Perry and Carr teams through but Daly team bow out

There were wins this week for the Fred Perry and JB Carr Trophy teams but the Fred Daly team bowed out of this year’s competition.

The JB Carr Trophy team are through to the county final after beating Seapoint by 3.5 to 1.5 in the Louth semi-final. They now face Greenore in a two leg final for the county title. In the top match, the Dundalk pairing of Eddie Rocks and Tommy Renaghan lost 6&5 but Jim Dwyer and Jimmy O’Connor took the second match and Austin Carroll and Pat Curran then halved their match to leave it all square with two matches still to be decided. Martin Crosby and Mickey Hamilton won 2&1 and then Micky Coburn and Sean O’Sullivan sealed the overall victory for Sean Hession’s men with a 4&3 win.

The Fred Perry team are through to the third round of this inaugural national competition for over 55s following their 4-1 win over Greenore. They now play Ardee in the next round.

The Fred Daly U18 team bowed out of the competition on Saturday when they lost 3-2 to Laytown & Bettystown despite winning two matches away from home. Kyle Rafferty won 5&4 while Ciaran Johnston birdied the par five 18th to win his match 1up. Josh Mackin, playing his seventh round in seven days just 24 hours after winning the Ulster Boys, lost in the top match in Laytown while back in Dundalk there were 2&1 losses for Zak Alderdice and Conor Murphy.

 

Lawlor finishes second in France

Brendan Lawlor

Brendan Lawlor made it a great weekend for Dundalk’s elite players when he finished second in the opening event on the 2019 European Disabled Golfers Tour.

Winds in excess of 50mph on day one of the Pas De Clalais Handigolf Open in France saw Lawlor shoot a ten over par 83 to lie well done the field at the halfway stage.

But he came charging back in the final round and shot a three under par 70 to climb up the leaderboard and finish in second place, five shots behind the winner, Charl Henri Quelin of France.

Rafferty in Walker Cup preliminary squad

West of Ireland champion Caolan Rafferty is one of five Irish players named in the preliminary Britain and Ireland squad for the biennial Walker Cup match against American which will be held in September at Royal Liverpool.

The 26 man squad will assemble at Royal Liverpool this Tuesday for a get-together ahead of the Lytham Trophy, which takes place in nearby St Anne from Friday to Sunday. Rafferty is one of the favourites in Lytham after finishing tied 21st, tied seventh, and tied 14th on his last three visits to Merseyside.

Mackin wins Ulster Boys U18 Championship

Newly crowned Ulster Boys champion Josh Mackin with Captain Pat Davis and Lady Captain Criona O’Reilly.

Dundalk Golf Club’s Josh Mackin has followed in the footsteps of Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell by capturing the Ulster Boys U18 Championship.

The 17-year-old produced three excellent rounds at Donegal Golf Club to win the 54 hole event by five shots and capture his second provincial title, having won the Leinster Boys U16 title in 2017.

Mackin opened with a five under par 68 to hold the joint lead with Joshua Hill of Galgorm Castle after Round One. He birdied four of the first six holes and had two more down the back nine with his only blemish being a bogey on the par three fifth.

“I was delighted with my opening round mainly because I executed my game plan so well and took advantage of the par 5s, playing them in four under,” said Mackin.

In Round Two he again got off to a good start with three birdies and a bogey in the first six holes getting him to seven under for the tournament but he then dropped four shots over the next three holes before recovering down the back nine which he covered in one under par to finish on 74.

“I gathered myself really well on the back nine and shot one under in tricky conditions,” he said.

That left Mackin second on four under going into the final round. He was one shot behind Hill but was quite happy to be the hunter.

“I actually liked being one back as I knew there was no pressure on me and that one shot is nothing in 18 holes and especially with the bad weather that was being forecast for the last day.”

Wet and windy weather coming in off the Atlantic Ocean greeted the players when they teed up for the final round on the Murvagh links and all the leaders struggled over the opening seven holes.

Mackin bogeyed four of the first seven holes to slip back to level par for the tournament and was still one shot behind the leader but he drew level after Hill bogeyed the par five eighth. After sharing birdies on the par four ninth, the pair split on the 10th where there was a three shot swing. Mackin birdied the par four while Hill double bogeyed it.

Mackin then birdied the par five 12th for the third round in succession as Hill fell away and the Dundalk player parred his way home to finish on three under, the only player in the field to finish under par. He ended up five shots ahead of Fionn Hickey of Muskerry with Seapoint’s Dylan Keating in third on four over.

“The front nine was very hard mainly because most holes had a crosswind and pins were tucked away, so pars were hard to come by. Even though I got off to bad start in the final round I didn’t panic because I knew no one would be racing ahead with the bad condition. I just stayed positive and didn’t panic.

“From the ninth hole on I played really well. I hit some great shots, especially on the back nine, but my mindset was that any birdie chances I got I had to take advantage of because of the bad conditions. Fortunately enough I managed to capitalize on these opportunities.”

Mackin, who is now off scratch, was understandably delighted to claim his second provincial Boys title but admitted that the one was particularly sweet.

“Obviously winning the Leinster U16 title in 2016 was huge for me as it was a monkey off my shoulder but this victory was very special for me mainly because seven or eight months ago everyone thought I was done with golf and I did too. But t I didn’t want to be remembered in this sort of manner so I decided to keep my head down and put the work in. I always knew that I had talent and it was just about putting it to use.” said Mackin who paid tribute his coach Leslie Walker and his parents who never lost faith in him.

“I want to thank my parents for all support they have given me and also my coach Leslie Walker. He did a lot of work with me over the last few months but kept things very simple and that certainly suited me. The club have also been very supportive, particularly in the way they make it possible for me and others to play in these tournaments.”

Last week’s win is going to lead to a change in Mackin’s plans for the rest of 2019 as he now plans to play more elite competitions, especially abroad. He will head to Florida in June to try and qualify for the US Junior Amateur and reckons it will be a great test to see where his game is at in relation to the world stage.

“My main objective for this season was to make Boys Home Internationals in Wales this year. Obviously winning a Boys event was also one of my goals but now that I have one in the bank already the main thing is to push on from here and not slack off which could be so easy to do. If I keep the head down, and keep improving, hopefully I will have more success in the near future.”

Kyle Rafferty was the other Dundalk player in the field and although he struck the ball well from tee to green he couldn’t buy a putt and finished joint 38th after rounds of 78, 76 and 81.

Newly crowned Ulster Boys champion Josh Mackin with Dundalk Golf Club’s juvenile mentors Paul Malone, Vincent Conlon and Jim Caraher.

 

Mary M McDonnell Wins Rawson Cup

The 18 Hole Stroke GOY/Medal was played on Saturday 20th and Tuesday 23rd April. This competition was kindly sponsored by BLACKROCK ABBEY and is the first Golfer of the Year for the ladies. The scoring was extremely close with the overall honours going to Mary M McDonnell coming in with 71nett. Mary had a rocky start but pulled some fabulous golf out of the bag on the back nine. This is a great start to the Golfer of the Year for Mary and she was absolutely delighted with winning this prestigious prize. Mags Coburn who is playing very steady golf wins Class A with a closely followed 72nett. Joan Sexton had another great score and wins Class B with 73nett and Sinead O’Callaghan who is featuring this year and playing very well wins Class C with 73nett. Congratulations to all the winners.                                                                   ,

Elaine Ward Wins 3Ts in Style

 

The 3T’s Competition played on Saturday 13th and Tuesday 16thth April was initiated by Padraig Harrington to help with suicide prevention and to help those affected by suicide. The ladies are very generous in their support of this charity. This week’s competition was sponsored by New Faces. Sinead and the staff of New Faces has been great supporters of the Dundalk Ladies for a number of years and their support is greatly appreciated. At the presentation Lady Captain Criona O’Reilly thanked Sinead Hiney for her generous sponsorship and lovely gifts. The lucky winners will be availing of some lovely treatments from Sinead’s salon.

Elaine Ward came in with a fantastic 39pts playing of 11 winning Class A. Elaine will represent Dundalk Golf Club in the finals. Joyce Connolly wins Class B with another very good score of 36pts and  Geraldine Mohan one of the new lady golfers wins Class C with 33 pts. Congratulations to all the winners.

Lawlor warms up with a win

Brendan Lawlor

Brendan Lawlor warmed up for his opening event on the European Disabled Gofers Tour this week by taking Sunday’s Singles Stableford competition which was in aid of the 3Ts charity and was also a qualifier for the Harry Walsh Cup which is confined to those players with a handicapper of 17 or higher.

Playing off one, Lawlor shot 41pts in perfect conditions and took the overall prize on countback thanks to a blistering back nine of 24 points. He also returned the day’s best gross score of 40pts. Lawlor went through the first nine holes in two over par for 16pts after missing a few short putts and only managing one birdie. But it all clicked on the homeward nine with a birdie on 10 kick-starting his round and he had a great spell from the 13th when he birdied four successive holes and then missed for 10 feet on 17 for a fifth. However, he picked up his seventh birdie of the day on the 18th for a six-under par back nine of 24pts.

Lawlor’s back nine edged out Robert O’Hanlon (7) and Ciaran Dunne (13) but they took Categories 1 and 2 respectively while Conor McClenaghan (21) was the winner of Category 3 and the leading qualifier for the Harry Walsh Cup. Fionn Cunningham (25) had the day’s best Juvenile score with 40pts.

Lawlor now heads to France this weekend for his first event on the European Disabled Golfers Tour looking to improve on his current ranking of third in the world. On May 8, he will be at the Hillside Golf Club on Merseyside after being invited to the PRO-AM which will take place on the eve of the European Tour’s British Masters which is being hosted this year by Ryder Cup star Tommy Fleetwood.

Sunday, April 21 – 3Ts Singles Stableford and Harry Walsh Qualifier – Overall: Brendan Lawlor (1) 41/24pts, Category: 1 (0-11): Robert O’ Hanlon (7) 41pts, Frank Byrne (8) 37pts. Category 2 (12-17): Ciaran Dunne (13) 41pts, Brendan Duffy (12) 39pts. Category: 3 (18+): Conor McClenaghan (21) 40pts, Ciaran McAteer (20) 39pts. Best Gross: Brendan Lawlor 40pts. Best Juvenile: Fionn Cunningham (25) 40pts.

Big scalp for Provincial Towns Cup team

The Provincial Towns team took a massive scalp at the weekend when they beat last year’s quarter-finalists, Seapoint, 5-4 with the vastly experienced Jim Dywer and Charlie Monaghan very much to the fore.

In Dundalk, Paul O’Callaghan was beaten by Jim McMorrow on 17 after a match that never had more than two holes either way but the home side then took the next two matches on the penultimate hole with Martin McEntaggert beating Dom McGroddy and Eddie Rocks overcoming Martin McKenna in a match that yielded seven birdies. The youthful Andrew Coburn showed no nerves on his debut for the Club as he played some great golf to see off Neil Floody 5&4. Veteran campaigner Jim Dwyer proved steady as ever, despite getting off to a slow start and finding himself two down early on. However, he blew his opponent, Dan Reynolds, away around the turn when he birdied the eighth, ninth and 10th to open up a four hole lead and he eventually closed out the match on the 16th for a 3&2 victory.

That gave Dundalk a 4-1 win at home and needing one win away to seal a place in the next round against either Greenore or Ardee, However, Brendan Keane lost his match early on and Gerry Murray lost on 16 as did Fergal Sexton. Charlie Monaghan found himself three down after seven but he fought back to open up a one hole lead with two to play and sealed the win on the tricky par three 17th when he found the green off the tee and piled the pressure on his opponent who only found trouble down the right.

 

McDonnell masters the wind to lift Jubilee Cup

Gavin McDonnell shot the only sub-70 round in a gale force wind on Sunday to win the Jubilee Cup. His 69 was enough to give him a two shot winning margin from Gerry Oakes (17) who took second place on countback. McDonnell’s round featured three point scores at the fourth, fifth, eighth, ninth, 14th and the 18th.

Maurice Murphy (3) took the Gross Prize with a 76 while Sean McGeough (17) won the Veteran’s Prize with a 74 and Chris Clarke (16) was the best Juvenile after a 69. Neil Mullooly (6), Brendan Duffy (13) and Larry Hanratty (23) were the respective winners of the three category competitions

Sunday, April 14 – Jubilee Cup – Overall: Gavin McDonnell (19) 69, Gerry Oakes (17) 71/36.5. Gross: Maurice Murphy (3) 76. Veteran: Sean McGeough (17) 74. Category 1 (0-12): Neil Mullooly (6) 71/35, Brian Gaughran (12) 71/34/22. Category 2 (13-17): Brendan Duffy (13) 72, Oliver McGinnity (17) 73. Category 3 (18+): Larry Hanratty (23) 74/32.5, Conor Byrne (21) 74. Juvenile: Chris Clarke (16) 69. CSS: 74.

Wins for Mixed Foursomes and Barton Cup teams

The Irish Mixed Foursomes team are through to the next round where they will face Ardee following their impressive 4-1 win over Laytown & Bettystown. 

In the Barton Cup Dundalk beat Ardee 3-2. Conor Curran & Bobby McCarthy came from one down with two to play to beat Jamie Kelly & Peter Taaffe on the 19th. Brian Renaghan & Damian English had a convincing 7&6 win over Ben Caffrey & Jack Phipps having taken early control of the match by winning the first three holes to go three up.

Billy Cairns & Aidan Thornton had a 4&2 win over Paul Wisniewski & Ronan Phipps. Having turned three up and then won 12 to go four up, the Dundalk were three up with three to play when Cairns stitched his second shot on 16 to within a foot of the pin to close out the match.

Martin McEnteggart & Mark Gorham were beaten 2&1 by Kevin Commins & John Callan after the Ardee pair went two up afer 12 and held on to win on the 17th. Alan McDermott & Jim Dwyer lost 3&2 to Eamonn Breen & Sean McAufield when, after being level with five to play, they lost the next three holes and the match. Dundalk will now play Ashbourne in the next round.