Ward takes Gerry Murray’s President’s Prize

Declan Ward produced one of the best rounds of the years over the blue course to win Gerry Murray’s President’s Prize on Sunday in ideal conditions.

The 19 handicapper shot a seven under par 65 to take this keenly contested major by two shots from Conor Marron (25) with Bernard White (16) a shot further back on 68. They were the only three players out of a superb field of 212 to shoot in the sixties.

Ward’s round included a birdie at the par five index three seventh after he left himself with an easy putt following a superbly executed approach shot over the water from 170 yards.

However, he handed back the shots gained on seven at the next hole when he recorded a triple bogey seven after finding himself in bunkers on either side of the green.

A par at the ninth saw him turn in two under net and a strong finish which saw him par four of the final six holes got him to seven under and he signed for what proved to be an unbeatable 65.

Marron covered the front nine in one under par and did better on the back nine as he recorded a four under par net total of 32 on his way to five under par 67.

Bernard White, who shot a 68 for the third best score of the day, won the Veterans Prize with Maurice Murphy (3) taking the gross prize after shooting a 73. Shaun Ward (11), Aidan Gaughran (13) and Martin McCaughey (21) took the category prizes.

Clem Walshe’s (5) 71 in the President’s Prize has propelled him to the top of the Golfer of the Year table after six rounds. His four best cards have given him a total of 287 which is four ahead of Danny Miele (11) with Neil Mulooly (6) two shots further back in third on 293.

Sunday, July 22 – Gerry Murray’s President’s Prize – Overall – Declan Ward (19) 65, Conor Marron (25) 67. Gross: Maurice Murphy (3) 73. Veteran: Bernard White (16) 68. Category 1(0-12): Shaun Ward (11) 70/32.5, Christy Ward (8) 70. Category 2 (13-17): Aidan Gaughran (13) 70/33.5, Peter O Brien (15) 70. Category 3 (18+): Martin McCaughey (21) 72, Michael Ryan (21) 73/32.5. CSS: 73.

Golfer of the Year (best four cards after six rounds): 287 – Clem Walshe; 291 – Danny Miele; 293 – Neil Mullooly; 294 – Ciaran Johnson, Peter Rogers; 295 – Christy Ward, Brendan Keane, Neal MacKell; 296 – Aiden Gaughran, David Brennan.

 

 

 

 

CHAMPIONS! Dundalk claims first senior title

DUNDALK Golf Club made an historic breakthrough at the weekend by winning the Leinster Final of the AIG Barton Shield and claiming the club’s first ever senior title.

They did it in style with impressive victories over Corrstown, Elm Park and Enniscorthy in the provincial finals which were held at Mount Wolseley Golf Club in Tullow, Co Carlow, on Friday and Saturday.

The Barton Shield is one of the two senior trophies on offer for Irish golf clubs each and features the top amateur players in the country. It is played off scratch in a foursomes matchplay format with two pairings representing each club and the aggregate score from each match deciding the match.

For joint managers Alan McCabe and John Conlon it was the culmination of three years’ work having taken over responsibility for the club’s senior panel in 2016.

“We reached the Leinster quarter-finals the first year and then got the semi-finals last year and lost to the eventual winners,” said Conlon. “We set ourselves a target of going one better this year and once we got to the final we were determined to take the opportunity because we knew we had no divine right to think we will ever get a second chance.”

Dundalk headed to Tullow with an eight man panel made up of the experienced Aaron Grant, Irish international Caolan Rafferty, Boys Internationals Eoin Murphy and Josh Mackin and low single figure players Conor Curran, Brendan Lawlor, Andrew Keenan and Neal MacKell.

“While only four played, this was very much a group effort and everybody in the panel bought into what we were trying to do which was winning a Leinster pennant,” said McCabe. “The four who didn’t play all had important supporting roles over the weekend while Conor Curran played a major part in ensuring we got through our regional qualifying tournament back in May when Caolan Rafferty was away on international duty. He typified the spirit we have in this group.”

Dundalk qualified for the Leinster Finals by finishing second in qualifying at Balcarrick and then beating Greenore and Royal Dublin in the matchplay rounds to book one of the eight places on offer.

Dundalk were drawn in the top bracket against Corrstown while Elm Park faced Kilkenny, Portmarnock met Dun Laoghaire and Enniscorthy played Tullamore.

McCabe and Conlon paired Aaron Grant and teenager Josh Mackin in the top match while Caolan Rafferty partnered Eoin Murphy in the bottom match for the quarter-final against Corrstown on Friday morning.

Dundalk quickly took control of the tie against the Dublin club and at no stage was either pairing behind in their respective matches.

In the bottom match, Rafferty and Murphy won the second but lost the sixth to go back to all square. They then won the next two holes and turned for home two up. After halving the 10th in birdies, the Dundalk pair then won the next four holes with birdies to be six up when they were called in after 14 holes.

In the top match, Grant and Mackin also won the second hole and Grant chipped in from off the ninth green for a birdie two to give the duo a three hole lead at the turn. They lost the 11th but won 14 to be three up with four to play and, although they lost the 15th, they halved the 16th to ensure Dundalk’s victory.

Elm Park defeated Kilkenny in their quarter-final match and stood between Dundalk and a place in the final. Team managers McCabe and Conlon kept faith with the morning pairings and they justified their selection with a magnificent five hole victory over the biggest golf club in Ireland.

However, they were made to fight extremely hard for their win with both pairings finding themselves trailing at different stages and having to dig deep to haul themselves back into their respective matches.

In the top match, Grant and Mackin faced an Elm Park pairing that included Irish Boys International Charlie Denvir who tried to drive the green on fourth but found a greenside bunker from which Elm Park failed to get up and down. Aaron Grant then rolled in a 15ft birdie putt to put Dundalk in front.

Elm Park won the next to get it back to level and then went ahead on the par three sixth after Denvir’s tee shot set up a winning birdie but it was back to all square a hole later.

Dundak turned one hole up after winning the ninth with a par but a great chip from Denvir set up a winning birdie for Elm Park on the 10th and he hit another great chip on the 11th to set up another win as the Dubliners went ahead with seven holes to play.

After halving 12, thanks to another great putt from Grant, Dundalk got it back to all square and the match turned in Dundalk’s favour in dramatic fashion on the 15th hole. Mackin’s tee shot found the 10th fairway from where Grant played a superb recovery shot to be pin high in a greenside bunker where he was joined by Elm Park after Denvir pulled his wedge shot from the middle of the fairway. Dundalk made five after Grant’s putt was conceded and Elm Park missed their putt to give Grant and Mackin a one shot lead they held until they were called in on their way to the 18th tee.

Behind them, Rafferty and Murphy had won by four holes after showing great character to bounce back after losing the opening two holes.

They won the next two to get back to all square and then took control of the match when they birdied the sevenths and parred the eighth to open up a two hole lead.

They went three up after winning the 10th and although they lost the 12th to a birdie four they birdied 14 and 15 to go five up and a half on 16 was enough to seal Dundalk’s place in the Leinster final for the first time.

Enniscorthy shocked pre-tournament favourites Dun Laoghaire, winning the other semi-final by three holes, and they teed it up alongside Dundalk on Saturday morning.

Dundalk kept faith with the quartet that got them to the final and in the top match Grant and Mackin opened up an early lead when their opponents three-putted the opening hole.

They held that lead to the fifth, when a lost ball off the tee opened the door for Enniscorthy to draw level. Two great bunker shots by Mackin on the next two holes prevented Enniscorthy from taking the lead and the youngster then played a superb approach into the eight to set up a 15ft birdie putt from Grant to win the hole.

They went two up after winning the 10th despite finding the trees down the left from the tee from where Mackin could only pitch the ball back onto the fairway. Enniscorthy, sensing an opportunity, decided to lay up in front of the stream protecting the narrow green but Grant called their bluff by producing the shot of the week, a magnificent two iron into the wind from 238 yards which he left six feet from a back pin. After Enniscorthy made five, Mackin showed nerves of steel to sink the birdie putt to win the hole in four.

On the next hole Mackin rolled in a par putt to move Dundalk three up and although they lost the 14th to a remarkable birdie they halved the next two holes and were two up playing the 16th when they were called in.

Behind them Rafferty and Murphy quickly got holes on the board by winning the opening two holes and went three up with a win on the fourth. A superb tee-shot from Murphy set up a six foot birdie putt and a win from Rafferty on the sixth and although they lost the ninth, they turned three up.

Their lead was reduced to two after they lost the par three 11th to a birdie but they responded to that set back in magnificent style by eagling the par five 12th. A birdie at the 14th moved them back to four up and when Enniscorthy failed to match their birdie at the 15th, they moved to five up.

That left Dundalk’s aggregate score at seven holes ahead with six to play and triggered joyous scenes as the large crowd of club and family members who had travelled south to support the team over the two days celebrated with the players, caddies and managers.

“The support was fantastic,” said McCabe. “It was definitely a big help to us and we greatly appreciate the efforts people made to get to Mount Wolseley. Hopefully, they will be able to travel in big numbers to Thurles in October for the All-Ireland Finals.”

Before that, Dundalk have a chance to complete a Leinster double as they have also qualified for the provincial finals in the AIG Senior Cup, the first time in the club’s history that they have qualified for both elite Leinster finals in the same year.

They will play The Island in the quarter-final at Mount Juliet on August 25 with the semi-final scheduled for that afternoon and the final the following day.

“All the focus for the next five weeks is going to be on Mount Juliet,” said McCabe. “It’s a different type of format but we will prepare properly for it and there is no doubt that winning the Barton Shield pennant will give all the panel members great confidence heading to Mount Juliet.”

Dundalk Captain Gerry Byrne said had been a great weekend for the club. “It is a great feeling to see the club win its first senior pennant and it was very pleasing to see them win it playing some fantastic golf. Great credit must go to the players, caddies and managers as well as the magnificent supporters who really got behind the team all weekend. Most of our senior panel have come through our excellent juvenile programme and the likes of Paul Malone, Vincent Conlon, Jim Carraher, Liam Mernagh and our club professional Leslie Walker have now seen a lot of their hard work over the years come to fruition at the top end of Irish club golf.”

BARTON SHIELD LEINSTER FINALS RESULTS

Quarter Finals

Dundalk bt Corrstown by 8 Holes.

Elm Park bt Kilkenny by 3 Holes

Enniscorthy bt Tullamore by 4 Holes

Dun Laoghaire bt Portmarnock by 8 Holes.

 

Semi Finals

Dundalk bt Elm Park by 5 Holes

Enniscorthy bt Dun Laoghaire by 3 Holes

 

Final

Dundalk bt Enniscorthy by 7 Holes

 

Lawlor wins Czech Masters by seven shots

Brendan Lawlor won the Czech Masters by seven shots on the European Disabled Golf Association Tour over the weekend.

Lawlor, who had already won in Portugal and France earlier in the year, opened up with a two under par 70 at Mstětice Golf Club in Prague. His first round included four birdies and an impressive hole in one at the par three eighth.

That left him five shots clear heading into the second and final round and he rolled in another four birdies on his way to a 75 which was enough to see him take the title by seven shots from Sweden’s Joakim Bjorkman.

Lawlor, who is 21, suffers from Ellis-van Crevels Syndrome, a bone growth disorder that leads to shorter limbs. He currently plays off a two handicap and is a member of Dundalk’s Senior Panel which has qualified for the Leinster quarter-finals in both the AIG Senior Cup and AI G Barton Shield.

ENDS

Back nine seals it as Redmond wins Professional’s Prize

Sixteen handicapper Kevin Redmond produced a level par back nine to take Leslie Walker’s Professional Prize on countback on a perfect day for golf last Sunday.

Redmond signed for a four under par 68 and his superb score over the final nine holes saw him pip Eddie Rocks (10) and Gerard Daly (13) who had also finished on four under par.

Redmond hadn’t looked like a winner after his opening nine holes which he covered 40 nett, four over par. After a steady start he was one under par nett after a par at the second but a quadruple bogey eight at the eighth and double bogeys at the fifth and seventh left him with a lot of work to do down the back nine.

He was a completely different player heading for home as he rolled in one birdie, seven pars and one bogey for a level par 36 which was a nett 28, eight under par.

Rocks took Category One and Daly won the Veteran’s Prize while the evergreen Peter Rogers (1) claimed the Gross Prize with a 74. Eamonn Laverty (15) and Colm O’Hanrahan (25) took the Category Prizes.

Damien English (10) won the Wednesday Open Singles on countback from Jamie McCaul (20) while Daniel Nordone (18) captured the Juvenile Prize with 41pts and then went on to win Sunday’s Juvenile Prize, off 16, when he shot a 73.

Sunday, June 24 – Professional’s Prize (Leslie Walker) – Overall: Kevin Redmond (16) 68/28. Gross: Peter Rogers (1) 74. Veteran: Gerard Daly (13) 68.    Cat1: (+1-12): Eddie Rocks (10) 68, Alan McDermott (6) 71. Cat 2: (13-16): Eamonn Laverty (15) 69. David Brennan (16) 71/34. Cat 3: (17+): Colm O’Hanrahan (25) 69/32.5, Derek Teather (17) 69. Juvenile: Daniel Nordone (16) 73. CSS: 73.

Golfer of the Year Leaderboard (after four rounds): 218 – David Brennan; 219 – Brendan Keane; 220 – Gerard Daly, Peter Rogers, Neal MacKell; 221 – Jimmy O’Connor, Edward Rogers; 222 – Pat Donaghy, Ciaran Johnson, Ciaran Sheridan.

Men’s senior and ladies juniors march on as three teams bow out

Dundalk Golf Club have qualified for the Leinster Finals of the AIG Senior Cup, the most prestigious inter-club competition in Irish golf, and remain on course for an historic double having already qualified for the Leinster finals of the Barton Shield.

It was a tremendous end to a week that was bookended by two fabulous victories as the Ladies Junior Cup team also advanced to the Leinster quarter-finals when they defeated Laytown & Bettytown at the beginning of the week.

However, in between those two magnificent wins was a lot of heartache as Dundalk’s runs in the Jimmy Bruen Shield, All Ireland Fourball and Revive Active Fourball came to an end.

It is the first time in the club’s history that a team has reached the Leinster finals of the top two inter-club competitions in the same year and the senior team will head to Mount Wolseley in July and Mount Juliet in August with a lot of confidence after three impressive wins over the weekend in the regional qualifying round of the Senior Cup at Laytown & Bettystown.

Having received a bye in the First Round, Dundalk faced Killeen Castle on Saturday afternoon and won by 3.5 to 1.5 with Caolan Rafferty winning 6&5, Aaron Grant winning 3&1 and Conor Curran winning 3&2.

On Sunday morning they met Headfort and there were wins for Rafferty, Curran and Grant while Brendan Lawlor, for the second successive match, was called in while in a strong positive to win his match.

That set up a regional final with Co Louth and Eoin Murphy, who had flown in that morning from England, won two up after being dormie four. Fellow Irish Boys international Josh Mackin, who like Murphy had only finished his Leaving Certificate last Thursday, came from two down to win 2&1 thanks to birdies on three of the final four holes.

Rafferty was six under par in his 5&3 win while Grant was two up when his match was called in.

The win booked Dundalk a place in the Leinster final at Mount Juliet with their quarter-final match against The Island scheduled for August 28.

Earlier in the day, Dundalk’s Jimmy Bruen Shield team came agonisingly close to reaching the Leinster Finals in their regional qualifier at Roganstown.

They opened up with a 3.5 to 1.5 win over leading qualifiers Balbriggan with Pat Purton and Paul O’Callaghan winning 7&6, Billy Cairns & Zak Alderdice winning 4&3 and Damien English and Christy Ward winning on the 20th. Conal Murdock and Conor Murphy were looking good to win their match on the 19th when called in while Shane Hession and Fergal Sexton came up against Balbriggan’s strongest pairing and lost 5&4.

In the regional final on Sunday afternoon Dundalk faced Forest Little and a comfortable 6&5 win for for Ward and English and a 5&4 win for Murdock and Murphy left the tie level at 2-2 after Cairns & Alderdice and Ciaran Traynor and Cian Lynch McCrave had lost their matches.

It all came down to the match involving Purton and O’Callaghan which was all square after 16. However, Dundalk lost the 17th to a birdie and then saw Forest Little sink a 10ft putt for par on the 18th before O’Callaghan’s birdie putt to send the match down the 19th lipped out.

There was more heartbreak in the All-Ireland Fourball Leinster quarter-final against last year’s Leinster finalists, Malahide, who beat Frank Byrne’s charges 3-2 in a dramatic match that was eventually finished at around 10pm on Thursday evening.

In Malahide, Dundalk lost the opening match 4&3 as Colm Garvey and Michael Keating were hit by blitzkrieg from a home pairing that were two under gross for the 15 holes played as they rolled in three birdies, 11 pars and one bogey in a faultless round.

Behind them, Kevin Carthy and Ray Pepper were three down with four to play but won 15, 16 and 18 to draw level with Carthy producing a miraculous chip over a greenside bunker from the trees on the last to find the green and then sank a 15ft putt to send the match down the 19th.

On the first sudden death hole, it was Pepper who came to the fore as he hit a fabulous shot out of a fairway bunker to within six feet of the green and then chipped on to leave himself with two putts for the win and Dundalk’s first point on the board.

The remaining three matches were played in Dundalk where Adrian Kenny and Gerry McDermott maintained their unbeaten run with an excellent 3&1 win having taken control of the match midway through the opening nine when they won the fourth, fifth and sixth to open up a three hole lead.

Peter O’Brien and Dermot McKenna were involved in an extremely tight match which was all square with three to play but they lost 16 and 17 and were edged out 2&1 to leave the tie at 2-2 with one match out on the course.

Eamonn McEneaney and Joe Flanagan had been four down after 10 but they won the next three holes to reduce the deficit to one and, after losing the 14th, they bounced back with wins at the 15th, 16th and 17th to stand one up with one to play.

After Malahide had secured their par on the 18th, the home pair both had putts to send Dundalk into the Leinster semi-finals for the first time in the club’s history but both efforts burned the edge of the hole and sent the match down the 19th where Malahide secured the win with a five.

Earlier that day, the Ladies Revive Action team were beaten in their Third Round match by Ardee who won by 3.5 to 1.5.

At the beginning of last week the Ladies Junior Cup team reached the Leinster Finals with a 3-2 win over Laytown & Bettystown and they will now face Rathfarnham in Foxrock for a place in the semi-finals.

 

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.