Rafferty retains Club Championship

Caolan Rafferty (+3) retained the Club Champio

Caolan Rafferty

Caolan Rafferty

nship on Saturday when a second round of level par was enough to hold off the chasing field.

Rafferty had held a four shot lead after Round 1 and the only player to challenge him was his fellow plus handicapper Aaron Grant (+2) who shot a one under par 71 for an overall score of level par. But Rafferty kept his composure all through the final round as he shot a level par 72 to finish on three under for the championship.

The gross prizes were won by Robert White (1) and Conor Curran (3) while Terry Conlon (6) and Eoin Murphy (3) took the nett prizes.

Club Championship – Overall: 141 – Caolan Rafferty (+3) 69/72. 144 –  Aaron Grant (+2) 73/71. Round 1 (Sept 4) – Gross: Robert White (1) 73/34. Nett: Terry Conlon (6) 68. Round 2 (Sept 11) – Gross: Connor Curran (3) 73/35. Nett: Eoin Murphy (3) 70. CSS: 73.



Rafferty makes Leinster Interpro Team

Caolan Rafferty

Caolan Rafferty

Caolan Rafferty has achieved one of his major goals for 2016 by being selected on the Leinster team for next week’s Interprovincial Championship in Fota Island.

It’s the 23-year-old’s first provincial cap and he’s hoping that it will be a stepping stone to another objective which is to represent Ireland.

The Leinster team, which is captained by Greenore’s legend Seamus McParland, is bidding to retain the title they won last year in Rosapenna and the eight strong team includes four survivors from 2015.

Rafferty got another boost this week when he rose 109 places in the Amateur World Rankings following his great performance at the British Amateur Championship where he reached the last 32.  He is now ranked at 354th in the world.

However, the week ended on a disappointing note for Rafferty and the other members of the club’s Senior Cup team as they went out in the first round on Saturday when they lost 3-2 to Laytown & Bettystown in the Regional qualifier at Baltray.

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.

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.