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.

 

Impressive MacKell wins Junior Scratch Cup

Neal MacKell (4) scored the biggest win of his career on Sunday when he won the Dundalk Junior Scratch Cup and now hopes he doesn’t have to defend it.

MacKell, with an exact handicap of 3.5, only just qualified to play in the 36 hole competition where he was the lowest player in the field and his scores of 71 and 76 were enough to see him lose a shot and move into the senior ranks where he hopes to stay for the next few years.

“It is the first trophy I have won so I am absolutely delighted but I hope I won’t be back to defend it next year as I now want to establish myself as a senior player,” said MacKell.

A top quality field of 87 entered this year’s Junior Cup, with 65 per cent of the field coming from 15 other clubs, but it was the home players who dominated the podium with the evergreen Clem Walshe (4) and Shane Hession (5) filling the top three spots.

MacKell got off to the perfect start in his morning round with back to back birdies on the opening holes and stayed at two under until he bogeyed the seventh having got up and down from 80 yards after being in trouble down the left.

Another bogey on the ninth saw him turn level and a birdie at the 10th was followed by a bogey at the 11th. Birdies at the 14th and 15th followed but a three putt at the par three 17th saw him drop a shot and he had to get up and down out of a greenside bunker on the final score before signing for a one under par 71.

That left him one shot ahead of Walshe who had rolled back the years with an excellent round of 72 but his challenge faltered on the opening nine of his second round and he was unable to take advantage as MacKell dropped three shots on his way to the turn.

A birdie at 10 steadied MacKell and although he handed it back at the next hole he did produce back to back birdies at the 14th and 15th and stood at level par on the 18th tee, five shots ahead of Walshe who had finished with a 77 for 149.

A drive down the middle left MacKell 110 yards to the flag but he pulled his gap wedge left and then dumped a flop shot into a bunker on the far side of the green. He splashed out to 10 feet from the sand but then missed his putt and tapped in from a seven.

“I didn’t know how I stood at that point and I really thought I had blown it because I knew Clem wasn’t too far behind. I was very relieved when I found out I’d hung on to win,” said MacKell who signed for a second round score of 76 and a final total of three over par 147.

After opening with a 79, Hession produced an excellent one-under par 71 to finish three shots behind on 150 with Francis Cheny (4) from St Anne’s two shots further back on 152.

It’s been a good week for Hession who won Wednesday’s Open Singles Stableford competition with a fine score of 38pts to edge out Anthony McGuinness (21) on countback.

Sunday, May 20 – Dundalk Junior Scratch Cup: 147 – Neal MacKell (4) (71/76). 149 – Clem Walshe (4) 149 (72/77). 150 – Shane Hession (5) 150 (79/71). 152 – Francis Cheney (4) (St Anne’s) 152 (78/74). Best Nett: Dean Mulligan (6) (Greenore) 142 (72/70). First 18 Gross: Eoghan McKenna (5) 75. First 18 Nett: Aidan Thornton (8) 72. Second 18 Gross: Declan Hughes (5) (Fort William) 74. Second 18 Nett: Dillon Greene (6) 70. First Round CSS: 74 Home, 75 Away. Second Round CSS: 74 Home, 75 Away.

 

Triple winner Walshe is no April Fool!

Clem Walshe

Clem Walshe proved he was no April Fool on Easter Sunday as walked off the course a triple winner.

The five handicapper shot a superb round of 42pts to win Sunday’s Singles Stableford competition and his gross score of 37pts was also the best gross returned on the day.

His nett score also had a major bearing on the outcome of the 2018 Winter League as Team 11, captained by Mark Browne, went from joint fourth place, and five points behind, at the beginning of the final round to top spot by the end of day’s play. They took the title by seven points from Team 7, captained by George Rogers, which had started the day alongside them in fourth place.

Another member of Team 11, Anthony O’Donoghue (13), also made a significant contribution with 38pts which was also enough for him to claim third place overall in the singles competition with Kevin Barry (10), a member of Team 7, finishing second with 40pts.

Team 3, captained by Bill McCarthy, had started the third round leading by one point but after returning a total of 98pts from their three counting cards they had to settle to third place, nine points behind the winners.

Walshe, who won the Hilary Outing at Seapoint recently, produced a superb round of golf on his way to victory as he carded three birdies, 13 pars and two bogeys for a one under par 71 or 37pts that, with the addition of his five strokes became an impressive 42pts.

He went out in 20pts, helped by a four point birdie at the par three fourth, and came home in 22pts having recorded three point birdies at the 12th and 15th and three point pars at the 11th and 15th. A sign of how well he played was shown by the accumulation of 12pts from the five holes where he had strokes.

Colin Roche (6) with 37pts took Category 1 while Kenneth Cairns (13) won Category 2 with 38pts and Sean Gallagher (20) claimed Category 3 with 35pts.

Sunday, April 1 – Singles Stableford Competition – Overall: Clem Walshe (5) 42pts, Kevin Barry (10) 40pts, Anthony O’Donoghue (13) 38/22pts. Category 1(0-11): Colin Roche (6) 37pts. Category 2 (12-16): Kenneth Cairns (13) 38pts. Category 3 (17-28): Sean Gallagher (20) 35/18pts. Best Gross: Clem Walsh 37pts.

Winter League sponsored by Tiernan’s Centra Blackrock (Final Standings): 216pts – Team 11 (Mark Browne, Clem Walshe, Anthony O’Donoghue, Ciaran Rafferty, Edmund Sheridan). 209pts – Team 7 (George Rogers (c), Kevin Barry, Connor McCaughey, Peter O’Brien, Brendan Tinnelly. Full results here

Walsh wins Greenore Junior Scratch Cup for third time

Clem Walshe

Clem Walshe has won the Greenore Junior Scratch Cup for the third time.

The four handicapper shot rounds of 75 and 78 for a 36 hole total of 153 to beat club colleague Kyle Rafferty by one shot after the teenager shot two rounds of 77.

Walshe and Peter Rogers also had a good run in the Ulster Seniors was played over Donegal Golf Club’s testing links at Murvagh.

The Dundalk pair both recorded top ten finishes and Rogers led after the first round of the 36 hole event as he shot four birdies in a one over par round 74.

However, defending champion Garth McGimpsey posted a 70 in the second round to retain the title and Rogers, who shot 79, had to settle for fifth place but had the consolation of winning his age category.

Walshe, with rounds of 77 and 78 took ninth place overall.