Men’s teams off to a good start with four wins in a week

It’s been a good week for Dundalk Golf Club on the inter-club front with four wins from five outings for the men’s teams.

The Fred Perry team kicked things off last Wednesday with a 3-2 win over Balbriggan and the Senior Cup team, which features our elite players, made it two out of two on Thursday when they beat Forest Little by 3.5 to 1.5. Aaron Grant won 6&4, Josh Mackin won 3&2 and Caolan Rafferty won 6&5 while Eoin Murphy was all square playing 18 when he was called in. Debutant Jason Murphy lost 3&2 in his first appearance at this level for the club.

On Friday, the Junior Cup team beat Co Louth, with Christy Ward and Colin Roche winning away, before the Provincial Towns Cup team had a 4.5 to 2.5 win over Greenore with Darren Murphy showing great character to clinch victory with a birdie on the 19th hole after he had been three up with three to play.

That made it four wins out of four for the week but the winning run came to an end on Sunday evening when the All-Ireland Fourball team lost 3-2 to South Meath.  

Ward comeback sends Ladies Intermediate Cup team through

It has been a busy week for Ladies on the inter-club front with three teams in action.

The Junior Foursomes team were first up on Bank Holiday Monday when they played Elmgreen with one match at home and two away. Ann Hopper and Mary Carthy got off to a great start in Elmgreen and were up in the match from the beginning. Both ladies played great golf and won 4up with 5holes to play. In the top match at home, Jacinta Foran and Berni MacGuinness were 2up but were brought back to all square and it all came down to a putt on the final green as they were sadly defeated. Behind them Elizabeth Mc Guinness and Brid Rocks had a similar story with their match going to the 18th and also ending in defeat. It was so near and yet for far but well done to the players and all the panel and a special word of thanks to Pat Cleary and Criona O’Reilly for managing the team.

On Saturday, June 12, the Junior and Intermediate Cup teams played their first round matches against Roganstown and Balbriggan respectively. The Junior Cup had Lady Captain Pauline and Criona O’Reilly playing away while Elaine Ward, Ellen McEneaney and Elizabeth Mc Donnell played at home.

Both away matches ended in defeat with Criona’s match going to the 20th. At home Ellen and Elizabeth both won on the 14th while Elaine Ward produced a spectacular performance to come from four down to win her match on the 18th and put the team through to the next round. Congratulations to the team and thanks to the team managers Anne Doohan and Maeve Ahern.

The Intermediate Cup team were defeated by Balbriggan with Maureen Sheridan and Berni MacGuinness playing in Balbriggan and Ann Hopper, Niamh Maguire and Brid Rocks playing in Dundalk. A special word of thanks to Briege Renaghan and Bernie Prendergast for managing the team.

A special word of thanks to Professional Leslie Walker for his coaching sessions and the support he offers the Ladies teams.

Strong finish delivers win for Farrelly

Ronan Farrelly won the Singles Stableford competition which was played over the Saturday and Sunday of the June Bank Holiday weekend.

Playing off 14, he shot an impressive 42pts to beat Denis Cunningham (12) by two points. It was second successive weekend that Cunningham figured among the prizes having placed second in Division 2 the previous weekend when he shot 38pts.

Farrelly covered the first nine holes in 18pts having posted three point pars at the first, seventh and eighth and dropped shots at the second and the fifth.

A three point par at the index two 11th followed by a four point birdie at the par five 12th ignited his round and though he dropped a shot at the par three 13th he finished strongly picking up ten points over the final three holes.

A birdie three at the par four index four long 16th yielded four points and he added three point pars at the 17th and 18th to come home in 24pts for an overall total of 42pts.

Cunningham finished on 40pts to take the runners-up spot while Ciaran Johnson (4) shot 39pts to take third in a field of 209 players.

Another of the Club’s impressive band of young players, Conall Murdock (2) took Division 1 with 38pts while Ciaran Daly (12) won Division 2 with 36pts on countback from Brendan Duffy (12). Division 3 was won by Paul O’Hare (27) who just edged out Michael Keating (22) on countback.

For the second week in a row Aaron Grant (+2) took the Gross honours with 36pts.

Wednesday’s Open Singles was won by Connor McCaughey (7) whose back nine of 23pts was enough to give him victory on countback from Shane Byrne (13) and Kevin O’Connor (34) after they had all posted rounds of 41pts.

Wednesday, June 9 – Open Singles Stableford – Overall: Connor McCaughey (7) 41/23pts Shane Byrne (14) 41/20pts. Division 1: Thomas O’Connell (10) 37pts. Division 2: David Brennan (15) 38pts. Division 3: Kevin O’Connor (32) 41/18pts. Gross: Joseph Laverty (1) 35pt.

Saturday, June 5 and Sunday, June 6 – Singles Stableford – Overall: Ronan Farrelly (14) 42pts, Denis Cunningham (12) 40pts, Ciaran Johnston (4) 39pts. Division 1 (up to 10.5): Conall Murdock (2) 38pts. Darren Murphy (10) 37pts. Division 2 (10.6 to 15.8) Ciaran Daly (12) 36/21pts, Brendan Duffy (12) 36/18pts. Division 3 (15.9 and over) Paul O’Hare (27) 38/19pts, Michael Keating (22) 38/18pts. Gross Recognition: Aaron Grant (2) 36pts.

Annual Hospice Homecare team event a big success

The annual Four Lady Charity Team Event, in aid of Hospice Homecare, was played on Saturday, June 5 and Tuesday, June 8. This is one of the most popular competitions of the golfing season, with all proceeds going towards Hospice Homecare. The competition was once again very kindly sponsored by Paula Bishoff and Catherine McElligott of The Hair Shop.

The scoring was very high with the winning team consisting of Lady President Joyce Burbage, Mary Smyth, Siobhan Duffy and Mairead Garland returning a superb score of 93 points. This included two birdies on the par 3 ninth hole, which yielded eight points for the team. Another eight pointer on the front nine and two seven pointers on the back nine solidified the win. They clinched victory from the runners-up on 92 points, who claimed the spot on a countback.

A huge thank you to all those who helped organise this event and to all who played. The generosity of the ladies and gents of Dundalk Golf Club is most appreciated in supporting this very worthy cause.

Maura O’Callaghan, Director of the North Louth Branch, was delighted with the support again in 2021. North Louth Hospice was established almost 30 years ago and continues to do trojan work in supporting those diagnosed with cancer and their families. Some of the many services provided by the Hospice include assisting patients with transport to hospital appointments, provision of specialist Homecare Services, Home Help Support and Family Support.

Saturday, June 5 and Tuesday, June 8 – Hospice Homecare Four Lady Team Competition – Winners: Mary Smyth (32), Lady President Joyce Burbage (26), Mairead Garland (24), Siobhan Duffy (27) 93pts. Runners-up: Ide Mc Dermott (26), Geraldine Hoare (30), Paula Mc Keown (25), Angela McGuire (31) 92pts. Third: Bernadette Kearney (40), Catherine Mullins (33), Marie Fagan (25), Ann King (26) 92pts. 9-Hole Singles Stableford: Ann Kirk (17) 21pts, Rita Kelly (19) 18pts.

Maguire takes Clarke Salver as McCrory wins Tempest Dish

The first Ladies singles competition of 2021 was played on Saturday, May 29 and Tuesday, June 1 in glorious conditions with The Clarke Salver and Tempest Dish were keenly contested, with very high scores returned.

Niamh Maguire claimed the Clarke Salver, with a fabulous score of 40 points. Runner- up was Brid Rocks with another great score of 38 points.

The Tempest Dish was won by Colette McCrory with another impressive score of 39 points. Pat Cleary was runner-up with 38 points.

Saturday, May 29 and Tuesday, June 1 – Clarke Salver – Overall Winner: Niamh Maguire (21) 40pts, Runner- up: Brid Rocks (19) 38pts, 3rd place: Louise Lynn (24) 37/19pts, 4th place: Pauline Duffy (25) 37pts. Tempest Dish: Overall Winner: Colette McCrory (32) 39pts, Runner-up: Pat Cleary (29) 38pts, 3rd place: Una Connolly (38) 37pts, 4th place: Keira Kenny (Juv) (31) 36pts.

Lawrence makes history in winning Irwin Lockington Salver

Edward Lawrence created a little bit of history when he became the first player to win a singles competition at Dundalk Golf Club played under the World Handicap System. Although the WHS came into force on January 1, the COVID-19 lockdown meant singles competitions didn’t resume until the last weekend in May.

The opening competition of the season was the long-established Irwin Lockington Salver, which was first played for in 1961, and the 60th anniversary of this competition attracted a field of 220 players.

Lawrence, playing off 23 under the new handicap system, got off to the perfect start with two three-point pars from his opening two holes and added another three points at the index one fourth where he had two strokes. Two-point returns at the other six holes on the front nine saw him turn in 21pts.

His back nine was somewhat more erratic. He covered the nine holes in 20pts but that score was bookended by blanks at the 10th and 18th. Over the other seven holes he managed a four-point birdie at the index six 15th, three-point pars at the 14th, 16th and 17th and a three-point bogey at the index two 11th.

As it turned out, he didn’t have cause to regret either blank. Kieran McCann, playing off 32, and Emmet McCabe-Savage, off seven, both came home in 40pts with McCann edging out the low man on countback.

Aaron Grant (+2) took the gross prize with 35pts while the Divisional honours went to Aidan Thornton (6), Aidan Gaughran (15) and Brian Mulroy (28).  

Saturday, May 29 and Sunday, May 30 – Irwin Lockington Salver Prize – Overall (Winner) Edward Lawrence, (23) 41pts. Overall (Runner up) Kieran McCann (32) 40pts, Overall (3rd Place) Emmet McCabe-Savage (7) 40pts. Gross Prize: Aaron Grant (+2) 35pts. Division 1 (up to 10.2): Aidan Thornton (6) 39pts, Connor McCaughey (8) 38pts. Division 2 (up to 16.5): Aidan Gaughran (15) 38pts, Dennis Cunningham (12) 38pts. Division 3 (up to 54.0): Brian Mulroy (28) 37pts, Martin McDonnell (23) 35pts.


Rafferty helps International team to victory in Palmer Cup

Caolan Rafferty warms up on the range at the 2020 Palmer Cup

Caolan Rafferty warms up on the range at the 2020 Palmer Cup

After seeing almost all his plans for 2020 derailed because of COVID-19,  Caolan Rafferty got the perfect Christmas present when he helped the International team retain the Palmer Cup at Bay Hill Golf Club in Florida.

Created by the legendary Arnold Palmer, the Ryder Cup-style event involves the best male and female college players from America and the Rest of the World. It was due to be played last summer in Lahinch but had to be postponed because of COVID-19.

It was moved to America and took place just before Christmas with the International team showing no ill-effects from a disrupted year as they ran out convincing winners by 40.5 to 19.5, winning all four sessions over the three days of the event.

At the start of the year Rafferty had targeted a place at the Palmer Cup as one of his season goals in a bid to finish his time as a Harrington scholar at Maynooth University on a high.

A lack of competitive golf, a hand injury that required surgery back in September, and a period of isolation on arrival in America meant Rafferty’s preparation was far from ideal but he got off to a winning start on Day One when he partnered Olivia Mehaffey from Banbridge to victory in the Mixed Foursomes.

The Irish pair beat Quade Cummings and Jaime Jacobs by one hole in a match where they were never behind after birdieing the second to go one up. They were two up with four to play but lost 15 and 17 to birdies before snatching victory with a par on the last.

“I played okay but Olivia, thankfully, played really well. I just helped out when I could and it was nice to get a point on the board early,” said Rafferty,

The International team opened up a 9-3 lead after the first day and then extended that to 15 points after the morning fourballs on Day Two which Rafferty had to sit out as a positive COVID case on the USA team meant they couldn’t field in all the matches.

He returned for the afternoon mixed foursomes alongside Mehaffey but they were just edged out by one hole by the America pair of Evan Katz and Gina Kim. The Irish pair had taken an early lead with a birdie on the third but then lost the fourth and seventh. They got back to all square by winning the 10th but lost the next hole to par and were unable to get back on level terms as the Americans held on to win by one hole.

“Like the day before we played decent golf and it just came down to a putt here and there that could have gone our way. I suppose it just showed the standard we were playing at. There was nothing between us.”

The International team took the session 12-5 and went into the last day singles leading by 26.5 to 9.5 and needing just four points to secure overall victory.

The International selectors decided to lead with all-Irish attack with Mehaffey, Mark Power and Rafferty handed the first three slots in the singles. Mehaffey halved her match to set them on their way before Rafferty delivered the international’s first win of the day when he beat Evan Katz by one hole.

The Dundalk player had got off the perfect start by winning three of the first five holes but he then lost six and seven to birdies and when he lost nine and ten to pars he found himself one behind.

However, he bounced back by birdieing the 11th and regained the lead with a par on the 13th. However, Katz refused to submit and struck back on the 16th which he won with a birdie. Rafferty then needed to hole a knee-jerking four-foot putt on the 17th to remain all-square before winning the match on the last.

“We both played sloppy golf on the front nine but there was a lot of good golf on the back nine. On 18 I hit a 5 iron from the rough to 35 feet while he missed the green long and didn’t get up and down. It ended up that I had two putts for the win but first putt held its line across the slope and went in for birdie which was a nice way to finish especially considering it’s a similar putt which we see the pros having when they play the Arnold Palmer invitational at Bay Hill.”

The International team took the singles 14-10 to run out winners by 40-5 to 19.5 and retain the Palmer Cup. For Rafferty, it was a week to remember at the end of a year to forget.

“It was great that it was played because it wasn’t looking likely for a long time. Lahinch would have been fantastic venue but getting the opportunity to play in Arnold Palmer’s back garden at Bay Hill was very special.

“The team gelled so well. It was as if we knew each other for ages. Nothing felt awkward and there was good craic between us all. The whole week was great with the opportunity to meet loads of new people and experience a fabulous venue. I was told it would be special and it surely was.” 

Rafferty’s next objective is to make the Great Britain and Ireland team which will play the USA in the Walker Cup at Seminole Golf Club in Florida next May. He was recently named on the squad from which the travelling team will be picked and is determined to make it back to back appearances in one of golf’s biggest events.

“It’s always a great achievement to make that panel so I’m delighted. I’m just going get the foot down and start getting ready for whatever will be the first event in 2021. Hopefully I can play my way back onto the final 10-man team again.”

Quinn holds on to take Halloween Hamper

OONAGH Quinn (28) shot 39pts to win the Ladies Halloween Hamper eating Brid Rocks (20) by one point with Ann McDonnell (19) a shot further back in third place

Quinn picked up three points at the fifth and eighth as she went out in 19pts and she collected three points at the 12th, 15th and 17th as she covered the back nine in 20pts for an overall score of 39pts.

Rocks had a four point par at the par five seventh also had five three-pointers at the fifth, ninth, 10th, 13th and 18th but was left wondering what might have been had she not failed to score at the par four second.

McDonnell also had a blank on her card as he failed to score at the 11th although she did bounce back from that disaster with a four point birdie at the next, the par five 12th. Her round included three-point returns at the second, fourth, fifth, seventh and 18th.

Saturday, October 17 and Tuesday, October 20 – Ladies Halloween Hamper – Winner: Oonagh Quinn(28) 39pts, Runner-Up: Brid Rocks (20) 38pts, Third: Ann McDonnell (19) 37pts. CSS: Saturday 33pts, Tuesday 35pts.