Mixed fortunes for teams but two move on

There were mixed fortunes for Dundalk Golf Club teams last Saturday but two teams managed to progress to the next stage of their respective competitions.

The Mixed Foursomes team defeated Greenore on Saturday but the ladies Minor team saw their run come to an end at the hands of Ashbourne in a match played in Beaverstown.

The Jimmy Bruen team, managed by Fergal Harte and Clem Walshe, qualified for the regional semi-final in a blustery Roganstown Golf Club.

The new look line up featured many of Dundalk’s young up and coming players who showed maturity beyond their years to get the job done and ensure the club qualified for the section semi- final which will be played against Balbriggan on Sunday next, June 24, at 8am in Roganstown. The regional final will be played that afternoon against the winners of Forrest Little and Co Louth at 2pm.

Balbriggan were the leading qualifiers on 336, which was five ahead of Forest Little and Co Louth on 341 with Dundalk a shot further back on 342.

A big incentive for Dundalk is that the Leinster Finals take place in Mount Wolseley on Saturday, July 21, alongside the Barton Shield which Dundalk have already qualified for.

This Thursday, the Ladies Revive Active team face Ardee in the Third Round of the competition at 3.30pm with the three matches in Dundalk while at 4pm the All-Ireland Fourball team will meet Malahide In the Leinster quarter-finals with three of the five matches at home.

 

Keane takes Lady Captain’s Prize to the Men

A former Men’s Captain, Brendan Keane, was the winner of Lady Captain Pat Cleary’s Prize to the Men on Sunday when he shot a four under par 68 to win by one shot.

He took full advantage of an early start which allowed him to miss the rain that descended on many of the later starters and made a tough blue course even tougher in the windy conditions.

Keane, playing off 12, went through the opening nine in nett level par as pars at the third, fourth and eighth, where he had shots, cancelled out double bogeys at the first and ninth and a bogey at the second where he didn’t have a shot.

It was much more positive for Keane down the back nine beginning with a birdie four at the par five 10th which was a nett eagle to bring him to two under par. He went to three under with a nett birdie at the par five 12th.

He dropped a shot with a bogey at the par three 13th but got it back with a par into the wind at the index six 15th and went to four under with a wind assisted par at the index four 16th.

Another par three bogey, at the 17th, momentarily took him back to three-under but he eventually signed for a four under par net 68 after a fine par on the last which was playing long into an extremely strong wind.

It proved to be a vital nett birdie as he finished one shot ahead of Mark Browne (16), Danny Miele (11) and Barry O’Hanrahan (20) who all finished on 69 and had to be separated on countback.

Browne, who has been cut six shots already this year, prevailed with a better back nine and his handicap will continue to plummet. Miele took Category One while O’Hanrahan won Category Three and Declan Muckian (14) claimed Category Two after a 70.

Aaron Grant (+2) produced an excellent round of level par 72 to win the gross prize while another former captain, Dermot Duffy (25), took the Veteran’s Prize with a one-under par 71.

Sunday, June 17 – Lady Captain’s (Pat Cleary) Prize to Men – Overall: Brendan Keane (12) 68, Mark Browne (16) 69/33. Gross: Aaron Grant (+2) 72. Veteran: Dermot Duffy (25) 71. Category 1 ( 0-12): Danny Miele (11) 69, Mark Cumiskey (9 ) 70. Category 2 (13-17): Declan Muckian (14 ) 70, Gerard Daly (14) 73/36. Category 3 (18–28); Barry O’Hanrahan (20 ) 69, Caoimhin O’Callaghan (20) 70. CSS: 74.

 

Consistent Connolly takes Sunday’s Singles

JP Connolly took full advantage of the excellent conditions to win Sunday’s Singles Stableford with an excellent score of 43pts which was two better than Benny O’Shaughnessy and Kieran Arthurs.

Connolly, playing off 25, scored at every hole and his only one pointers came back to back on the 12th and 13th as he compiled a round that included one four pointer, seven three pointers and eight two pointers.

His first three pointer came at the index five third which he bogeyed and he then had back to back three pointers when he parred the fifth and sixth holes.

Another followed with a par on the par five 10th and he then covered the last five holes in 15 points courtesy of a four point par at the index four 15th and three point pars at the 14th, 17th and 18th.

Behind him, O’Shaughnessy (20) took second place overall after his 23pts on the back nine was better than that returned by Arthurs but the 12 handicapper did take the Category Two prize. Nicholas McKeown (10) claimed Cateogry 1 with 39pts while Brendan Tinnelly (20) took Category 3 with 38pts. The best gross score came from Maurice Murphy (3) with 34pts.

Sunday, June 10 – Singles Stableford Competition – Overall: JP Connolly (25) 43pts, Benny O’Shaughnessy (20) 41/23pts. Category 1 (0-11): Nicholas McKeown (10) 39pts, Ciaran Sheridan (5) 38/20pts. Category 2 (12-17): Kieran Arthurs (12) 41pts, Derek Teather (17) 38/19pts. Category 3 (18 -28): Brendan Tinnelly (20) 38pts, John McLaughlin (20) 37pts. Gross: Maurice Murphy (3) 34pts. CSS: 72 (36pts).

 

 

 

Rafferty finishes third in East of Ireland

Caolan Rafferty went very close to capturing his first golfing major over the June Bank Holiday weekend when he finished third at the East of Ireland Championship at Co Louth Golf Club.

The Dundalk Golf Club player shot rounds of 69, 69, 66 and 73 to finish on 11 under par, three shots behind the winner Christo Lamprecht from South Africa.

Two steady three-under-par rounds of 69 left Rafferty on six-under par and tied for fourth, four shots off the lead, heading into the final two rounds on the Bank Holiday Monday.

Rafferty then produced a magnificent six-under-par 66 in the third round to moved up to joint second and close the gap on Lamprecht to one shot with 18 holes to play.

The news that he was in contention travelled fast and a large crowd made its way to Baltray for the afternoon round in the hope of seeing a Dundalk member win the East of Ireland for the first time since Mick Ferguson in 1949.

After three putting the opening hole for bogey, Rafferty soon settled down and birdies at the third, fourth and sixth moved him to 14 under. With the South African teenager having dropped shots at the second and fifth, Rafferty found himself leading the Championship with 11 holes to go.

However, a wayward tee shot on the eight found a deep fairway bunker on the right from which he could only pitch out and although he hit a glorious approach shot to within 15 feet of the pin he shaved the hole with his par-saving putt.

That left him tied for the lead but back to back bogeys on the 10th and 11th from the middle of the fairway saw him drop to 11-under and although he parred his way in, he couldn’t find the birdies he badly needed to haul the South African in.

To compound his disappointment Rafferty was pipped for second place by Mark Power who finished on 12-under thanks to three brides on the last six holes.

Nonetheless, it was a great performance from Rafferty, his best ever in one of the GUI’s major tournaments, and suggests that his day is not too far away at this stage.

His Dundalk team-mate, Aaron Grant failed to make the final day after a second round 81 undid his excellent score of 72 in the opening round. A triple bogey six at the par three seventh, when he was lying level par for the tournament, followed by bogeys at the next two holes proved to be his undoing.

Rafferty then headed to Scotland for the St Andrews Links Trophy which took place over the weekend but rounds of 73 and 74 saw him miss the cut, which fell at one-over par, by three shots

 

 

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.

 

Two more teams into Leinster quarter-finals

It’s been another good week on the team front for Dundalk Golf Club as two teams took big steps towards Leinster pennants at the expense of Headfort Golf Club.

The men’s All-Ireland Fourball Team and the ladies’ Mary McKenna Diamond Trophy team have both reached the Leinster quarter-finals of their respective competitions after tough matches against their opponents from Meath.

The ladies produced a superb performance last Wednesday when they went to Kells and beat the home club 4-1 to advance to a last eight meeting with The Island, who defeated the reigning national and provincial  champions, Royal Tara, 3-2 in their second round tie.

Managed by Mags Coburn and Rita Moriarity, the ladies played some great golf and got on top early on in four of the five matches.

In the top match, Elizabeth McGuinness and Briege Renaghan were three up after four holes and although the Headfort pairing responded down the back nine and closed the gap to one hole with two to play, the Dundalk pairing held on win by one hole.

That match produced the winning point because Maureen Sheridan & Gerardine Blackmore had closed out their match on the 17th for a 2&1 win having got a firm grip on it when they went two up on the 15th.

Mary Hession and Siobhan Duffy put the first Dundalk point on the board with an impressive performance that saw them go five up after eight holes and they eventually ended it on the 15th to record a 4&3 win.

The other pairings of Anne Murray and Mary Dooley, and Theresa Smyth and Oonagh Quinn, were both well in the hunt for victory when their matches were called in.

Having been drawn away to Donabate and Headfort in the opening two rounds, Dundalk will now have home advantage later this month when they face The Island for a place in the Leinster semi-finals.

The men’s All-Ireland Fourball team, under the management of Frank Byrne and Larry Soraghan, beat Headfort 3-2 last Saturday in a contest that saw all five matches decided on the 17th hole.

Play began in the three away matches at Headfort at 9.30am as Dundalk went in search of an away point to ensure the two home matches in Blackrock, which didn’t tee-off until 12.45pm, would determine the overall outcome.

In the top match Eamonn McEneaney and Michael Begley lost 2&1 despite returning a betterball score in excess of 40pts. Having halved seven of the opening nine holes, the pairing turned level and the home side went one up on the 11th when they hit a 200 yard shot to within inches of the hole for a birdie. A controversial ruling on the 15th paved the way for Headfort to go two up on the 15th and they held on to close it out on the 17th.

In the next match Colm Garvey and Davy Cairns got off to a great start and were two up after seven but the Headfort duo came back at them and won five of the next seven holes to take a three hole lead. The Dundalk pairing won the 15th but had to settle for halves on the next two holes as the Meathmen held on for another 2&1 win.

That left Kevin Carthy and Ray Pepper holding Dundalk’s fate in their hands and they were up against Headfort’s strongest pairing who had not been beaten in five years of matchplay and never taken beyond the 15th hole.

However, it was soon obvious that the Meathmen hadn’t met the likes of Carthy and Pepper before as they took the lead on the second when Pepper parred. Headfort came back and were one up after 10 but then Carthy took centre stage and parred the next three holes to move Dundalk in a two hole lead with five to play. Headfort won the 14th but Pepper parred the 15th to restore the two hole advantage and, after halving the 16th, the Dundalk pairing took the 17th with a par from Carthy to record a 3&1 win.

That left Dundalk trailing 2-1 but with the two home matches still to be decided. In the top match match Peter O’Brien and Dermot McKenna found themselves one down immediately after losing the opening hole and then went two down after four before pars at the fifth and sixth brought their match back to all square.

The Dundalk pairing eventually took the lead on the ninth with a birdie and went two up on the tenth with par. Headfort won the 12th but Dundalk took the 13th to restore the two hole advantage. The away team then won the 15th with a par to reduce the deficit to one with three to play but after 16 was halved in fives, Dundalk closed out the match on the 17th when McKenna sank a short putt for the hole and a 2&1 win.

Behind them Adrian Kenny and Gerry McDermott were never behind but they were made to fight all the way by their dogged opponents. The Dundalk duo won the second and third to open a two hole lead but then lost the fifth to a par and the sixth to a birdie as the match returned to all square.

Headfort then missed a glorious opportunity to take the lead on the seventh when they three putted from 15th feet and they were left to rue that miss two holes later when Kenny rolled in a short biride putt after a magnificent seven iron tee shot.

Dundalk moved two holes clear on the 12th when McDermott holed a breaking downhill putt from 30 feet and a par at the next saw them take a three hole lead. Wayward teeshots at the 14th allowed Headfort take the hole and reduce the gap to two but Kenny and McDermott then halved the next three holes to win 2&1 and secure the winning point for Dundalk.

In the Leinster quarter-finals, Dundalk will have home advantage against either Donabate or Malahide.

This weekend will see Dundalk Golf Club host a qualifying round in the AIG Junior Cup with nine clubs, including Dundalk, teeing it up in qualifying on Saturday with the top two qualifiers advancing to the matchplay final on Sunday morning.

Dundalk reach Barton Shield quarter-finals

Barton Shield squad

Dundalk Golf Club have reached the last eight of the Leinster section of the Barton Shield for the second successive year after some superb performances at Balcarrick Golf Club over the weekend.

After qualifying in second place behind Portmarnock on Saturday, Dundalk then beat Greenore and Royal Dublin in Sunday’s matchplay ties to advance to the Leinster Finals which will take place in Mount Wolseley on the weekend of July 20 and 21.

With recently crowned club champion Caolan Rafferty away on international duty in France with Ireland, Dundalk managers Alan McCabe, John Conlon and Fergal Harte looked to Conor Curran to step up to the plate and he didn’t disappoint.

Curran partnered Irish Boys international Eoin Murphy while the experienced Aaron Grant was paired with the club’s other Boys International, Josh Mackin for the foursomes event.

Both pairings shot rounds of 76 as Dundalk finished three shots behind Portmarnock in qualifying but well inside the qualifying mark of 160 from which the field of 25 clubs was whittled down to eight for the matchplay phase where two clubs would qualify for the Leinster finals.

On Sunday morning, Dundalk faced neighbours Greenore and beat them by four holes with Murphy and Curran winning by one hole while Grant and Mackin were 3up when they were called in, having been all square at the turn.

That earned the team an afternoon match against Royal Dublin for a place in Mount Wolseley in July and things didn’t look good in the top match early on as Murphy and Curran found themselves two down but birdies on seven and 11 brought them back to all square.

They went behind again when they lost the 15th but came good in the end by winning the final two holes to win their match 1up.

Grant and Mackin got their noses in front early on by sinking birdie putts to win two of the first three holes and they then won the 10th and the 11th to extend their lead to four holes with seven to play.

They were still four ahead with four to play but then saw their lead halved when Royal Dublin won the 15th and 16th but a half on the 17th ensured a two hole victory as the match was called in once Murphy and Curran had got over the line up ahead.

Next up for Dundalk’s elite squad will be the Senior Cup qualifier on June 23 in Laytown & Bettystown when the format will be five singles matches.

Dundalk’s elite ladies were also in action on the Donabate peninsula on Sunday as they faced a Senior Foursomes qualifier along with 11 other clubs at Donabate Golf Club and were unlucky to encounter the worst of the heavy rain which fell in the Fingal area during the afternoon.

The team of Jennifer Holland, Criona O’Reilly, Jacinta Foran, Elaine Ward, Ann Hopper and Pauline Campbell missed out by two shots on qualifying for the next phase of the competition,

The JB Carr Diamond Trophy Team went down fighting as they tried in vain to overhaul a 0-5 deficit when they faced Greenore in the second leg of the Co Louth on the Cooley Peninsula last Friday. Despite giving from one to three shots to their opponents in each of their matches, the Dundalk pairings were two up in two matches and level in two others when they were called in after Greenore got the point they needed for overall victory with a 3&2 win as they closed out the top match on the 16th hole.

The inter-club competitions continue this week with all eyes on the All-Ireland Fourball team who meet Headfort on Saturday in the last 16 of the Leinster section. Three of the matches are in Kells with the other two in Dundalk.

 

Ladies Senior Foursomes team

 

 

Rafferty best of the Irish in France

Caolan Rafferty

Caolan Raffety finished best of the Irish at the French Amateur Championship in Chantilly over the weekend.

Rafferty ended up tied for 16th place on two over par, which was seven shots behind the winner Hubert Tisserand of France.

A disappointing opening round of 74 during which he played well but failed to get any sort of breaks left Rafferty in 61st place on three over and in real danger of missing the cut which was confined to the top 40 players.

However, he rallied brilliantly in Saturday’s second round and jumped 36 places up the leaderboard after a two under par round of 69 which featured four birdies and an eagle three at the par five ninth.

The third and fourth rounds were played on Sunday and after a one over par round of 72 in the morning which left him in 24th place, Rafferty moved up eight places in the afternoon as he birdied two of the final three holes to finish on level par for the round.

The Dundalk player will be action nearer to home this weekend as he tees it up in the East of Ireland at Baltray before heading to Scotland for the St Andrews Trophy.