Boys U13 and U18 teams take county titles

The excellent season being enjoyed by our Juveniles continued last week when the Boys U13 and U18 teams won their respective county titles at Seapoint.

The U13s captured the McCooey Cassidy Cup which is named after Brendan McCooey and Jimmy Cassidy, two men who had a long standing association with the club.

The team of Zak Alderdice, Joseph Laverty, Christopher Clarke and Aaron Spaight beat Co Louth in their final.

The U18s beat Ardee in a play-off with Sean Laverty playing a superb shot out of a fairway bunker and over the drain protecting the front of the green to set up the win on the first sudden death hole.

The U18 team was Josh Mackin & Sean Laverty, Eoin Murphy & Kyle Rafferty and Conall Murdock & Ciaran Johnston.

Monarch Trophy Winners 2017: (from left): Kyle Rafferty, Conall Murdock, Josh Mackin, Vincent Conlon (Team Manager), Sean Laverty, Eoin Murphy.

McCooey Cassidy Cup Winners 2017 (from left): Zak Alderdice, Christopher Clarke, Paul Malone (Team Manager), Joseph Laverty, Aaron Spaight.

Copas takes Route 66 to Captain’s Prize

2017 Captain’s Prize winner Richard Copas receives the trophy from Captain Mickey Coburn

Richard Copas won Mickey Coburn’s Captain’s Prize thanks to a superb six under par 66 in the second round on Sunday.

His  10 under par overall total of 134 was enough to pip first round leader Noel Crowe by two shots with third placed David Cairns a further six shots behind.
Noel Mahon (23) took the Veterans Prize while the evergreen Peter Roger claimed the Gross Prize with a two round total of 148 which was helped by an impressive one under par 71 in the final round.
Copas and Crowe were paired together in the final group and, as the expected challenge from the groups behind failed to materialise, they rose to the occasion rather than wilt under the pressure.
Eighteen handicapper Copas, who was lying two shots behind Crowe after a first round 68, had a shot at every hole and he produced an almost perfect round in crafting his 66.
He opened steadily with four bogeys before gaining his first par at the par three fifth to go one under. After bogeys at the next three holes, Copas took a firm grip of the competition when he reeled off four successive pars from the ninth to the 12th to go to five under for the round and nine under for the competition.
A birdie three at the par four 16th took him to 11 under for the competition and his only blemish of the day came at the 18th which he doubled bogeyed for a round of 66 and a final total of ten under.
Crowe (26) hung in but with Copas playing so steadily his one under par 71 came up a couple of shots short as he finished on eight under.
Sunday’s Second Round category prizes were won by Ciaran Sheridan (5), Brian Gaughran (13) and Sean Gallagher (20).
Sunday, August 21 – Captain Michael Coburn’s Prize –  1st Richard Copas (18) 134 (68/66); 2nd Noel Crowe (26)  136 (65/71); 3rd David Cairns 142 (73/69/32.5); 4th Martin McEntaggart (10) 142 (73/69); 5th Brian Mernagh (11) 142 (70/72/36.5); 6th Paul O’Reilly (17) 142 (70/72); 143 – 7th Willie McKeever (17) 143 (75/68); 8th Jim Dwyer (9) 143(71/72). Veteran: Noel McMahon (23) 141 (66/75). Gross: Peter Rogers (2) 148 (77/71). Category 1: Ciaran Sheridan (5) 70/33.5. Terry Conlon (6) 70. Category 2: Brian Gaughran (13) 67/32.5, Seamus Bailey (13) 67. Category 3:  Sean Gallagher (20) 70. Dessie Corbett (22) 72. CSS 72.

Sunday Qualifier Category 1: Kyle Rafferty (winner, left) and Caolan Rafferty (second, right)

Sunday Qualifier Overall Winner, Maurice Murphy

Saturday Qualifier Overall Winner, John P Daly

Dream debut for Rafferty as Ireland wins Home Internationals

Caolan Rafferty receives a special presentation from Captain Mickey Coburn and Lady Captain Caolan Rafferty to mark his international debut

Caolan Rafferty had a dream international debut last week when he helped Ireland to an historic fourth successive Home Internationals title at Moortown Golf Club in England.

The 24-year-old Dundalk Golf Club player finished as Ireland’s top scorer with five points out of a possible six from the matches against Wales, Scotland and England.

“It was the best week I have had in golf in a long time,” said Rafferty. “To do something as a team was great but to perform as well as I did was extremely satisfying.”

Rafferty had never previously been capped by Ireland at any level and, while he was being tipped for call-up this year, he admitted that he was nervous in the lead-up to the team being finally announced even though he had won the silver medal for leading qualifier at the British Amateur and North of Ireland Championships and reached the last 16 at the British, the last eight at the West of Ireland and the semi-finals of the North as well as leading Leinster to the third successful Inter-provincial title.

“Others boys who were on the fringes did well at the South so I was a little bit apprehensive. I knew they were going for four-in-row and there wouldn’t be many changes to the team so it was nice when the phone-call came although it was hard keeping it quiet for a few days until it was officially announced. It’s been a goal of mine for some time to play for Ireland.”

The Home Internationals involved five foursomes matches each morning followed by 10 singles matches and for Ireland’s opening tie against Wales, Rafferty was partnered with Conor Purcell but they lost 2&1 after getting off to a slow start and finding themselves trailing early on.

“At the team meetings we spoke about the need to get out fast and get up early. Because the standard is so high it is usually one or two small things that decides it.”

Ireland lost the foursomes 4-2 to Matthew Harris and Lewys Sanges so going into the afternoon singles the pressure was on to keep alive their hopes of becoming the first team ever to win four successive Home Internationals titles.

Playing against Jake Hapgood, Rafferty got ahead on the first hole and played steady golf to eventually win 3&1 and pick up his first international point. His team-mates had also bounced back from the morning disappointment and Ireland took the singles 7-3, for an overall 9-6 victory.

The following day against Scotland, Rafferty was paired with Colin Fairweather in the foursomes and it proved to be an inspired choice by team captain Tony Goode as they won 3&2 against Craig Ross and Sam Locke and helped Ireland into a 4-1 lead. Rafferty and Ross met again in the afternoon singles with Rafferty coming from behind to win the last two holes and win by one hole. Ireland won the singles 6-4 and the overall match 10-5.

That set up a showdown with England for the title with the Irish only needing a draw because of their superior point difference.

Playing against Jack Gaunt and David Hague in the foursomes, Rafferty and Fairweather found themselves three down early on but fought back to win 5&3 and give the Irish team a massive lift as they headed into the singles with a narrow 3-2 lead.

“It gave everybody a big lift because a lot of the lads thought we had lost. I have played a lot with Colin over the years and we get on well. We just went about our own jobs and also helped out one another. It was so laid-back we were never flustered.”

With so much on the line, the singles were nail-biting as Ireland looked for the 4½ points they needed to take the title. They got there thanks to three halved matches and three wins with Rafferty delivering one of those victories by beating David Hague 4&3.

“I was two down through three but then I got to work and won four of the next five holes to go two up. After that it was just a case of hitting fairways and greens and keeping him under pressure.”

Rafferty has been inundated with messages of congratulations all week but the texts he was constantly receiving from his father Ciaran were particularly special.

“He been a huge influence on me. It would have been lovely to have had him there but it was nice to know he was following it all at home. My family have been very supportive as has my girlfriend Hayley. They’ve had to put with a lot!

“I’ve also had great support from Dundalk Golf Club and all the members. The club linked up with DKIT at the start of the year to provide fitness training for the elite squad members. It wasn’t something I’d done before but every little bit helps.”

One of the messages he received was from a Dundalk golfer now living in Galway who took the opportunity to congratulate him and offer him the use of his locker at Galway Golf Club where this week’s Irish Close Championship is being held.

That’s the next target for Rafferty before he heads to Colombia for the South American Championship with Tiarnan McLarnon as part of a two man Irish team. Then he’s off to Maynooth University to commence a Business Management course having received one of the Paddy Harrington Golf Scholarships which were set up by Major winner Padraig Harrington in memory of his father.

However, his first week of college will be spent in Prague at the European University Championships before he returns home to defend the Dundalk Scratch Cup he won for the first time last year.

It’s been a season to remember for Rafferty and there are still plenty of opportunities ahead to make it even more memorable.

 

 

 

Crowe leads Captain’s Prize after First Round

Noel Crowe (26) is the leader of Mickey Coburn’s Captain’s Prize after the first round which was played over Saturday and Sunday.

He shot an impressive seven under par 65 on Sunday morning to lead by one from Noel McMahon (23) and Richard Copas (18).

That trio will form the final grouping in this Sunday’s Second Round with Maurice Murphy (3), Patsy Cole (17) and John P Daly (14) in the group of ahead of them, all sitting four shots behind the leader on 69.

A total of 33 players, who shot 73 or better, have been seeded for next Sunday;s Second Round and every one of them will fancy their chances especially when they recall that last year’s winner David Murden started his final round in 31st place before blasting his way through the field.

All players with a score of 79 or better have qualified to play on Sunday next and their timesheet is now live on the BRS System as is the timesheet for Saturday’s non-qualifiers competition.

Mickey Coburn’s Captain’s  Prize Round 1 Leaderboard: 65 – Noel Crowe (26). 66 – Noel McMahon (23), Richard Copas (18). 69 – Maurice J Murphy (3), Patsy Cole (17), John P Daly (14). 70 – Ken Lynch (12), Alan Cole (13), Paul O’Reilly (17), Brian Mernagh (11), Ciaran Daly (17), Gerard Daly (14), Ciaran Cooney (8). 71 – Sean Ward (18), Tony Hanna (23), Jim Dwyer (9), Kieran Reidy (15), Pat Doanghy (12), Harry O’Hanrahan (26), Ultan Gaughran (6), Andrew Brodigan (12). 72 – Fergal Harte (6), Clem Walshe (4), Austin Mathews (13), Carl Stewart (7), Len Mullins (16). 73 – Tommy McDonnell (22), Martin McEnteggart (10),  Dermot McKenna (21), David Brennan (13), Padraig McDonnell (20), Connor McCaughey (5), Anthony O’Donoghue (13).

Murphy makes international debut

Eoin Murphy

Congratulations to Juvenile Captain Eoin Murphy who made his international debut last week and picked up his first point for Ireland at the Boys Home Internationals in St Anne’s Old Links in England.

After suffering foursomes and singles defeats in Ireland’s draw with Scotland on the opening day and a foursomes loss in the defeat by the eventual winners England, Murphy finally got his debut point on Day Three against Wales when he partnered Charlie Denvir (Elm Park) to a 4&3 win. That point helped Ireland to a 10-5 win over the Welsh and second place overall.

Caolan Rafferty will make his senior international debut this week at the Home Internationals at Moortown Golf Club in England from Wednesday to Friday and everybody at the club extends their best wishes to him.

 

Matchplay competitions nearing conclusion

The various internal matchplay competitions are nearing conclusion with most now at the semi-final or final stage.

The Blue Riband is the Gold Medal and Maurice Murphy has reached the final after beating Turlach King in the last four and is awaiting the outcome of the other semi-final between Billy Cairns and Ciaran Sheridan.

In the Carolan Cup, Ray Pepper beat Gavin McDonnell in their semi-final and will now meet either Seamus Bailey or Richard Barry in the decider. The semi-finals of the Harry Walsh Cup will see Davy Cairns meeting Joe Flanagan while Ciaran Daly faces Benny O’Shaughnessy.

This year saw the introduction of four category matchplay competitions which have proved very popular and they too are coming to a climax.

In the Senior competition Eoin Murphy has reached the final but the other half of the draw is only at the quarter-final stage with the club’s two lowest handicap players, Caolan Rafferty and Aaron Grant, scheduled to meet in the semi-final if they get through their last eight matches.

In the Junior competition Neil Mullooly will play the winner of the quarter-final between Ciaran Traynor and Shane Hession while the other semi-final is between Fergal Harte and Gene Hanratty.

The Intermediate semi-finals sees Pat Curran meet Kevin Carthy while Stephen Buckingham faces Bobby McCarthy while Declan Ward and Pat Daly have reached the Minor Final.

There are also two major foursomes competitions during the year and in the Men’s Foursomes the competition is at the semi-final stage with G Duffy & D Ward meeting S Gallagher & C McClenaghan while P Fennelly & R Barry meet the winners of the quarter-final between M McDermott & P Morrison and P Cheshire & B McCarthy.

The Mixed Foursomes  has also reached the semi-final stage with T & B Renaghan having qualified for one semi and O & M McGinnity for the other and they await the outcome of outstanding quarter-final ties.

Sizzling back nine wins Knights of Malta Cup for Laverty

Four handicapper Sean Laverty one of the members of the club’s Leinster title winning Fred Daly Trophy team, lifted the Knights of Malta Cup on Sunday on countback from Michael Keating (16), Aidan Thornton (8) and Tom Clarke (17),

All three finished with scores of three under par, 69, but Laverty’s back nine of 32 was enough to give him the overall prize with Keating taking the runners up spot. There was some consolation for Thornton and Clarke as they won category one and three respectively. Eddie Rogers, off three, took the gross prize with a 73.

After eight holes of his round few would have bet on Laverty being in the final shake-up as a double bogey six at the fourth and bogies at the first and eighth meant he was standing at three over par nett when he stood on the ninth tee.

But he then birdied the par three hole and that kick-started his round as he reeled off another two birdies down the back nine as well as seven pars to cover the home stretch in 34 gross and 32 nett and that was enough to pip Keating for the overall prize.

Sunday, August 6 – Knights Of Malta Cup – Overall: Sean Laverty (4) 69/32, Michael Keating (16) 69/33. Gross: Eddie Rogers (3) 73. Category 1 (0 -11): Aidan Thornton (8) 69, Connor McCaughey (5) 70/34.5. Category 2 (12-17): Tom Clarke (17) 69, Pat Hoey (13) 70/33.5. Category 3 (18-28): Ciaran Daly (18) 70, Hugh Reilly (21)73. CSS: 72.

 

International call-ups for Rafferty and Murphy

Caolan Rafferty

Caolan Rafferty and Eoin Murphy have been called up to the Ireland teams for this month’s men’s and boys Home Internationals. It will be the first international appearance for both players and is recognition for the excellent seasons that both players have had.

With Josh Mackin having already appeared for the Irish Boys U16 team at the Home Internationals in Wales it means that Dundalk Golf Club has now produced three internationals in the one year,

Rafferty will be part of an Ireland team that is bidding for a fourth successive triumph in the Home Internationals when they tee off at Moortown on August 16. The team will have a chance to create history as no Ireland team has ever won four times in succession.

He is one of two new caps on the team as Irish Amateur Open Champion Peter O’Keeffe from Douglas is also included.

Rafferty has been having his best ever season and, in addition to reducing his handicap to plus five, he finished tied for seventh at the Lytham Trophy and made it to the

Eoin Murphy

last 32 of The Amateur Championship where he also won the silver medal for leading qualifier. He was also leading qualifier at the North of Ireland where he was a beaten semi-finalist and reached the quarter-finals of the West of Ireland. He also helped Dundalk reach the semi-finals of the Barton Shield for the first time won five points out of six as Leinster won their third successive Interprovincial title.

Team captain Tony Goode feels both new caps will strengthen his side. He said: “I’m very happy with the team that we’ve selected. I’m really pleased with the two new caps, Peter O’Keeffe and Caolan Rafferty. They both deserve their place in the team. It is an experienced team and hopefully the boys can bring their A game. You need your A-game at the Home Internationals.”

Murphy is one of seven new caps in the Ireland team for the Boys U18 Home Internationals at St Anne’s Old Links where hosts England will be defending the title they won last year in Ballyliffen. Ireland last won the Boys Home Internationals in 2013.

Murphy, who last year won the Faldo Ireland Series and the Munster Boys Championship, reached the last 16 of the West of Ireland after coming through pre-qualifying and qualifying rounds. He managed top twenty finishes in all the provincial boys championships and then helped Leinster to the Interprovincial title where he won two points from four matches before leading Dundalk to a first ever Fred Daly Leinster title. He was also part of the Barton Shield team.

Ireland team (Home Internationals, Moortown, 16-18 August): Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint), Robin Dawson (Tramore), Colin Fairweather (Knock), Alex Gleeson (Castle), John Ross Galbraith (Whitehead), Rowan Lester (Hermitage), Paul McBride (The Island), Peter O’Keeffe (Douglas), Conor O’Rourke (Naas), Conor Purcell (Portmarnock), Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk)Team Captain: Tony Goode (Lucan), Team Manager: John White (Co Armagh), National Coach: Neil Manchip.

Ireland team (Boys Home Internationals, St Anne’s Old Links, 8-10 August): Reece Black (Hilton Templepatrick), John Brady (Rosslare), Charlie Denvir (Elm Park), Jack Doherty (Carton House), Jack Hearn (Tramore), Ross Kelly (Tuam), Aaron Marshall (Lisburn), Robert Moran (Castle), Eoin Murphy (Dundalk), Mark Power (Kilkenny), Cameron Raymond (Newlands). Team Captain: Cathal McConn (Roscommon). Team Manager: Alasdair Gibson (Knock). National Coach: Neil Manchip.

 

 

 

 

Superb back nine secures Cochrane Cup for Byrne

Martin Byrne (14) needed a superb back nine to capture the Cochrane Cup on Sunday after he and Neil Mullooly (8) shot rounds of 40pts.

Byrne had returned 16pts on the front nine where he had three point pars at the third and ninth but blanked the par three fifth and only managed a single point at the sixth and eighth.

A further four points followed from the 10th and 11th before his round exploded into life and he reeled off four successive three point holes from the 12th to 15th before settling for a two point bogey on the 16th and then finishing with pars on the last two holes for six more points.

His 24pts down the back nine was two better than Mullooly who took second overall while Colin Roche (7) with 33pts was the winner of the Gross Prize. Billy Curran (12), Frank Keys (15) and Sean Gallagher (21) were the Category winners. Conor Murphy (15) was the Juvenile winner and Eamonn McEneaney recorded an ace at the par three 17th

Sunday, July 30 – Cochrane Cup Singles Stableford – Overall: Martin Byrne (14) 40/24pts, Neil Mullooly (8) 40/22pts. Gross: Colin Roche (7) 33pts. Category 1 (0-12): Billy Curran (12) 39/22pts, Fergal Harte (6) 39pts. Category 2 (13-18): Frank Keyes (15) 39/20pts. Brendan Reilly (14) 39pts. Category 3 (19+): Sean Gallagher (21) 37pts, Hugh Reilly (21) 36pts, Juvenile: Conor Murphy (15) 34pts. CSS: 36pts

Heartbreak for Junior Cup team in Leinster semi-final

The Junior Cup team’s efforts to win a second Leinster pennant in three years ended in heartbreak on Saturday evening in Callan when they were beaten 3-2 by Malahide.

In the morning quarter-final against Mullingar, a 2&1 win for Ciaran Traynor, a 4&3 win for Kyle Rafferty and a 5&4 win for Shane Hession got Dundalk over the line with Brian Renaghan all square after 14 and Clem Walshe two down after 14 when they were called in.

The semi-final was a real topsy turvey affair with the lead shifting several times over the duration of the afternoon before the match went to the wire. Ciaran Traynor lost 3& 2 in the top match and Kyle Rafferty also lost 3&2 but Clem Walshe had a comprehensive 5&4 win before Shane Hession won on the 19th to leave the tie delicately poised at 2-2 with one match out on the course.

There was little between Brian Og Renaghan and his opponent Ryan Gibson but a controversial ruling on the ninth hole saw the Dundalk player denied a win that would have put him two up and instead left all-square at the turn. The pair remained deadlock all the way to 20th hole when Gibson birdied to send Malahide through the final which they subsequently lost to Grange.