Matchplay competitions reaching a climax

The various matchplay competitions are reaching a climax at the moment with some already decided while the rest are at either the semi-final or final stage.

Having retained his Golfer of the Year title last weekend, Clem Walshe won his fourth successive Mixed Foursomes title on Saturday when he partnered Siobhan Mulholland to victory over Maurice Soraghan and Elaine Ward.

The other matchplay title decided is the Carolan Cup which has been won by Ruairi Gogarty who defeated Richard Copas in the final. The Gold Medal, which is sponsored by Deluxe Bathroom and Tiling, is down to the final two after AidanThornton squeezed past Adrian Kenny to set up a showdown with last year’s runner-up, Conall Murdock, who saw off John Morrison in the semi-final.

That was Morrison second semi-final defeat as he also reached the last four of the IJM sponsored Minor Scratch Matchplay where he was beaten by Miceal Markey. Markey now faces Conor McClenaghan who beat his regular foursomes partner Sean Gallagher in the other semi-final.

In the IJM Intermediate Scratch Matchplay, Eamonn McEneaney is still on course to go one better than last year as he has made it to semi-final stage where he will face Paul Cheshire in his bid to reach a second successive final. The other side of the draw has seen Anthony O’Donoghue come through to face Kevin Carthy in the second semi-final.

The IJM Junior Scratch Matchplay is also at the last four stage with Terry Conlon set to face Niall Martin while Ciaran Traynor and Seamus Bailey will meet for a place in the final.

Last year’s Junior Matchplay winner Neil Mullooly reached the last four of the IJM Senior competition where he was beaten by Billy Cairns. Cairns will now face Brian Og Renaghan in the final after he accounted for Shane Hession in their last four encounter.

Last year Oliver McGinnity reached three matchplay finals and won two of them and he is on course to add another matchplay title to his CV having rpartnered with John MacGuinness to reach the Club Foursomes deciders. There they will face Tommy Renaghan and Maurice Soraghan.

Finally, the Harry Walsh Cup will be decided between Sean O’Sullivan and Pat Wadding. In the semi-finals, Wadding saw off the challenge of Larry Curtin while O’Sullivan defeated Sean Gallagher.

Walshe retains Golfer of the Year

Congratulations to Clem Walshe who has retained the Golfer of the Year trophy.

Walshe led going into Sunday’s Cochrane Cup, which was the final counting event, but none of his closest challenges were able to produce the low score needed to put the four handicapper under pressure.

Alan Hurley (5) finished second five shots behind Walshe in the overall standings with Aaron Waite (13) in third a further shot back.

Golfer of the Year 2019 (Top 30): 1 – Clem Walshe (4) 499. 2 – Alan Hurley (5) 504. 3 – Aaron Waite (13) 505. 4 – Sean Gallagher (21) 507. 5 – Malcolm Drake (15) 509. 6 – Aidan Thornton (8) 510. 7- Zak Alderdice (7) 510. 8 – Conor Hackett (12) 511. 9 – Neal MacKell (3) 512. 10 – Paul O’Callaghan (10) 513. 11 – Connor McCaughey (5) 516. 12 Christy Ward (6) 516. 13 – Mark Cumiskey (9) 516. 14 – Richard Copas (15) 517. 15 – Conall Murdock (4) 518. 16 – Colin Roche (6) 519. 17 – Fergal Harte (6) 519. 18 – Eddie Rogers (3) 521. 19 – Gregory McCaughey (6) 521. 20 – John McKeever (12) 522. 21 – Niall McCaul (8) 522. 22 – Seamus Bailey (11) 522. 23 – Brian Ward (17) 522. 24 – Frank Byrne (8) 524. 25 – Michael Coburn (9) 525. 26 – Ultan Gaughran (8) 526. 27 – Barry Cunningham (9) 527. 28 – Gerard McDermott (16) 527. 29 – Ciaran Traynor (8) 528. 30 – Sean O’Sullivan (17) 528. ENDS

Gaughran wins Cochrane Cup

The Cochrane Cup was won by Ultan Gaughran who shot a nett two under par 70 over the tough Blue Course.

That gave a one shot win over fellow eight handcapper Conor Murphy who shot a 71 while Neal MacKell (3) took the Gross Prize with a three-over par 76.

Four pars, four bogies and a double bogey – at the seventh – meant Gaughran went to the turn in one over par nett but he turned things around on the back nine as he carded a gross 37 for a nett 33. After a bogey at the 10th, he parred the next two holes before birdieing the par three 13th. Back to back pars followed before a bogey five into the wind at the long 16th and he closed with pars at the 17th and 18th to sign for a gross 78 and a nett 70 which was excellent shooting on a day when the CSS was 75.

Conor Hackett (11), who won this year’s Captain’s Prize, took Cateogry 1 while Paddy Duffy (14) and Sean Gallagher (18) claimed the other two categories with Lee Egan (19) taking the juvenile prize. 

Sunday, October 6 – Cochrane Cup – Overall: Ultan Gaughran (8) 70, Conor Murphy (8) 71. Gross: Neil Mackell (3) 76. Category 1 (0-11): Conor Hackett (11) 73/32.5, Neil Mulloly (6) 73. Category 2 (12-17): Paddy Duffy (14) 75/36, Malcolm Drake (14) 72/35. Category 3 (18+): Sean Gallagher (18) 73, Benny O Shaughnessy (20) 75/36. Juvenile: Lee Egan (19) 80. CSS: 75.

Brennan pips Alderdice to take Sunday’s Singles prize

Gerry Brennan was the winner of Sunday’s Singles Stableford competition with the four handicapper shooting a nett score of 39pts to pip the in-form Zak Alderdice (3) by one point.

After parring the first, blanking the second and parring the third, Brennan birdied the index one fourth to get his back on track with an eight point haul from the opening four holes.

He was steadiness personified from there to the turn as he picked up five successive two pointers to turn with 18pts. After a two point par at the tenth, he picked up his first three pointer of the day when he parred the index two 11th but handed that gain back at the next when he had to settle for one point after bogeying the par five.

Two point pars followed at the 13th and 14th before, like the thoroughbred he is, he made what proved to be the winning move by birdieing the 15th for three points and parring the index four 16th for three points.

After a two point par at 17, another three points were delivered on the last courtesy of a birdie three and he signed for an uncatchable total of 39pts.

Alderdice took Category One while Derek Teather (16) shot an excellent 37pts to take Category Two and Pat Daly (21) with 36pts won Category Three. Eoin Purton (18) was best juvenile while Brennan’s 35pts gross was the day’s best gross score.

The final Golfer of the Year event, the Corchrane Cup, take place this Sunday with defending champion Clem Walshe in pole position to retain his title as Mr Consistency.

Sunday, September 29 – Singles Stableford – Overall: Gerry Brennan (4) 39pts, Category 1 (0-12): Zak Alderdice (3) 38/18pts, Ultan Gaughran (9) 38pts. Category 2 (13–17): Derek Teather (16) 37pts, Len Mullins (15) 35pts. Category 3 (18+): Pat Daly (21) 36pts, Patsy Cole (18) 34pts. Best Gross: Gerry Brennan (4) 35/19pts. Best Juvenile: Eoin Purton (18) 33pts. CSS: 73 (35pts).

Captain Pat wins again with super 68

The burden of high office is not proving to be much of a distraction to our 2019 Captain Pat Davis who earlier this year won the Minor Scratch Cup.

On Sunday, he was in sparkling form again as he shot a four under par 68, off a handicap of 18, in difficult conditions from the back tees.

It was enough to win Sunday’s Singles Stroke competition which replaced the final Golfer of the Year competition, the Cochrane Cup, after it was deferred to another date because of the inclement weather on Sunday.

On a day when a Competition Standard Scratch of 75 clearly reflected the challenge the field faced, Davis managed to keep things together down the front nine as he turned in a nett 37 after two pars, four bogies and three double bogies.

Another double bogey followed at the 10th but he found himself back at level par to his handicap when he birdied the index two par four 11th and he then followed that up with a par five at the 12th and another birdie at the par three 13th.

It was bogey golf for the next four holes before finishing with a par at the last to return a gross score of 86 and a nett score of 68, which was enough to pip this year’s Junior Cup winner, Christy Ward (6), by one shot.

Ward had the day’s best gross and also took Category 1 while Cathal Muckian (11) and Brian Crombie (21) were the other category winners.

Sunday, September 22 – Singles Stroke – Overall: Pat Davis (18) 68. Category 1 (0-10): Christy Ward (6) 69. Category 2 (11-15): Cathal Muckian (11) 75. Category 3 (16+): Brian Crombie (21) 73. Best Gross: Christy Ward (6) 75. CSS:75.

Dundalk lose in Barton Shield All-Ireland semi-final

Dundalk Golf Club’s latest bid to win its first national senior title ended in disappointment last Friday morning when they were beaten by Co Sligo Golf Club in the semi-finals of the AIG Barton Shield in Westport.

Having lost in last year’s All-Ireland Final to Athenry, Dundalk travelled to the Co Mayo venue hoping to go one better after winning back to back Leinster titles in July when they beat The Island in the provincial decider at Royal Tara.

They went into the last four as second favourites behind Warrenpoint, who were bidding for their third Barton Shield title in four years, but, like Dundalk, they too fell at the semi-final stage.

Dundalk managers Alan McCabe and John Conlon went with the same pairings that had delivered both provincial titles with Aaron Grant and Josh Mackin up against Ruairi O’Connor and Thomas Finnegan in the top match while Caolan Rafferty and Eoin Murphy faced brothers TJ and Daniel Ford in the other.

Right from the beginning it was obvious that Dundalk were in trouble as they found themselves behind in both matches and never managed to get their noses in front in either of them after that.

After six holes Dundalk were three down in the top match and one down in the bottom match and by the turn Grant and Mackin were four down while Rafferty and Murphy were still one behind.

That meant Dundalk were five holes behind with 18 to play and while Rafferty and Murphy managed to get it back to all square by the 12th, up ahead of them it was looking ominous as Grant and Mackin were five down with six to play in their match.

It was all over a few holes later as Dundalk ran out of holes with Grant and Mackin seven down with two play while Rafferty and Murphy were all square with three to play.

“It was disappointing not to perform the way we know we can but these things happen in sport and all we can do is pick ourselves up and get ready to have another shot at it next year,” said joint manager John Conlon.

“We still managed to retain our Leinster title this year which is a fair achievement but the lads really wanted to bring home a green one and they are gutted they didn’t do that especially for the large group of supporters who travelled to Mayo for the All-Ireland Finals.”

In the final on Friday afternoon it was Co Sligo’s turn to be on the end of a seven hole defeat as they lost to Limerick.

Rafferty wins Scratch Cup for third time in four years

Caolan Raffertty

Caolan Rafferty has won One Finance sponsored Dundalk Scratch Cup for the third time in four years after dominating proceedings over his home course today.

The 26-year-old Walker Cup player followed up a bogey-free five under par 67 in the first round of the 36 hole competition with a four under par 68 to finish on nine under and five clear of Warrenpoint’s Colm Campbell in second place.

“It’s a good feeling,” said Rafferty afterwards. “I played really well and as Conor (Purcell) said I didn’t miss too many shots today. I put myself in good position off the tee and then hit my approach shots to within makeable positions. The birdies I did make, I chipped in twice, but the rest of them were pretty much straight-forward. Overall, it was pretty solid.”

Rafferty began his first round with five straight pars before birdieing the par five sixth and turned on two under after a birdie at the par four eighth. More birdies followed at the 10th and 14th before he sank a 15ft putt on the last for his fifth birdie of the round.

Campbell, who won in 2017, fired seven birdies on his way to an opening round of 68 which left him one shot behind Rafferty at the halfway mark of this 36 hole competition with Royal Dublin’s Richard Knightly two shots further back after a two under par 70 which included a run of three birdies from the 10th.

Campbell drew level with playing partner Rafferty at the beginning of the second round when he birdied the opening hole to move to five under and then holed his ninth birdie of the day on the third to join Rafferty on six under after he too had a three at the par four hole.

But the Warrenpoint man, who won this competition in 2017, saw his challenge fade away as he bogeyed three of the next four holes to drop to three under while Rafferty moved to seven under by birdieing the par three fifth.
Immediately ahead of them, Knightly was also going backwards thanks to a double bogey seven at the sixth and a bogey five at the eighth.

Rafferty picked up shots at the 10th and 11th, where he chipped in, to move to nine under before having his first bogey in 32 holes when he chunked a chip on the short par four 14th and failed to get up and down.

“I’m still annoyed about the only bogey I made. I tried over the last two years to go around without a bogey but I bogeyed 16 last year and 14 this year for my only bogeys of the tournament. It would have been nice to go 36 holes without a bogey but that’s the joys of it and a win is a win at the end of the day.”

Rafferty got his round back to nine under on the last when, much to delight of the large home support, he drained a 30ft putt for his 10th birdie of the day to round off a highly impressive performance in which he seemed oblivious to the incessant rain that fell throughout the afternoon round.

The only other sub-70 round in the afternoon came from course record holder and last year’s runner-up, Gerard Dunne of Co Louth, who shot a three under par 69 to finish in third place overall, six shots adrift of the winner.

LEADERBOARD:
135 – Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk) 67, 68.
140 – Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint) 68, 72.
141 – Gerard Dunne (Co Louth) 72, 69; Paul Conroy (Enniscorthy) 71, 70.
144 – Marc McKinstry (Cairndhu) 73, 71; Conor Purcell (Portmarnock) 71, 73; Richard Knightly (Royal Dublin) 70, 74.
145 – Jake Whelan (Newlands) 72, 73
146 – Eoin Murphy (Dundalk) 76, 70; Stephen Coulter (Warrenpoint) 71, 75;
147 – Eugene Smith (Portmarnock Links) 75, 72; Liam Grehan (Mullingar) 73, 74; Max Kennedy (Royal Dublin) 71, 76.

RESULTS
1st Caolan Rafferty (+6, Dundalk) 135 (67/68), 2nd Colm Campbell Jnr (+4, Warrenpoint) 140 (68/72), 3rd Gerard Dunne (+3, Co Louth) 141 (72/69), 4th Paul Conroy (+1, Enniscorthy) 141 (71/70). Best Nett: Fionntan Lawlor (3, Corballis) 145 (76/69). 1st 18 Gross: Richard Knightly (+2, Royal Dublin) 70. 1st 18 Nett: Liam Abom (1, Edmondstown) 70. 2nd 18 Gross: Eoin Murphy (+1, Dundalk) 70. 2nd 18 Nett: Lee Mitchell (2, Knock) 71/36. 1st Round CSS 74/75. 2nd Round CSS 74. Player name Handicap rd1 rd2 Total score

Full Results

Position-Name-Handicap-R1-R2-Total

1 RAFFERTY, CAOLAN -6 67 68 135

2 CAMPBELL, COLM JNR -4 68 72 140

3 Conroy, Paul -1 71 70 141

4 Dunne, Gerard -3 72 69 141

5 MCKINSTRY, MARC -1 73 71 144

6 KNIGHTLY, Richard -2 70 74 144

7 Purcell, Conor -5 71 73 144

8 Whelan, Jake -2 72 73 145

9 MURPHY, EOIN -1 76 70 146

10 COULTER, STEPHEN -2 71 75 146

11 Smith, Eugene -2 75 72 147

12 Grehan, Liam -2 73 74 147

13 Kennedy, Max -2 71 76 147

14 LENEHAN, GEOFFREY -3 74 74 148

15 Mitchell, Lee 2 76 73 149

16 CURRAN, CONOR 1 77 72 149

17 Carter, Shaun -2 75 74 149

18 GRANT, AARON -1 73 76 149

19 Dullaghan, Cian -2 73 76 149

20 Cullen, Gary -3 74 75 149

21 Boggan, Ciaran 1 75 75 150

22 Farrell, Evan -1 75 75 150

23 McCabe, Joshua -2 76 74 150

24 Lawlor, Fionntan 3 79 72 151

25 Shipp, Evan 1 72 80 152

26 Copeland, Gerard -1 74 78 152

27 ALDERDICE, ZAK 4 77 76 153

28 ABOM, LIAM 1 71 82 153

29 Geraghty, Cian 0 82 72 154

30 Pepper, Tomas 2 77 77 154

31 Coyle, Daniel 0 78 76 154

32 Mc DONNELL, CHARLIE 2 76 78 154 33

Holland, Daniel -2 72 82 154

34 GORHAM, MARK 3 75 80 155

35 Denvir, Charlie -2 75 80 155

36 Kelly, Tom S 2 78 78 156

37 HESSION, SHANE 3 77 79 156

38 McGlynn, Shane 1 79 77 156

39 BRENNAN, GERRY 4 76 80 156

40 Mulligan, Daniel 2 75 81 156

41 Plunkett, Thomas -1 77 79 156

42 MURDOCK, CONALL 5 77 80 157

43 Connell, Charlie 2 79 79 158

44 Doggett, Benjamin 1 79 79 158

45 RAFFERTY, KYLE 5 75 83 158

46 McCabe, Stephen 3 76 83 159

47 MacKELL, NEAL 3 75 84 159

48 Grant, Niall 2 82 78 160

49 Cully, Liam 3 81 79 160

50 O’Connor, Tadhg 3 81 79 160

51 Duffy, Bevan 2 83 78 161

52 Winters, David 1 77 85 162

53 HURLEY, ALAN 5 84 84 168

Caolan Rafferty receives the Dundalk Scratch Cup from Dundalk Golf Club Captain Pat Davis and Event Sponsor, Martin McDonnell of One Finance.

Rafferty leads Scratch Cup after bogey-free 67

Caolan Rafferty leads the One Finance sponsored Dundalk Scratch Cup after this morning’s opening round.


The 26-year-old Walker Cup player shot a bogey-free five under par 67 over his home course and holds a one-shot lead over Warrenpoint’s Colm Campbell going into this afternoon’s second round.


Rafferty, who is bidding for a third win in four years, opened with five straight pars before birdieing the par five sixth and turned on two under after a birdie at the par four eighth. More birdies followed at the 10th and 14th before he sank a 15ft putt on the last for his fifth birdie of the round.

Campbell, who won in 2017, fired seven birdies on his way to an opening round of 68 which left him one shot behind Rafferty at the halfway mark of this 36 hole competition.
Royal Dublin’s Richard Knightley is lying third three shots off the lead after a two under par 70 which included back to back birdies at the third and fourth and a run of three successive birdies from the 10th.

He is one shot clear of a group of five players on 71 which includes Australian Amateur champion Conor Purcell, who played alongside his Walker Cup teammate Rafferty and Ireland international colleague Tiarnan McLarnon. Purcell ended up on one under despite shooting three birdies over his first seven holes.

The second round takes place this afternoon.

LEADERBOARD: 67 – Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk); 68 – Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint); 70 – Richard Knightley (Royal Dublin); 71 – Max Kennedy (Royal Dublin), Stephen Coulter (Warrenpoint), Liam Abom (Edmondstown), Conor Purcell (Royal Dublin), Paul Conroy (Warrenpoint). 72 – Evan Shipp (Headfort), Jake Whelan (Newlands), Daniel Holland (Castle), Gerard Dunne (Co Louth).

DETAILED ROUND 1 SCORES
Place Player name (H’cap) Score Front Back

1 RAFFERTY, CAOLAN (-6) 67 34.0 33.0
2 CAMPBELL, COLM JNR ] (-4) 68 33.0 35.0
3 KNIGHTLY, Richard (-2) 70 36.0 34.0
4 Kennedy, Max (-2) 71 38.0 33.0
5 COULTER, STEPHEN (-2) 71 37.0 34.0
6 ABOM, LIAM (1) 71 35.0 36.0
7 Purcell, Conor (-5) 71 34.0 37.0
8 Conroy, Paul ( -1) 71 33.0 38.0
9 Shipp, Evan (1) 72 35.0 37.0
10 Whelan, Jake (-2) 72 35.0 37.0
11 Holland, Daniel (-2) 72 35.0 37.0
12 Dunne, Gerard (-3) 72 34.0 38.0
13 GRANT, AARON (-1) 73 38.0 35.0
14 Grehan, Liam (-2) 73 37.0 36.0
15 MCKINSTRY, MARC (-1) 73 37.0 36.0
16 Dullaghan, Cian (-2) 73 36.0 37.0
17 LENEHAN, GEOFFREY (-3) 74 39.0 35.0
18 Cullen, Gary (-3) 74 39.0 35.0
19 Copeland, Gerard (-1) 74 36.0 38.0
20 Keating, Dylan (-3) 74 36.0 38.0
21 Carter, Shaun (-2) 75 39.0 36.0
22 Boggan, Ciaran (1) 75 39.0 36.0
23 Denvir, Charlie (-2) 75 38.0 37.0
24 RAFFERTY, KYLE (5) 75 38.0 37.0
25 MacKELL, NEAL (3) 75 38.0 37.0
26 GORHAM, MARK (3) 75 38.0 37.0
27 Mulligan, Daniel (2) 75 38.0 37.0
28 Smith, Eugene (-2) 75 38.0 37.0
29 Farrell, Evan (-1) 75 35.0 40.0
30 MACKIN, JOSH (-1) 76 39.0 37.0
31 McCabe, Stephen (3 ) 76 39.0 37.0
32 Mitchell, Lee (2) 76 39.0 37.0
33 BRENNAN, GERRY (4) 76 38.0 38.0
34 MURPHY, EOIN (-1) 76 37.0 39.0
35 Mc DONNELL, CHARLIE (2) 76 36.0 40.0
36 McCabe, Joshua (-2) 76 35.0 41.0
37 MURDOCK, CONALL (5) 77 40.0 37.0
38 ALDERDICE, ZAK (4) 77 40.0 37.0
39 CURRAN, CONOR (1) 77 39.0 38.0
40 LAWLOR, BRENDAN (0) 77 39.0 38.0
41 MURPHY, MAURICE J 3 77 39.0 38.0
42 Pepper, Tomas (2) 77 39.0 38.0
43 Plunkett, Thomas (-1) 77 39.0 38.0
44 HESSION, SHANE (3) 77 39.0 38.0
45 Winters, David (1) 77 38.0 39.0
46 McLarnon, Tiarnan (-4) 77 38.0 39.0
47 Kelly, Tom S (2) 78 42.0 36.0
48 Coyle, Daniel (0) 78 42.0 36.0
49 O’CALLAGHAN, NIALL (2) 78 41.0 37.0
50 WALSHE, CLEM (4) 78 39.0 39.0
51 Connell, Charlie (2) 79 42.0 37.0
52 McGlynn, Shane (1) 79 40.0 39.0
53 Lawlor, Fionntan (3) 79 40.0 39.0
54 Doggett, Benjamin (1) 79 38.0 41.0
55 Cully, Liam (3) 81 42.0 39.0
56 O’Connor, Tadhg (3) 81 40.0 41.0
57 Geraghty, Cian (0) 82 44.0 38.0
58 Cullen, Christopher (3) 82 43.0 39.0
59 Grant, Niall (2) 82 43.0 39.0
60 ROGERS, PETER (2) 82 42.0 40.0
61 LAVERTY, JOSEPH (6) 83 43.0 40.0
62 Duffy, Bevan (2) 83 41.0 42.0
63 HURLEY, ALAN (5) 84 44.0 40.0
64 Tracey, Ciaran (2) 85 41.0 44.0

CSS 74 Home, 75 away