Early pace-setter Hanratty hangs on

Early starter Eugene Hanratty was proof that the early bird gets the worm when he posted a score that wasn’t bettered by the other 115 competitors in Sunday’s Singles Stableford competition which was played over 15 holes due to the ongoing course improvement work.

Playing off 10, Hanratty opened up with 10 points from the first four holes courtesy of pars at the first and fourth. With the fifth closed, he then took seven points from the next four holes to turn with 17pts.

Despite 17 and 18 being closed, Hanratty had run up another 18pts by the time he walked off the 16th thanks mainly to a three point birdie at the 10th, a four point birdie at the 15th and three point par at the 16th

That set the score to beat and several players did come close with Brendan Keane and John McLaughlin matching Hanratty’s 35pts but losing out on countback. McLaughlin (25) had to settle for the Category Three prize while Keane (13) finished second overall after an impressive round.

Last year’s Club Captain stormed through first four holes collecting 12 points thanks to three point pars at holes two and four and a four point birdie three at the tricky third. He picked up another eight points from the sixth to the ninth which included a superb birdie three on the eighth after he had messed up the par five seventh and walked off with just one point.

That left him on 20pts for the opening eight holes and over the final seven he picked up another 15pts thanks to three point pars at 12, 13 and 16. But he was left to rue one point returns from the 11th and 14th which ultimately saw up come up short by the narrowest of margins.

The other category prizes were claimed by Paul Morrison (Cat 1) and Aidan Gaughran (Cat 2).

Sunday, March 13 – Overall: E J Hanratty (10) 35/21pts, Brendan Keane (13) 35/20pts. Category 1: Paul Morrison (10) 34/22pts, Pat Donaghy (12) 34/20pts. Category 2: Aidan Gaughran (13) 34/20/14pts, David Cairns (17) 34pts. Category 3: John McLaughlin (25) 35pts, Caoimhan O’Callaghan (21) 34pts.


Ceann Scribe hang on to take Tiernan’s Centra Blackrock Winter League

Team Ceann Scribe won the Tiernan’s Centra Blackrock Winter League when they defeated Team Deer Park 5-3 in Sunday’s Matchplay Final.

After winning the qualifying league by a massive 39pts from Ceann Scribe, Deer Park were odds-on favourites to take the 2016 title but the unavailability of three players meant they were forced to concede walkovers to their opponents and they were three matches down before a ball was struck.

Despite this disadvantage, they went agonisingly close to a memorable victory as the five remaining players battled valiantly to defy the odds in the 14 hole event.

Team captain Christy Ward led the way with an emphatic 36pts to 28pts victory over Turlough King during which he reeled off four birdies while Eamonn McEneany produced three birdies on his way to pipping Eugene Hanratty 36-35 in pulsating battling and Kevin Carthy also came out on top by a single point as he beat Joe Flanagan 36-35 in another gripping contest.

That left it 3-3 but Ceann Scribe captain Danny Miele beat David Murden 35-31 to edge his team front and it was left to Len Mullins to get them over the finishing line as he just held off the brave challenge of Micky Stewart to win 34-33 and secure the title for Ceann Scribe.

Eamonn McEnenay’s score was enough to win the Overall Individual Prize for the second time during this year’s Winter’s League as he pipped Kevin Carthy on countback while the Category winners were Christy Ward, Tommy Reneghan and Caoimhan O’Callaghan.

When all the individual scores over the duration of the Winter League were totted up the overall category winners were Sean Hession in Category 1, Tom Clarke on Category 2 and Sean Quigley in Category 3. Hession actually tied with Mickey Coburn for the Category 1 prize but won 33-31 in a play-off.

Tiernan’s Centra Blackrock Winter League Final – Ceann Scribe 5 Deer Park 3 : Turlough King lst Christy Ward 28-36, Danny Miele bt David Murden 35-31, Len Mullins bt Micky Stewart 34-33, Eugene Hanratty lst to Eamonn McEneaney 35-36, Joe Flanagan lst to Kevin Carthy 35-36, Conall Murdock bt Alan Hurley w/o, Kevin Barry bt Gregory McCaughey w/o, Sean Gallagher bt Seamus Capplis w/o.

Tiernan’s Centra Blackrock Winter League Individual Category Winners – Category 1: Sean Hession 186pts. Category 2: Tom Clarke 177pts. Category 3: Sean Quigley 180pts.

Sunday, March 6, Singles Stableford Competition – Overall: Eamon McEneaney (17) 36/25pts, 2nd: Kevin Carthy (20) 36/24pts. Category 1: Christy Ward (11) 36pts, Austin Shaw (9) 34pts. Category 2: Tommy Renaghan (13) 35/22 pts, Danny Miele (13) 35pts. Category 3: Caoimhan O’Callaghan (21), 36pts, 2nd: Joe Flanagan (20) 35/24/17pts.

Team Deer Park in the driving seat in Winter League




With one round to go, Team Deer Park are firmly in the driving seat to qualify for the final of the Tiernan’s Centra Blackrock Winter League and have extended their lead at the top of the standings.

Their overall score of 145 was two better than second place Team Ceann Scribe and allowed them to go 26 points clear at the top of the table. With a 38 point gap between them and third placed An Seach they are now odds-on to qualify for the matchplay final between the top two sides.

The question as to who will be their opponents is still up for grabs. Twelve points separate Ceann Scribe from An Seach so there will be plenty to play for when the Winter League resumes on February 28.

This Sunday, our 2016 captains Maurice Soraghan and Jean Connolly, will have their Captain’s drive-in.

The weekend Singles Stableford competition was won by Michael Coburn (8) who edged out Austin Shaw (9) on countback after both return scored of 33pts for the 14 hole event.

Gregory McCaughey (10) also shot 33pts to take Category 1 from Kevin Barry (10) while Derek Murdock (13) took Category 2 with 32pts from Anthony O’Donoghue (15). Sean Gallagher (25) won Category 3 with 31pts from Eamon Hoey (18).

Singles Stableford Competition – Overall: Michael Coburn (8) 33/22/17/9pts, Austin Shaw (9) 33/22pts. Category 1: Gregory McCaughey (10) 33pts. Kevin Barry (10) 31/21/15pts. Category 2: Derek Murdock (13) 32pts. Anthony O’Donoghue (15) 30/21/14pts. Category 3: Sean Gallagher (25) 31pts. Eamon Hoey (18) 30pts. CSS: Non Qualifying

Tiernan’s Centra Blackrock Winter League Standings: 744 – Team Deer Park. 718 – Team Ceann Scribe. 706 – Team An Seach. 705 – Team Cooley View.  695 – Team Braid’s Way.  694 – Team Felda. 687 – Team Stile. 676 – Team Hawk’s Nest. 673 – Team Slieve Gullion. 672 – Team Bearna Baoil. 651 – Team Jimmy Cassidy. 646 – Team McGeogh. 644 – Team Chapel Pass. 641 – Team Whitworth. 640 – Team Cook’s Lane. 627 – Team Whinney Knoll. 535 – Team The Haggard. 507 – Team Old Clubhouse

Team Felda set early pace in Centra Winter League

Team Felda lead the Tiernan’s Centra Blackrock Winter League after Round 1 on 151 points which is four ahead of Team Deer Park with Team McGeough another four points back on 143.

Sean Hession (9), with 33pts, top-scored for Felda with P Watters (31pts), Pat McGuinness (30pts), Fergal McKenna (30pts) and Seamus Bailey (27pts) the other counting scorers for the team.

Brian Gaughran of Team An Seach, playing off 14, was the best individual scorer on Sunday with 33pts, winning on countback from Eugene Hanratty (18) of Team Ceann Scribe with Sean Hession third.

A number of Saturday slots were also made available for Winter League competitors and saw a fine 36pts from David Brenndan (13) of Team Cooley View with Tommy McDonnell of Team Chapel Pass returning an equally impressive 35pts.


Sunday, January 17 – Singles Stableford 14 hole Competition: Brian Gaughran (14)           33/18pts; Eugene Hanratty (18) 33/16/8pts, Sean Hession (9) 33pts, Vincent Murphy (16) 32/18/12pts, Barry Grennan (12) 32pts.

Saturday, January 16 – Singles Stableford 14 hole Competition: David Brennan (13)         36pts; Tommy Mc Donnell (22) 35pts.

Tiernan’s Centra Blackrock Winter League (after Round 1): 151 – Team Felda, 147  – Team Deer Park, 143 – Team McGeogh, 142 – Team Bearna Baoil, Team Cooley View, 140 – Team Braid’s Way, Team Hawk’s Nest, 139 – Team Ceann Scribe, 138 – Team An Seach, 137 – Team Chapel Pass, Team Slieve Gullion, 136 – Team The Haggard, 135 – Team Cook’s Lane, Team Stile, 134 – Team Whinney Knoll, Team Whitworth, 122 – Team Jimmy Cassidy, 50 – Team Old Clubhouse.




Irish PGA Championship at Dundalk a big success

Irish PGA ChampionThe hosting of the LowFuelCard.ie Irish PGA Championship at Dundalk Golf Club proved to be a big success with the professionals full of praise for the course and their hosts.

Defending champion Niall Kearney (Royal Dublin) cruised to a record-breaking 14-shot win after finishing on 22-under-par with the trio of Richard Kilpatrick (Banbridge), Eamonn Brady (Clontarf) and James Quinlivan (Mullingar) sharing second place on eight under par with Brendan McGovern (Headfort) alone in fifth on seven under par.

Afterwards, Kearney led the praise for the Dundalk course which has firmly re-established itself as one of Ireland’s top parkland championship courses after successfully hosting the Irish Professional Golf Championship for the first time since 1969 and only the third time in its 110 year history.

“It was a course that suited my eye. I felt comfortable here right from the start of the week and that was reflected in the scoring. The course this week reminded me a lot of many of the Challenge Tour venues we play. It was great all week, superb facilities, a huge thanks to the all the greens staff and the volunteers who helped during the week,” said Kearney while Kilpatrick was also fulsome in his praise of the challenges the Dundalk course presented.

“This is the type of course that you need to be finding the fairway off the tee and unfortunately I wasn’t doing that today. It was great to get the opportunity to play in the event. I thoroughly enjoyed the week, the tournament, the course, everything was excellent,” said Kilpatrick after his final round.

The tournament began in earnest on Wednesday with the Pro-Am with Brady and Mark Staunton sharing the professional’s prize after shooting five under par 67s while Brady’s team won the Pro-Am.

The 72-hole championship commenced on Thursday morning in perfect scoring conditions with the course in fantastic shape and the slick greens running at over 11.5 on the stimpmeter. Keanrey and Brady both shot seven under pars 65s with James Quinlivan (Mullingar GC) one shot back and Moriarty two shots off the pace.

Kearney then took a firm grip of the championship on day two when he carded a second round 66 that gave him an eight-shot lead over his nearest rivals. Kilpatrick and Moriarty emerged as his nearest challengers with David Ryan (Cahir Park) and David Higgins (Waterville) a shot further back on four under par after 36 holes.

Heavy fog led to a three hour delay on Friday morning and by the close of play, over 50 competitors had still to complete round two. They returned early on Saturday morning to wrap things up with the cut eventually falling at six over par with 52 players making it through to the final 36 holes.

Saturday’s third round got underway at noon and produced some low scoring with Brendan McGovern bagging a best of the day 66 that moved him up the leaderboard. Kilpatrick grabbed second place on 10 under par with Moriarty a shot further back on nine under par. Kearney however, refused to give any hope to his chasers, signing for a third round 67 that featured six birdies and one bogey.

A blustery wind made for the trickiest conditions of the week on day four and. as a consequence, the rest of the field found it difficult to mount any meaningful challenge.

Kearney started the final day with an eight-shot lead over nearest rival Kilpatrick with Colm Moriarty (Drive Golf Performance) a shot further back on nine-under. He dropped only his third shot of the tournament at the par four third but far from it causing a wobble, he bounced back with a birdie at the next and a second birdie of the day at the sixth saw him reach the turn in one under par.

In contrast, Kilpatrick and Moriarty both struggled over the opening nine holes and as they turned for home, Keanrey had extended his lead to 11 shots, effectively putting the tournament to bed. He made smooth progress on the back nine, grabbing birdies at the 12th, 14th and 18th as he came home in three under 33 for a final round 68.

Kilpatrick steadied the ship somewhat on the back nine, coming home in level par 36 to sign for a closing 74, while Moriarty played his final nine holes in one under par 35 to wrap up his tournament with a four over par 76 finishing in share of sixth place alongside Simon Thornton (Royal County Down).

“I was hoping to come here, and get a confidence boost to take with me into the rest of the season,” said Kearney. “I’m looking forward to a busy stretch of golf now and meeting new challenges next week on the European Tour in Woburn at the British Masters and then over on the Asian Tour.”

Victory saw the 27-year-old join an illustrious list of back-to-back champions that includes Padraig Harrington, Paul McGinley and Christy O’Connor Snr.

“I see Christy Snr around Royal Dublin the odd time and it’s good to have matched something he has done but I’ve some way to go to equal his record of 10 Irish PGA titles,” said Kearney.

Hopes that one of the local professionals participating in the championship would mount a strong challenge over the week failed to materialise with Greenore’s Robert Giles the best of the bunch in finishing tied for 23rd place. He was well placed after three rounds for a top ten finish but a five-over par 77 in the difficult final round conditions put paid to that.

His Greenore colleague Ian Brennan finished on 12 over while Leslie Walker (Dundalk) and Brian Kerley (Green Life Golf Centre) failed to make the cut.

Junior Cup team chase All-Ireland title

Dundalk Junior Cup 1

Junior Cup team with sponsor Eoin Doohan of Doohan Financial Planning

This is the biggest week on the Irish inter-club golf scene with the AIG Ireland Cups and Shields All-Ireland Finals taking place at Carton House and Dundalk Golf Club will head to the Co Kildare venue on Wednesday in search a first ever win in the Junior Cup and only the second national title in the 110 year history of the club.

Under the guidance of team manager Clem Walshe and selector Terry Conlon, this year’s Junior Cup squad have exceeded all expectations and captured the Leinster title for the first time in 21 years last July when they beat Clontarf in a thrilling final at Portarlington.

They will face Connacht champions Westport in Wednesday’s All-Ireland semi-final with the winners advancing to meet either Greenisland or Douglas in Thursday’s final.

The road to Carton House began earnest last June for the Dundalk squad when they won their North East qualifying tournament at Balbriggan on one of the worst weekend’s weather wise of the summer.

After heading the strokeplay qualifying round with an overall score of 342, to lead home Laytown & Bettystown, Ardee and Headfort, Dundalk then beat Headfort 4-1 in the semi-finals before seeing off Ardee 3-2 to advance to the Leinster Finals in July at Portarlington.

They faced Hermitage in the quarter-finals and won by 3.5 to 1.5 with Ciaran Sheridan winning his match 3&2, Richard Newell taking his 4&2 and Josh Mackin edging his by one hole.

That earned the team a semi-final joust with Woodbrook and, after Eoin Murphy had won 3&2 and Richard Newell had won 4&2, the pressure was on anchor man Aaron King with the match tied at 2-2. King held a one hole lead standing on the 18th tee and he kept his nerve to win the final hole for a two up victory and earn Dundalk a 3-2 win.

In the final Dundalk faced Clontarf and, after a 3&1 win for Ciaran Sheridan and a 4&3 victory for Eoin Murphy was balanced by defeats for Josh Macken and Aaron King it all came down to the final match out on the course where Richard Newell was looking for his third win of the weekend,

All square after 18, Newell and his Dublin opponent headed down the 19th where Newell closed out the match after a superb approach shot to six feet. For Walshe, and his squad, it was the highlight of the year, so far.

“There have been a number of memorable moments to date,” said Walshe. “It was a very tough windy day when the regional stroke play qualifiers took place in Balbriggan Golf Club and we did well to knuckle down and top our section. The Leinster finals were all very tight and we had some great battles against some excellent teams but the stand out game has to be winning the Leinster pennant in the final against Clontarf at the 19th hole in Portarlington Golf Club.”

Since that victory in July the Dundalk squad have been busy preparing for the All-Ireland Final and according to Walshe they are ready for what lies ahead over the next few days.

“I’m a great believer in ‘You’ll only get out of it what you put in’. If that stands to be true then I’m confident we’ll do well. The key is to prepare as best we can, enjoy the occasion and be proud of having the opportunity to represent our club and province against the best teams from all over the country in the 2015 All Ireland Finals,” said Walshe

“We’ve had a fairly wide and varied range of sessions over the last few months ranging from official panel meetings to playing golf to practices on the range, pitching and putting areas as well as some light hearted social get-togethers giving the lads a well-earned opportunity to give the management a hard time!”

Walshe and Conlon have already selected Aaron King, Ricky Newell, Josh Macken, Eoin Murphy, Ciaran Sheridan to tee it up on Wednesday but Walshe says that no matter which of the ten players they selected they would have full confidence in their ability to get the job done.

“Apart from their golfing ability I believe they have great strength of character and a passionate desire to win. They’ve bonded really well and support each other whether playing, caddying or subbing in matches. We’ve a big mix of characters from teenagers who are still at school or college to school teachers, accountants and builders but all with one thing in common, the belief and desire to make our members proud and represent Dundalk Golf Club to the very best of their ability every time they tee it up.”

It’s 11 years since Dundalk won its first and to date only GUI All-Ireland pennant when the Jimmy Bruen Shield team took the national title on a not to be forgotten day at Shannon Golf Club. It’s also 11 years since a Leinster club won the All-Ireland Junior Cup so there

Opportunities to win national titles don’t come along too often and fingers are crossed out in Blackrock that the Junior Cup team can follow suit this week.