Top class field assembled for Dundalk Scratch Cup

A top class field has been assembled for the One Finance sponsored Dundalk Scratch Cup which takes place this Sunday (September 17) over 36 holes at Dundalk Golf Club.

It includes a host of top players including the recent winner of the Irish Close Championship Jamie Fletcher from Warrenpoint and the player he beat in the final, Athenry teenager David Kitt,

Over 25 plus-handicap players will tee it up over Dundalk’s testing championship course including defending champion Caolan Rafferty who will lead a formidable home challenge that includes course record holder and former winner Aaron Grant, Boys internationals Eoin Murphy and Josh Mackin, and veteran stalwart Peter Rogers and another former local winner, Dan Coyle.

Tiarnan McLarnon, who partnered Rafferty to success in Colombia last week, is also in the high-quality field along with the likes of Colm Campbell, Jack Doherty, Aaron Marshall, Ross Kelly Eugene Smith and Geoff Lenehan.

The greenkeeping staff at the Dundalk have been working hard over the last few weeks to have the course in top shape for Sunday and club professional Leslie Walker believes that the course record of 64, which was recently set by Grant, could be under threat.

“With the quality of the field and the course set-up, I’m looking forward to a low-scoring event and I think it will be a great opportunity to see some of the top amateur players in action,” said Walker.

Rafferty, who is the defending champion, says he would love to retain his title after an amazing season which has seen him win the silver medal for leading qualifier at the British Amateur and North of Ireland Championships as well as helping Ireland to victory in the Home Internationals and the Copa Fedegolf in Colombia where he also won the individual event.

“It was a big breakthrough for me last year when I won it and I am delighted that I kicked-on after that. I’d love to retain the title but I know that it’s not going to be easy looking at the quality of the field. Hopefully local knowledge will count for something!” said Rafferty who will spend this week playing for Maynooth University at the European University Championships in Prague.

This year’s event has a new sponsor in One Finance and Club Captain Mickey Coburn said it is great to have them on board.

“We are delighted to welcome on board One Finance as the new sponsors of the Scratch Cup and look forward to working with them to consolidate the competition’s status as one of the top 36 hole senior scratch cups in Ireland.

The Dundalk Scratch Cup commenced in 1963 when it was won by David Sheahan and previous champions include three-times Major winner and European Ryder Cup player Padraig Harrington.

PHOTO: Pictured at the launch of the 2017 Dundalk Scratch Cup sponsored by One Finance were (from left): Leslie Walker (Club Professional), Niall McDonnell (One Finance), Caolan Rafferty (Current Holder) and Dundalk Golf Club Captain Mickey Coburn.

 

 

Dundalk duo qualify for Morocco final

Leslie Walker

Club captain Mickey Coburn and Club Professional Leslie Walker produced a dominant performance to reach the SkyCaddie PGA Pro-Captain Challenge final by winning their qualifier at Seapoint Golf Club.

The Dundalk pairing will now play in the £22,000 final, in association with Golfplan, which will be played on November 21 and 22 at Mazagan Beach Resort in Casablanca, Morocco.

They carded a 10 under par round to return a total of 46 points without dropping a shot. That gave them a two point advantage over Shaun Donnelly and Neal Graham of Castle Hume Golf Club and David Walker (Leslie’s brother) and Stuart Margetson of Foxrock Golf Club.

This was the first time that Coburn and Walker had actually played alongside each other. But they gelled immediately with Coburn making six birdies and a nett eagle – and the result now sees them travelling to Morocco for the final.

“If I’m brutally honest that’s the first time I’ve ever played with Leslie, it worked out very well on the day, and we started out well which was important,” said eight-handicapper Coburn.

“I really enjoyed it and I love the course. It was cloudy and no wind, we probably got the best of the day, but we had about a four hour wait to see if we’d won. You’re always hoping someone doesn’t nick it at the end.

“But I have to say this is absolutely fabulous prize.”

For Walker it was a welcome return to the winner’s enclosure on the PGA circuit but he was quick to pay tribute to his teammate.

“We played a super round, Mickey was very strong, he did all the scoring with six birdies and an eagle,” said Walker.

“It was a great links course but the rough was very difficult so you can see why some teams dropped shots, but we were in the short grass all day long.

“I’ve never played out in Morocco, it’ll be a great new experience and I hope we can compete out there.”

Cumiskey take route 66 to Professional’s Prize

The weather wasn’t the only thing that was hot at Dundalk Golf Club on Sunday as a few of the 187 strong field took full advantage of the good conditions to go low over the formidable blue course.

Fifteen handicapper Andrew Cumiskey emerged as the winner of Leslie Walker’s Professional’s Prize after shooting a six under par 66 while Aaron Grant (+1) took the Gross Prize with a two under par 70 and Denis Ryan (22) claimed the veteran’s prize with a 71. James Reillyu (26) won the Juvenile Prize.

After opening with a par, Cumiskey double bogeyed the second but got those shots back with back to back pars at the next two holes. A bogey at five was followed by a birdie at the par five sixth and pars at seven and eight. Bogeys at nine, 10 and 11 followed  by pars at 12, 13 and 14 before he took full advantage of his shots by bogeying his way home for a nett 66.

Dillon Green (7) also shot a 66 and that was good enough to take Category 1 by three shots from Barry Cunningham (8). Green’s round  included birdies at 5 and 11. Gerry O’Keefe (13) with a 67 won Category 2 by two shots from Noel Reid (16). Category Three was won by Caoimhin O’Callaghan (20) with 69 as Gavin McDonnell (19) produced  back to back birdies on 17 and 18 to slip into second with a 71.

Sunday, June 18 –  Professional’s Prize (Leslie Walker) – Winner:  Andrew Cumiskey (15) 66. Gross: Aaron Grant (+1) 70. Veteran: Denis Ryan (22) 71. Category 1: (+1-12) Dillon Greene (7) 66, Barry Cunningham (8) 69/34. Category 2: (13-18) Gerard O’Keefe (13) 67, Noel Reid (16) 69/35.  Category 3 (19-28): Caoimhin O’Callaghan (20) 69, Gavin McDonnell (19) 71/32.5. Juvenile: James Reilly (26) 78. CSS: 73.

Sun shines for Professional’s Prize

The sun shone last Sunday for Leslie Walker’s Professional’s Prize and so too did captain Maurice Soraghan (9) who shot 69 to take top prize on countback.

Robert White (2) took the Gross Prize with a one over par 73 while Michael Stewart (14) won the Veteran’s Prize with a 70.

Liam O’Reilly (9) captured the Category One prize while Barry Grennan (12) and Padraig McDonnell were the other category winners with Joseph Laverty (20) claiming the Juvenile Prize.

Sunday, July 17 – Professional’s Prize (Leslie Walker) – Overall: Maurice Soraghan (9) 69. Gross: Robert White (2) 73. Veteran: Michael Stewart (14) 70. Category 1 (0 to 11): Liam O’Reilly (9) 69, Gregory McCaughey (9) 70. Category 2 (12 to 16): Barry Grennan (12) 70/35, Danny Miele (13) 70. Category 3 (17 to 28): Padraig McDonnell (22) 71, Eamon Arthur (21) 72. Juvenile: Joseph Laverty (20) 77. CSS: 73.