway bunker on the right from which he could only pitch out and although he hit a glorious approach shot to within 15 feet of the pin he shaved the hole with his par-saving putt.

That left him tied for the lead but back to back bogeys on the 10th and 11th from the middle of the fairway saw him drop to 11-under and although he parred his way in, he couldn’t find the birdies he badly needed to haul the South African in.

To compound his disappointment Rafferty was pipped for second place by Mark Power who finished on 12-under thanks to three brides on the last six holes.

Nonetheless, it was a great performance from Rafferty, his best ever in one of the GUI’s major tournaments, and suggests that his day is not too far away at this stage.

His Dundalk team-mate, Aaron Grant failed to make the final day after a second round 81 undid his excellent score of 72 in the opening round. A triple bogey six at the par three seventh, when he was lying level par for the tournament, followed by bogeys at the next two holes proved to be his undoing.

Rafferty then headed to Scotland for the St Andrews Links Trophy which took place over the weekend but rounds of 73 and 74 saw him miss the cut, which fell at one-over par, by three shots

 

 

First major as teenager Laverty wins Irwin Lockington Salver

Teenager Joseph Laverty landed the first major of his young career when he produced a superb five-under par 67 to take the Irwin Lockington Salver in perfect conditions on Sunday.

Playing alongside seasoned veterans Edward Rogers and Clem Walshe, 14-year-old Laverty played some fine golf from tee to green in compiling a round that included one birdie, 13 pars, three bogeys and a double-bogey six at the short par four 14th.

His birdie came at the par three 13th and the cornerstone of his round was a run of seven consecutive pars from the fourth hole as the nine handicapper signed for 76 gross and a 67 nett.

That was enough to pip Frank Byrne (8) who almost pulled off a memorable weekend double having managed, along with his assistant Larry Soraghan, the club’s All-Ireland Fourball team to the Leinster quarter-finals on Saturday with a great 3-2 win over Headfort.

Byrne shot a four under par 68 and took second overall on countback from Austin Carroll (16). Carroll had the consolation of winning Category 2 with Nicholas McKeown (10) winning Category 1 and Patsy Arrowsmith (17) claiming Category 3. Another of the club’s young tigers, Josh Mackin (1), claimed the Gross Prize with a three-over par 75.

Sunday, June 3 – Irwin Lockington Salver – Overall: Joseph Laverty (9) 67, Frank Byrne (8) 68/32. Gross: Josh Mackin (1) 75. Category 1 (0 -11): Nicholas McKeown (10) 71/36, Dillon Greene (5) 71. Category 2 (12-16): Austin Carroll (16) 68, Oliver English (13) 69/29.5. Category 3 (17-28): Patsy Arrowsmith (17) 69, Colm Coburn (19) 70/33.5. CSS: 72.

 

Two more teams into Leinster quarter-finals

It’s been another good week on the team front for Dundalk Golf Club as two teams took big steps towards Leinster pennants at the expense of Headfort Golf Club.

The men’s All-Ireland Fourball Team and the ladies’ Mary McKenna Diamond Trophy team have both reached the Leinster quarter-finals of their respective competitions after tough matches against their opponents from Meath.

The ladies produced a superb performance last Wednesday when they went to Kells and beat the home club 4-1 to advance to a last eight meeting with The Island, who defeated the reigning national and provincial  champions, Royal Tara, 3-2 in their second round tie.

Managed by Mags Coburn and Rita Moriarity, the ladies played some great golf and got on top early on in four of the five matches.

In the top match, Elizabeth McGuinness and Briege Renaghan were three up after four holes and although the Headfort pairing responded down the back nine and closed the gap to one hole with two to play, the Dundalk pairing held on win by one hole.

That match produced the winning point because Maureen Sheridan & Gerardine Blackmore had closed out their match on the 17th for a 2&1 win having got a firm grip on it when they went two up on the 15th.

Mary Hession and Siobhan Duffy put the first Dundalk point on the board with an impressive performance that saw them go five up after eight holes and they eventually ended it on the 15th to record a 4&3 win.

The other pairings of Anne Murray and Mary Dooley, and Theresa Smyth and Oonagh Quinn, were both well in the hunt for victory when their matches were called in.

Having been drawn away to Donabate and Headfort in the opening two rounds, Dundalk will now have home advantage later this month when they face The Island for a place in the Leinster semi-finals.

The men’s All-Ireland Fourball team, under the management of Frank Byrne and Larry Soraghan, beat Headfort 3-2 last Saturday in a contest that saw all five matches decided on the 17th hole.

Play began in the three away matches at Headfort at 9.30am as Dundalk went in search of an away point to ensure the two home matches in Blackrock, which didn’t tee-off until 12.45pm, would determine the overall outcome.

In the top match Eamonn McEneaney and Michael Begley lost 2&1 despite returning a betterball score in excess of 40pts. Having halved seven of the opening nine holes, the pairing turned level and the home side went one up on the 11th when they hit a 200 yard shot to within inches of the hole for a birdie. A controversial ruling on the 15th paved the way for Headfort to go two up on the 15th and they held on to close it out on the 17th.

In the next match Colm Garvey and Davy Cairns got off to a great start and were two up after seven but the Headfort duo came back at them and won five of the next seven holes to take a three hole lead. The Dundalk pairing won the 15th but had to settle for halves on the next two holes as the Meathmen held on for another 2&1 win.

That left Kevin Carthy and Ray Pepper holding Dundalk’s fate in their hands and they were up against Headfort’s strongest pairing who had not been beaten in five years of matchplay and never taken beyond the 15th hole.

However, it was soon obvious that the Meathmen hadn’t met the likes of Carthy and Pepper before as they took the lead on the second when Pepper parred. Headfort came back and were one up after 10 but then Carthy took centre stage and parred the next three holes to move Dundalk in a two hole lead with five to play. Headfort won the 14th but Pepper parred the 15th to restore the two hole advantage and, after halving the 16th, the Dundalk pairing took the 17th with a par from Carthy to record a 3&1 win.

That left Dundalk trailing 2-1 but with the two home matches still to be decided. In the top match match Peter O’Brien and Dermot McKenna found themselves one down immediately after losing the opening hole and then went two down after four before pars at the fifth and sixth brought their match back to all square.

The Dundalk pairing eventually took the lead on the ninth with a birdie and went two up on the tenth with par. Headfort won the 12th but Dundalk took the 13th to restore the two hole advantage. The away team then won the 15th with a par to reduce the deficit to one with three to play but after 16 was halved in fives, Dundalk closed out the match on the 17th when McKenna sank a short putt for the hole and a 2&1 win.

Behind them Adrian Kenny and Gerry McDermott were never behind but they were made to fight all the way by their dogged opponents. The Dundalk duo won the second and third to open a two hole lead but then lost the fifth to a par and the sixth to a birdie as the match returned to all square.

Headfort then missed a glorious opportunity to take the lead on the seventh when they three putted from 15th feet and they were left to rue that miss two holes later when Kenny rolled in a short biride putt after a magnificent seven iron tee shot.

Dundalk moved two holes clear on the 12th when McDermott holed a breaking downhill putt from 30 feet and a par at the next saw them take a three hole lead. Wayward teeshots at the 14th allowed Headfort take the hole and reduce the gap to two but Kenny and McDermott then halved the next three holes to win 2&1 and secure the winning point for Dundalk.

In the Leinster quarter-finals, Dundalk will have home advantage against either Donabate or Malahide.

This weekend will see Dundalk Golf Club host a qualifying round in the AIG Junior Cup with nine clubs, including Dundalk, teeing it up in qualifying on Saturday with the top two qualifiers advancing to the matchplay final on Sunday morning.