Junior Cup team reach Leinster Finals

Dundalk’s Junior Cup team are through to the Leinster Finals after coming through their area qualifier over the Bank Holiday weekend at Knightsbrook Golf Club where 15 clubs from North Leinster participated.

Dundalk’s panel consisted of Billy Cairns, Shane Hession, Conor McCaughey, Kyle Rafferty, Brian Renaghan, Ciaran Traynor and Clem Walshe and they showed tremendous battling qualities the two day event

The first day was the strokeplay qualifier which was played in blustery conditions and with four of the five cards to count Dundalk needed to be in the top four to qualify for Sunday’s matchplay play-off.

Dundalk returned a total of 318, which was three shots behind leading qualifiers, Co Louth, with Headford also posting 318 and Ashbourne taking the final play-off spot on 320.

Renaghan shot the lowest score of the day, a 77, with Hession 78, Traynor 82 and Walshe 81 completing the four counting cards for Dundalk.

The following day, pre-tournament favourites Co. Louth comfortably disposed of Ashbourne in the first semi-final winning their first three matches comfortably, with the other two being called in.

Playing Headfort in the other semi-final, Dundalk were soon involved in a marathon struggle. Renaghan and Traynor were beaten on the 16th and 18th respectively while Hession and teenager Kyle Rafferty were always in command of their respective matches, both winning on 17.

Headfort looked to be in control in the final match, but a fantastic comeback by Walshe over the closing holes saw him edge to victory by the narrowest of margins on the last green to send Dundalk into the final against their great rivals from Baltray.

Astute team placement by selector Peter Rogers proved to be a decisive factor as Dundalk came from behind to win the afternoon contest.

Billy Cairns and Ciaran Traynor were beaten in the first two matches with Traynor going down narrowly on the 18th. But, Shane Hession came out of the blocks like a whirlwind in the third match, firing three birdies in the first five holes, to leave his opponent on the back foot and he eventually closed out the match on the 16th.

Clem Walshe played his usual brand of steady reliable golf and was always in control in his match before finally winning on 15.

The deciding match came down to Kyle Rafferty, a nephew of Leinster Interpro Caolan, who was representing the club at senior level for the first time. Always behind in his match to a more seasoned opponent, and three down with six to play, Rafferty finally drew level on 17.

He then held his nerve on the difficult 18th hole to half and, as darkness beckoned, he closed out the match holing a five foot putt on the 19th to secure victory for Dundalk.

All roads now lead to Co Kilkenny this summer for Dundalk as the Junior Squad will contest the Leinster Finals in Callan Golf Club on July 29 and 30 while the Barton Shield team have already qualified for the Leinster Finals at Killkenny Golf  Club the previous weekend.

Barton Shield – Dundalk reach Leinster Finals

Dundalk have reached the Leinster finals of the Barton Shield which will take place in July in Kilkenny when the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final will take place.
Over the weekend, Dundalk came through a tough qualifying section at Killeen Castle with included 11 clubs from the North East.
On Saturday Dundalk’s two foursomes pairings combined to top the strokeplay qualifying round. Young guns Eoin Murphy and Josh Mackin shot a four under par 68 while Caolan Rafferty and Richard Newell went round in 73. That left Dundalk on 141, two shots ahead of Laytown & Bettystown with Co Louth(145) and Co Meath (147)
In the semi-final on Sunday morning, Dundalk faced Co Meath in a match that went to sudden death. Murphy and Mackin won their match 1up but Rafferty and Aaron Grant lost by one hole. The two experienced players faced the sudden death play-off and, after halving the first two holes, they finally got the job done on the 21st.
In the final on Sunday afternoon Grant and Rafferty won 1up and it was left to 16-year-old Mackin to sink a slippery 3ft downhill putt to secure a half and send Dundalk to the finals in Kilkenny where they are set to face Portmarnock in the last eight.
It’s been a busy few weeks for Rafferty and Grant. Both took part in the Irish Amateur Open at Royal Co Down but missed the cut when it fell after 54 holes. The previous weekend Rafferty had been the leading Irishman at the prestigous Lytham Trophy in England where finished an impressive seventh.

Other news

Peter Rogers flew the flag for Dundalk over the weekend at the Irish Amateur Seniors Open in Co Tipperary and secured a top 20 finish in the 54 hole event.
The Provincial Towns Cup team continued their progress with a comprehensive win over Bellewstown while in the Fred Daly Trophy there was a 4-1 victory over Laytown & Bettystown and a 3.5 to 1.5 win over Donabate. Next up are Ardee this Friday. The U15 Inter-club team are due to face Seapoint in their next round after a 4-1 win over Co Louth. However, there was disappointment for the Newsam Cup team who lost to Summerhill and the North Leinster Mixed team who fell to Laytown & Bettystown.
The deadlines for the completion of the current rounds of the Mixed Foursomes and Gold Medal matchplay competitions have been extended by one week to May 29.

Open Week

The first Open Week of the season proved to be very successful with many visitors availing of the opportunity to test themselves over the revamped layout which is bedding in well and has attracted a lot of favourable comment.
The week finished on Sunday with a Singles Stableford competition which was won by Greg McCaughey (10). He shot 41pts and took top prize on countback from Stephen English (12) with Stephen Haughey (16) a further shot back.
Saturday’s Fourball Stableford resulted in a win for Clem Walshe (4) and Paul O’Reilly (16) while Thursday’s Team Event was won by Gerry O’Keeffe, Declan Muckian, Danny Kelleher and C Costelloe.
Conor Curran (3) with 40pts won Wednesday’s Singles Stableford and Dessie Ward (14) won on Monday with 41pts.
The most notable feats of the week went to long-time member Donal Cotter who claimed the first hole-in-one of his career on Wednesday when he aced the par three 5th, this was matched by Ruairi O Connor who had a hole-in-one at the 13th on Thursday .
Many thanks to all the businesses who so generously sponsored the Open Week competitions.
Sunday, May 21 – Open Singles Stableford sponsored by Specsavers – Overall: Gregory McCaughey (10) 41/24pts, Stephen English (12) 41, Stephen Haughey (16) 40/21/13/7. Gross: Brendan Lawlor (3) 35pts. Category 1 (+1 to 11): Martin Crosby (8) 39pts. Category 2 (12-16): Phil Holland (12) 37/20pts. Category 3 (17-28): Eamonn Arthur (21) 40pts. Juvenile: Zak Alderdice (15) 40pts. CSS: 36pts.
Saturday, May 20 – Fourball Stableford sponsored by National Tile – Clem Walshe (4) & Paul O’Reilly (16) 46/25pts, John McKeever (12) & JP Casey (16) 46/23/18pts, J Sheridan (11, Gorey) & Eddie Sheridan (13) 46pts.
Thursday, May 18 – Four Man Team Event – sponsored by Flanagan Motors – 92pts: Gerry O’Keeffe (13), Declan Muckian (14), Danny Kelleher (10), C Costelloe (7). 90pts: Dessie Ward (13), Declan Ward (20), Ollie English (12), Gareth Duffy (5).
Wednesday, May 17 – Open Singles Stableford sponsored by McCaughey Homes – Overall: Conor Curran (3) 40pts, Ciaran Daly (18) 39/20, Martin Mills (12, Mannan Castle) 39/20/13/6pts. Gross: Caolan Rafferty (+3) 39pts. Category 1: Neil Murphy (9) 39pts. Category 2: Bernard Crombie (14) 38pts. Category 3: G Rice (28, Enniscorthy) 38/19pts. CSS 36pts.
Monday, May 15 – Open Singles Stableford sponsored by The Bayview Lounge and Bar – Overall: Dessie Ward (14) 41pts, Michael O Keeffe (17) 39/19/11/5, Jim Rowland (12) 39pts. Seniors Prize (Over 50): Declan Muckian (15) 39/19/13pts. Best Gross: Jim Caraher (7) 29/14. CSS 37pts.

Duffy wins Junior Scratch Cup by one shot

Garrett Duffy won the Dundalk Junior Scratch Cup, sponsored by DAR Golf, on Sunday by one shot from Ciaran Traynor with Clem Walshe a shot further back in third place.

 

Duffy, who plays off five, produced rounds of 78 and 75 for a total of 153 on a day when the weather was varied with morning sunshine for the opening round making way for periods of heavy rain during the second circuit.

 

After inauspicious start with a double bogey on the opening hole, Duffy dropped three more shots over the par five sixth and seventh to turn in 41. However, he managed to cover the back nine in 37 shots as birdies at the 10th and 14th took the sting out of further bogeys at 11, 12 and 17.

 

That left Duffy on 78, three adrift of first round leader Joe McArdle from Ardee who shot 75. Traynor, who plays off seven, opened with a 79 and was lying one shot behind Duffy as they teed up for the second round.

 

Duffy’s hopes seemed to be fading after the first three holes of the final round as he opened with three straight bogeys and although he birdied the index one par four fourth he then went and double-bogeyed the par three fifth.

 

Another birdie followed at the sixth and three pars ensured he turned for home with a chance after covering the opening nine in 39. A birdie at 10 was followed by bogeys at 11 and 14 but he birdied 16 to get back to level par for the back nine and managed to par the final two holes for a homeward nine of 36, a second round score of 75 and an overall total of 153.

 

When the dust settled, it proved to be just enough. Traynor matched Duffy’s second round 75 but came up short by one shot while Walshe, who had shot 77 in the first round, could only manage a 78 in the second.

 

Sunday, May 14 – Dundalk Junior Scratch Cup, Sponsored by DAR Golf – Overall – 153: Garrett Duffy (5) 78, 75. 154: Ciaran Traynor (7) 79, 75. 155: Clem Walshe (4) 77, 78. 156: Paul Reilly (5, Co Louth) 77,79. Best Nett: 145 – J K Cohalan (6, Ballybunion) 75,70. First 18 Gross: Joe McArdle (5, Ardee) 75. First 18 Nett: Ciaran Sheridan (5) 71/34.5. Second 18 Gross: John Oster (4, Laytown & Bettystown) 77. Second 18 Nett: Damian English (10) 68. First Round CSS: 73 (Home), 74 (Away). Second Round CSS: 73 (Home), 74 (Away).

 

 

 

McCaughey shines in Carolan Cup qualifier

The sun wasn’t the only thing to shine at Dundalk on Sunday as Martin McCaughey led home the 16 qualifiers for the matchplay stage of the Carolan Cup,

This was the third Golfer of the Year competition of the season and 168 players teed it up on a beautiful day over the demanding blue course.

Playing off 22, McCaughey produced a solid round that included one birdie, six pars, five bogeys and six double-bogeys as he recorded a nett 67, five under par. The birdie came at the par three fifth, while his six pars were at the fourth, sixth, 10th, 13th, 14th and 17th.

The foundation for McCaughey’s victory came at the par-threes where he had a birdie, two pars and bogey to cover them in gross level par.

McCaughey’s reward for finishing as best qualifier is a meeting with 13 handicapper Seamus Bailey in the first round of the matchplay while the only two single figure handicap players to make the last 16 were Ultan Gaughran (9) and teenager Sean Laverty (4).

The full first round draw is: Andrew Brodigan (12) v Ken Lynch (12), Ultan Gaughran (9) v Richard Barry (11), Dennis Cunningham (10) v Kevin Keenan (12), Seamus Bailey (13) v Sean Laverty (4), Paddy Duffy (13) v Martin McCaughey (22), Jim Burlingham (28) v Gavin McDonnell (19), Tommy Reneghan (13) v Tadhg O’Sullivan (21), Michael Byrne (21) v Ray Pepper  (20).

Sunday, May 7 – Carolan Cup – Leading Qualifier: Martin McCaughey (22) 67. Scores to 73/35/22.33 qualified for Matchplay Stage. CSS: 74
 

Hanratty takes Paddy Markey Cup

A very early tee-time and a strong start laid the foundations for the nine handicapper’s excellent round. After bogeying the first, he scored four at each of the next five holes which yielded a birdie, three pars and a bogey. Another par followed at the par-five seventh and although he double-bogeyed the eighth he parred the ninth for an opening nine of 34 nett.Another birdie followed at the par-five 10th which was followed by a par four at the 11th. There were further pars at the 14th, 16th and 17th and bogeys at 12th, 13th, 15th and 18th as he completed the back nine in 35 nett.

His early score survived the rest of the day with Paul Lynch (22) coming closest to threatening Hanratty but he came up short after posting a 70,

Len Mullins (16), another of the early starters, took the Veteran’s Prize after posting a 73. Peter Rogers (2) claimed the Gross Prize with a find level par round of 72 while the category prizes were won by Clem Walshe (4), Kieran Arthurs (12) and Diarmuid McAdams (23). Iarlaith Carroll (19) with a 68 was the best of the juveniles.

Sunday, April 30 – Paddy Markey and Veterans Prize – Overall: Eugene Hanratty (9) 69, Paul Lynch (22) 70. Veteran’s Prize: Len Mullins (16) 73. Gross Prize: Peter Rogers (2) 72. Category 1 (0-11): Clem Walshe (4) 71, Christy Ward (9) 72/36.5. Category 2 (12-17): Kieran Arthurs (12) 72. Joseph Laverty (12) 73/36.5. Category 3 (18-28): Diarmuid McAdams (23) 71. Ray Pepper (20) 72. Juvenile: Iarlaith Carroll (19) 68. CSS: 73.

 

Hoey is first Wednesday winner

Last Wednesday saw the return of the weekly open singles stableford competition which will run through the summer. Eamonn Hoey (16) with 39pts was the first winner by two points from Richard Newell (2). A visitor, Conor McGleenon (11) from The Island, took Category 1 and Michael Carr (14) and Anthony Clarke (20) taking the other category prizes. Caolan Rafferty claimed the gross prize with an excellent 37pts.

 Hoey’s went out in 20pts after having three three point holes on the front nine and he had two more three point holes on the back nine as he came home in 19pts.

Wednesday, April 26 – Open Singles Stableford – Overall: Eamon Hoey (16) 39pts, Richard Newell (2) 37pts. Category 1(0-12): Conor McGleenon (11) (The Island) 36pts.      Category 2 (13-19): Michael Carr (14) 33/19/14pts. Category 3 (20-28): Anthony Clarke (20) 36/18pts. Best Gross: Caolan Rafferty 37pts.

Cairns wins again and in some style

Kenneth Cairns, who won the first Sunday competition of 2017 back on January 15, returned to the winner’s enclosure in some style on Sunday when he won the 18 Hole Singles Stableford competition with a splendid score of 44pts.

Having already lost one shot this season, Cairns, who was playing off 16, is set to see his handicap tumble after he posted a score that was eight points better than Competition Standard Scratch (CSS) for the day of 36pts.

His 44pts was all the more remarkable considering that he failed to score on the second and only managed a six, for one point, on the third. That left him at four points for the opening three holes as he had parred the first for three points.

However, he steadied the ship with a five for two points at the index one fourth and then clicked into gear by reeling off three successive three point holes as a birdie at the index 17 par five sixth was sandwiched between pars at the fifth and seventh. A two point bogey at the eighth was followed by a three point par at the ninth as he completed the front nine in 20pts.

His back nine began with a bang as he birdied the par five 10th for four points and, after a bogey five for two points at the index two 11th, he went on another run of three successive three point holes as he parred 12 and 13 and birdied 14th, his third birdie of a remarkable round. He added another three point par at the par three 17th and bogeyed 15, 16 and 18 for two points each as he covered the back nine in 24 points.

That left him three clear of 17 handicapper Eamon Hoey, who took second place overall on the third stage of countback after he and Alan McCabe (8) were tied on 41pts. Teenager Josh Mackin (2) also fired a round of 41pts and he took second place behind McCabe in Category 1 but also claimed the Gross Prize with an excellent score of 39pts. Brian Gaughran (14) claimed Category 2 while Dermot McKenna (23) was the Category Three winner.

Noel Reid (18) won the Men’s Singles Stableford on Easter Monday with a score of 40pts while Louise Lynn (18) won the Ladies Singles Stableford with 34pts. The Mixed Foursomes was won by Briege and Tommy Reneghan (19) with a nett score of 63.

Sunday, April 23 – 18 Hole Singles Stableford Competition – Overall: Kenneth Cairns (16) 44pts, Eamon Hoey (17) 41/21/14/8pts. Category 1 (0-11): Alan McCabe (8) 41/21/14pts, Josh Mackin (2) 41pts. Category 2 (12-17): Brian Gaughran (14) 40pts, Danny Miele (12) 39/20pts. Category 3 (18-28): Dermot McKenna (23) 39/19pts, Gerry Byrne (19) 39pts. Best Gross: Josh Mackin 39pts. CSS: 72 (36pts).

Monday, April 17 – Easter Monday Competitions – Men’s Singles Stableford: Noel Reid (18) 40pts, Fearghal Duffy (16) 39/21/16pts. CSS 72 (36pts). Ladies Singles: Louise Lynn (18) 32pts, Geraldine McGeough (25) 31pts. CSS 75 (34pts). Mixed Foursomes: Briege & Thomas Renaghan (19) 63 nett, Margaret and Michael Coburn (13.5) 65.5 net.

Rafferty and Murphy make presence felt in West

Two Dundalk golfers certainly made their presence felt at West of Ireland Championship in Rosses Point last week and while they didn’t come away with the title, they certainly laid down markers for the season ahead.

Caolan Rafferty went one better than year by reaching the last eight while Eoin Murphy, who has just turned 17, reached the last 16 in what was his first major amateur championship.

Murphy, who is a two handicapper, had to pre-qualify for the tournament and earned one of the 20 spots on offer after a marathon seven hole play-off was needed to fill the remaining four qualifying places from the 10 players tied on 77.

On the seventh tie-hole Murphy found himself as one of three players chasing the last two spots and his hopes of qualifying looked doomed when he forced to take a penalty drop from a wall. He made a five but got through after one of his rivals played a wrong ball and incurred a two-stroke penalty.

Four other Dundalk players – Andrew Keenan, Conor Curran, Richie Newell and Neil MacKell – also played in the pre-qualifers but failed to make the cut.

Murphy took full advantage of his good fortune two days later when he teed up in the Championship proper. He shot a three under par 68 in the first of the two strokeplay qualifying rounds as he mixed three bogeys with four birdies before holing a 60-yard lob wedge for an eagle two at the 18th.

“It was a nice way to finish,” said Murphy afterwards. “”It was a good solid round of golf — I hit lots of greens and didn’t do anything too mad until the 18th. It’s my first men’s championship and to be able to compete with these boys is great.”

Although he shot a 78 in the second round, Murphy comfortably qualified for the matchplay stage as did Rafferty who shot rounds of 72 and 75 but Aaron Grant missed the cut by two shots after he followed an excellent opening round of 73 with a nine-over par 80.

In the first matchplay round Murphy was drawn against Irish international Tiarnan McLaron (Massereene) and showed no signs of nerves against one of the favourites as he trounced the Ulsterman by 6&5 and he proved it was no fluke in the afternoon when he defeated Royal Dublin’s Richard Knightly by 3&2, impressing everybody as he came from two down with a tremendous run of winning holes to close the match on the 16th.

Rafferty also had a good day at the office on Easter Sunday as he saw off Tandragee’s Ross Dutton by 2&1 in the first round and then beat Andrew Hickey (Ballyhaunis) by 3&2 after lunch to reach the last 16 for the second successive year.

Unfortunately for Murphy, his magnificent run came to an end on Easter Monday morning when he was beaten 6&4 by local favourite David Brady (Co Sligo) but he certainly left his mark on the competition and showed that he has the ability to play at Irish amateur golf’s highest level.

Rafferty drew on all his experience to make the quarter-final as he was two down with four to play against Colin Woodroofe (Dun Laoghaire). He birdied the 15th, 16th and 17th to go one up and also won the 18th to win the match by two holes and earn a shot at making the last day of the West.

Rafferty faced Portmarnock’s Jack Pierce in the last eight and came up against a player in the top form from tee to green. Pierce, who helped Portmarnock win the World Club Golf Championship in December, opened up a three shot lead but although Rafferty birdied the 12th to reduce the deficit to two with six to play but he was unable to reel in Pierce who won by 2&1 and was level par for his round when it finished on the 17th.

While obviously disappointed that he didn’t make the semi-finals and the final day of the Championship, Rafferty can take a lot of satisfaction from his opening major of the year having gone one better than he did in 2016.

Dundalk win Inter-Club Husband & Wife Cup

Dundalk has won the 2016 Inter Club Husband and Wife Matchplay Competition, hosted by Co Meath Golf Club, after beating a strong Killeen Castle team 3-0 in the delayed final.

Dundalk qualified for the final last September after winning three rounds but scheduling challenges led to the final being delayed until Sunday, April 9.

The Dundalk Panel consisted of Briege and Tommy Renaghan, Mary Lou and Barry Grennan, Teresa and Nigel Giff, Mags and Mickey Coburn, Anne and Gerry Murray, Mary and Sean Hession,  Siobhan and Brendan Keane.

The Dundalk team played wonderful golf in the final and came through to win with The Renaghans winning on 16, Coburns on 15 and The Murrays on 14, with the Grennans and Giffs still on the course.

Elaine Ward and Paul O Callaghan managed the team and certainly left no stone unturned in their preparations. The team were well supported on the day by a number of members as well as the Lady Captain Maeve, ex Officio Jean, 2016 Lady President Breege and President Noel who received the trophy on behalf of Dundalk.

Thanks go to Co Meath for organising the event which is in its second year. The format is changing in 2017 when it will be a fourball format with four teams representing each club and the best three cards to count. It is due to get underway in May and Dundalk are looking forward to defending their title.

Solid display earns Mernagh overall victory

Liam Mernagh (12) won Sunday’s 18 hole Singles Stableford competition after shooting 38pts in windy conditions. He won on countback from Pat McKeown (16) who took the Category 2 prize. The other category winners were Derek Murdock (10) and Noel McGuinness (18) while Peter Rogers, with a score of 33pts, took the Gross Prize.

Mernagh produced two solid nines of 19pts each on his way to victory and his round included three point pars at third, fifth, 11th and 18th. His only dropped points were at the eighth and 12th as he scored two points on every other hole. Overall, Mernagh had a round of nine pars, eight bogeys and one double-bogey.

Sunday, April 16 – 18 Hole Singles Stableford – Overall: Liam Mernagh (12) 38/19pts. Category 1 (0-10): Derek Murdock (10) 37/20pts, Martin Crosby (9) 37pts. Category 2 (11-17): Pat McKeown (16) 38pts, Paddy Duffy (13) 35/18pts. Category 3 (18-28): Noel McGuinness (18) 37pts, Noel Crowe  (26) 34/17/15pts. Gross: Peter Rogers 33pts.