Mulligan back to defend Dundalk Scratch Cup

2015 Senior Scratch cup winner 2Teenager Thomas Mulligan will aim to become only the third player to retain the Dundalk Scratch Cup, sponsored by Jeffers Sports Turf, when the 36-hole tournament takes place over the famed Blackrock links this Sunday.

Mulligan became the youngest ever winner of this prestigious competition last year when, as a 15-year-old, he won by three shots from his Co Louth clubmate Gerard Dunne and Dundalk’s Caolan Rafferty with the highlight being his impressive seven-under par 65 in the first round.

If he manages to come out on top again this year Mulligan will join the legendary Joe Carr and Declan Brannigan as the only players to win the Dundalk title back to back with Carr achieving the feat in 1965 and 1966 while Brannigan did it in 1972 and 1973.

He’ll face a strong challenge from Warrenpoint’s Colm Campbell who has started the season in superb form. He reached the semi-finals of the West of Ireland Championship at Easter before winning the Grange Scratch Foursomes with Ryan Gribben last week and then capturing the Lee Valley Senior Scratch Cup on Sunday.

Others to watch out for include Colm Fairweather (Knock), Derek Downie (Sutton) and James Fox who won the title in 2009.

The field also includes two of the winners from last week’s Faldo Series Ireland Championship at Lough Erne Resort as Hollywood’s Rory Williamson, who won the U21 title, and Dundalk’s Eoin Murphy, who won the U16 event, set to tee it up on Sunday.

Murphy is part of a strong Dundalk contingent that includes another former winner, Aaron Grant, and Rafferty. Grant and Rafferty recently reached the quarter-finals of the West of Ireland at Rosses Point.

The Dundalk course, which hosted last year’s Irish PGA Championship, has undergone major redevelopment work over the past number of years with the most recent work being the addition of new strategically-placed fairway bunkers on several holes.

Previous winners of the Dundalk Scratch Cup include three times major champion Padraig Harrington and all are welcome to the 2015 event where there is every likelihood they will see one of golfing stars of the future in action.

Sheridan pips Shaw to win House Committee Cup

Donal Sheridan (9) won the House Committee Cup on Sunday by the narrowest of margins from Austin Shaw (9).

Both finished with nett 68s but Sheridan took the overall prize on countback having managed to cover the back nine in one shot less than Shaw.

Shaw went through the front nine in 34 nett after parring the first, second, fifth, sixth and ninth holes and birding seven with the only real blemish being a double bogey on the pat-four eighth. Sheridan covered the opening half of the course in 35 nett as he birdied the sixth and had pars at the third, fifth, seventh and eighth as well as a double-bogey at the second.

Shaw kept his good round going down the back with pars at 10, 12, 15, 16 and 17 and a birdie at 14 to come home in 34 nett for his 68.

But his hopes of an overall victory were dashed by Sheridan who bounced back from a double bogey seven at the par five 10th with a birdie three at the index two par four 11th. He then showed remarkable consistency to reel off seven successive pars for his 68 and pip Shaw on the back nine.

Eddie Rogers with a two-over par 74 took the Gross Prize while the category winners were Kevin Barry, Martin Byrne and Eugene Hanratty.

Sunday, April 17 – House Committee Cup – Overall: Donal Sheridan (9) 68/32.5, Austin Shaw (9) 68/33.5. Gross Prize: Eddie Rogers 74. Category 1: Kevin Barry (10) 69/34. Category 2: Martin Byrne (13) 68/35.5. Category 3: Eugene Hanratty (18) 70.

Murphy wins Faldo Series Ireland U16 Championship

Eoin Murphy - Faldo Series 2016 (A)

Eoin Murphy receives the gold medal after winning the Faldo Series Ireland U16 Championship

Dundalk Golf Club’s Eoin Murphy won the Faldo Series U16 Ireland Championship at Lough Erne Resort last week when he beat the cream of Irish golfers in his age-group to qualify for the European Grand Final.

After an opening round of 74, he fired a second round of 70 for a level par total of 144 which was good enough to take the title by four shots ahead of several Irish internationals.

“This was my biggest win outside the club and it is a great start to the year,” said Murphy. “It was a very strong field, with several Irish internationals in it, so it was good to show what I can do in that sort of company.”

Murphy, who plays off five, found himself two shots behind Conor Glennon (Glasson) and Robert Galligan (Elm Park) after the first round with a six shot gap to the rest of the field. His opening round of 74 included birdies at the 10th, 15th and 17th, but he was undone by five bogies including one at the last.

However, in round two Murphy blew everybody away with the only sub-par round of the tournament, a two under par 70 as nobody else in the field managed to shoot better than 76.

Things didn’t look good for his chances of catching the leaders when he double-bogeyed the 162-yard par three third after finding a bunker off the tee.

He then spurned an eagle opportunity at the par five fourth when he three-putted from 12 feet but, as the conditions deteriorated, he moved up a gear and sank two 30 foot putts for birdies at the fifth and seventh to get his round back to level par.

Murphy bounced back again after bogeying the 12th with birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th to finish the tournament on level par, four shots ahead of Glennon with his Dundalk clubmate, Sean Laverty finishing in 18th place.

“One of my aims for the season is to play well enough to be considered for the Leinster panel so this has given me a good boost,” said Murphy.

The Faldo Series, which was the brainchild of former Major champion Nick Faldo, is recognised as the only global amateur series for boys and girls and is now in its 20th year. Among the top professional players to have come through the Faldo Series is Rory McIlroy.

The date and venue for the European Final will be announced shortly but it is likely to be at one of the continent’s major golf venues.



Dundalk Senior Scratch Cup

Dundalk Senior Scratch Cup

The 2016 Dundalk Scratch Cup – kindly supported by Jeffers Sportsturf


SUNDAY 24th APRIL 2016

The Dundalk Senior Scratch Cup is one of Ireland’s leading tournaments for elite amateur golfers and previous winners include three times Major champion Pádraig Harrington.

Harrington took the title in 1995 in his last year as an amateur while Michael Hoey, a five time winner on the European Tour, was the champion in 2000.

Thomas Mulligan from Co Louth won the 2015 Dundalk Senior Scratch Cup, sponsored by Jeffers Sportsturf, after shooting a six under par score of 137 in the 36-hole tournament which attracted a quality field.

 The 16-year-old Irish international laid the foundations for his victory in the first round with a fantastic seven-under-par 65 that left him five clear of the field with 18 holes to go.

2015 Senior Scratch cup winner 2The 36 hole event commenced in 1963, the inaugural competition on Sunday, May 12, 1963, set the tone for the following 50 years with an entry that included Walker Cup players Joe Carr, David Madeley and our first champion Dr. David Sheahan.

The 2013 event was won by home club member Aaron Grant, the first time a member won since Dan Coyle’s victory in 1991.

Murphy leads home Sunday qualifiers in Gold Medal

Seven handicapper Darren Murphy mastered the windy conditions to shoot a one-under par 71 and finish as leading Sunday qualifier in the Gold Medal.

As well as being guaranteed a place in the Matchplay stage of the Gold Medal, Darren will also go forward to represent the men’s section of the club in the Dubai Mixed Fourball qualifying tournament where the big prize is a place in this year’s Irish Open Pro-Am.

Saturday’s Gold Medal qualifying round was cancelled following a course inspection on Friday evening and will be played this Saturday, April 10. Those entered in last Saturday’s postponed qualifier must re-enter for this Saturday via the BRS System.

Members have the option next Saturday of playing casual golf or participating in the Gold Medal Qualifier.  Those participating in the Gold Medal qualifier are reminded that it is a stroke competition played off the blue tees and their card must be signed by a club member. Playing in Saturday’s qualifier does not preclude players from participating in this Sunday’s House Committee Cup.

Draws made for Foursomes and Mixed Foursome matchplay competitions

The draws for both the Men’s Foursomes and the Mixed Foursomes competitions have been made and the draw sheets are now posted in the locker rooms.

Because of the size of entry there will be a preliminary round in both competitions. The Men’s Foursomes preliminary round matches must be played by May 9 while the Mixed Foursomes preliminary round should be completed by May 16.

Handicaps for both competitions will be as they are on day of match which is in accordance with CONGU Guidelines. Matches in the Men’s Foursomes competition will be played off White Tees while in the Mixed Foursomes will be off the White/Red Tees.


McCaughey and Byrne win Sunday’s Fourball

Connor McCaughey (5) and Frank Byrne (10) combined well to win Sunday’s Fourball Stableford competition. They had a point to spare over Tommy Reneghan (13) and Niall McCaul (7) who took second on countback from Noel Reidy (12) and Noel Crowe (25).

David Murden (13) just pipped George Rogers (19) on Easter Monday to win the Singles Stableford competition on countback thanks to 22pts over the final nine holes. Both had shot 38pts as did third placed Kieran Arthurs (11).

Sunday, April 3 – Fourball Stableford – Connor McCaughey (5) & Frank Byrne (10) 45pts, Tommy Reneghan (13) & Niall McCaul (7) 44/24pts, Noel Reidy (12) & Noel Crowe (25) 44/22pts.

Monday, March 28 – Singles Stableford Competition – David Murden (13) 38/22pts, George Rogers (19) 38/21pts, Kieran Arthurs (11) 38pts. CSS: Non Qualifying.

Grant and Rafferty reach last 16 at West of Ireland

Elite golfers Aaron Grant and Caolan Rafferty proudly flew the flag for Dundalk Golf Club at the West of Ireland Golf Championship in Rosses Point over the Easter Weekend.

Both reached the last 16 of the first major amateur championship of the 2016 season and claimed some notable scalps along the way.

The Dundalk duo qualified for the Matchplay stage of the tournament after finishing among the top 25 of the 64 qualifiers. The qualifying round was reduced to 18 holes after high winds caused the second round on Easter Saturday to be abandoned so Grant’s 77 and Rafferty’s 79 from Friday saw them qualify comfortably inside the cut.

In Round 1 on Easter Sunday morning Grant beat Andrew Morris of Belvoir Park 2&1 while Rafferty defeated James Pierse of Portmarnock by 1 hole.

On Sunday afternoon in Round 2 Grant had a one hole victory over William Russell of Clandeboye while Rafferty came from two down after 11 holes to beat Portmarnock’s James Fox with a birdie on the 19th hole.

That left only Dundalk and host club Co Sligo with two representatives in the last 16 on Easter Monday morning. Rafferty faced Matthew Kane of Whitehead and, after losing the opening hole, was unable to get back on level terms. He was two down after 11 and eventually succumbed to a 3&2 defeat.

Grant faced Daniel Holland of The Castle and found himself two down after 11 holes. They were all square by the time they walked off the 14th green but after halving the 15th, Grant lost 16 and 17 to lose the match 2&1.

Rafferty’s conqueror Kane was beaten in the quarter-finals by the eventual winner Jonathan Yates of Nass who defeated Holland in the final.

Reaching the last 16 of the West represents a good start to the season for Rafferty and Grant and everybody at Dundalk wishes the boys well for the coming season.

One of the big targets for both players in the coming weeks will be the annual Dundalk Senior Scratch Cup, sponsored by Jeffers Sports Turf, which is scheduled for Sunday, April 24. Entries are now being accepted by the Pro Shop on 042-9321731.

In-form O’Callaghan delivers

Given his recent good form it didn’t really come as surprise to many to see Caoimhan O’Callaghan finally deliver an overall victory in Sunday competition.

The 21 handicapper led home a field of 98 in the Easter Sunday Singles Stableford competiton with a score of 34pts which was one better than that posted by Kevin  Barry (10).

Steadiness provided the foundation for O’Callaghan’s excellent round over the 15 holes in play as he produced a round that showed a golfer in control of his game as he scored on every hole and only once had to settle for one point when he double-bogeyed the second.

After going through the first four holes with eight points he notched three points at the sixth and again at the seventh to move to 14pts after playing six holes.

He had increased that total to 20 points by the time he stood on the 11th tee and, with the wind helping, he proceeded to par the index two hole and collect four points courtesy of the two shots he had.

He followed that by scoring two points at each of the final five holes, three of which were playing into a gale force wind, to finish on 34pts and take the overall prize.

Kevin Barry ended up a point adrift of the winner despite a good start which saw him go through the first four holes in nine points thanks to three point returns at the first and third while a birdie four at the par-five seventh yielded four points.

He also picked up three points at the 12th, 15th and 16th but, while he scored at every hole, he was left to rue the four one-pointers he had on his card.

Clem Walshe (5), Michael Hamilton (16) and Aidan O’Mahony (17) took the three Category prizes.

Sunday, March 27 – Singles Stableford Competition – Overall: Caoimhan O’Callaghan (21) 34pts, Kevin Barry (10) 33pts. Category 1: Clem Walshe (5) 32/18pts. Category 2: Michael Hamilton (16) 32 pts. Category 3: Aidan O’Mahony (17) 32pts. CSS: Non Qualifying.

Eagle allows McGuinness to soar

An eagle three at the par 5 10th proved to be decisive last Sunday as Pat McGuinness (13) took Sunday’s Singles Stableford Competition on countback from Tommy Renaghan (13),

Both players showed superb early form as they returned scores of 38pts for the 15 hole competition with McGuinness taking top prize after edging out Renaghan 23pts to 21pts on countback over the last nine holes.

The first four holes at Dundalk represent one of the toughest starts in Irish club golf and can wreck a card before a round has even begun. McGuinness got off to a good start with ten points from those first holes after three point pars at the second and third while Renaghan went one better with pars at the first second and fourth for an 11 point start.

Over the next few holes Renaghan continued to impress as took three points from the sixth, seventh and ninth but a blank at the par-four eighth, where he had a six, was the only blemish as he returned 20pts for the opening eight holes.

That was one more than McGuinness, who had birdied the sixth for three points, but former club president ignited his round on the tenth with an eagle three for four points. He followed that with three point pars at the 12th and 13th and then chucked in a birdie three at the 15th for another four points. The only slight blemish on an otherwise flawless round was a six at the 15th for one point and a total of 38pts.

Reneghan continued to build on his impressive start down the back with three points at the 11th, 12, 13th and 15th as he added 18pts from the seven holes on the back to the 20pts he had picked up over the front eight.

The difference in the countback was two points, suggesting that the two four pointers McGuinness got at 10 and 15 really did make a difference as he led home a field of 134.

Ultan Gaughran (8), Darren O’Brien (17) and Caoimhan O’Callaghan (21) took the three Category Prizes with O’Brien having also shot 38ptt on the day.

Club members over 55 years of age are asked to register for the new Veterans categories before the start of the official season by placing a note in the Men’s Tournament Box with their name and category. The categories are: Category S (Seniors, 55 to 64), Category V (Veterans, 65 to 74) and Category M (Super Veterans 75 +). They can also mark the appropriate letter on their card if playing in Sunday competitions.

It was a good week for the club’s 13 handicappers as Danny Miele (13) took the Single Stableford competition on St Patrick’s Day with 35pts. He won on countback, 23pts to 19pts, from Martin Cairns (17) with Austin Shaw (9), David Murden (13) and Paul Durnin (20) taking the category prizes.

Sunday, March 20 – Singles Stableford Competition – Overall: Pat McGuinness  (13)  38/23pts, Tommy Renaghan (13) 38/21pts. Category 1: Ultan Gaughran (8)    37/21pts. Mickey Coburn (8) 37pts. Category 2: Darren O’Brien (17) 38pts, Derek Murdock (13) 36/22pts. Category 3: Caoimhan O’ Callaghan (21) 37pts, Nigel Giff   (19) 36pts. CSS: Non Qualifying.

Thursday, March 17 – St Patrick’s Day Singles Stableford Competition – Overall: Danny Miele (13) 35/23pts, Martin Cairns (17) 35/19pts. Category 1: Austin Shaw (9) 34/19pts. Category 2: David Murden (13) 33pts, Category 3: Paul Durnin (20) 34pts. CSS: Non Qualifying.