McDonnell beats Rafferty in play-off to win Dundalk Scratch Cup

Jack McDonnell (centre) receives the Dundalk Scratch Cup from Dundalk Golf Club Captain Trevor Giff and Martin McDonnell, Managing Director of One Finance.

JACK McDonnell of Forest Little defeated Dundalk’s Caolan Rafferty in a sudden-death play-off to win the One Finance sponsored Dundalk Scratch Cup for the first time.

McDonnell and Rafferty were level on seven under at the end of the 36 hole tournaments but McDonnell birdied the opening play-off, the par four first, after an excellent pitch to six feet. 

Dundalk’s Eoin Murphy and Robert Moran of The Castle finished two shots behind McDonnell and Rafferty with another Dundalk player, Aaron Grant in fifth. 


Dundalk Senior Scratch Cup sponsored by One Finance

1st: Jack McDonnell (Forest Little) (+3.3) 137 (67/70) (Won on first play-off hole).

2nd: Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk) (+3.4) 137 (69/68)

3rd: Eoin Murphy (Dundalk) (+2.0) 139 (71/68)

4th: Robert Moran (The Castle) (+4.8) 139 (71/68)

Best Nett: Joseph Laverty (Dundalk) (1.9) 146 (74/72) Back 9.

First 18 Gross: Ciaran Tracey (Co Louth) (+1.0 ) 69.

First 18 Nett: Conor Murphy (Dundalk) (2.2) 69.

Second 18 Gross: Matthew Giles (Greenore) (-3.3) 68.

Second 18 Nett: Liam McGavisk (Greenore) (0.9) 70.


Position – Player – R1 – R2 – Score

1 – Mc Donnell, Jack 67 70 137 137,70,37,25,13,4

1- Rafferty, Caolan 69 68 137 137,68,34,22,12,4
McDonnell won on first play-off hole

3 Murphy, Eoin 71 68 139 139,68,33,21,11,4
4 Moran, Robert 71 68 139 139,68,33,22,11,4
5 Grant, Aaron 70 70 140 140,70,35,22,10,4
6 Ward, Simon 72 69 141 141,69,33,20,10,3
7 Giles, Matthew 76 68 144 144,68,35,22,11,4
8 Coulter, Stephen 71 73 144 144,73,34,21,11,4
9 Dunne, Gerard 72 73 145 145,73,36,23,11,4
10 Abom, Liam 74 72 146 146,72,37,25,11,4
11 Campbell, Colm Jnr 73 73 146 146,73,38,25,14,4
12 Murphy, Jason 76 71 147 147,71,35,23,13,5
13 Boucher, Marc 73 74 147 147,74,37,24,11,4
14 Callaghan, Graham 72 75 147 147,75,35,24,11,4
15 Marshall, David Jnr 70 77 147 147,77,38,24,14,4
16 Johnston, Ciaran 77 71 148 148,71,35,22,11,4
17 Ryan, Aaron 77 71 148 148,71,38,23,13,4
18 McDonnell, Charlie 76 72 148 148,72,36,22,11,4
19 Shiel, Daivd 71 77 148 148,77,39,25,14,7
20 Tracey, Ciaran 69 79 148 148,79,39,24,13,5
21 Smith, Adam 74 75 149 149,75,38,24,11,3
22 Laverty, Joseph 76 74 150 150,74,37,23,13,5
23 Winters, David 77 74 151 151,74,39,24,13,5
24 St. John, Brandon 76 75 151 151,75,36,23,12,4
25 Collins, Annraoi 76 75 151 151,75,37,23,11,4
26 Rogers, Dean 75 76 151 151,76,36,22,9,3
27 Whelan, Jake 74 77 151 151,77,39,26,13,4
28 Connell, Charlie 73 78 151 151,78,37,21,10,4
29 McGavisk, Liam 81 71 152 152,71,36,22,10,3
30 Doyle, Andrew 79 73 152 152,73,38,23,11,4
31 McConnell, Simon 77 75 152 152,75,35,22,11,4
32 Coyle, Daniel 76 76 152 152,76,38,25,13,4
33 Harper, Tristan Lee 74 78 152 152,78,39,26,14,6
34 Justice, Mark 76 77 153 153,77,38,24,11,3
35 Farrell, Evan 74 79 153 153,79,39,25,13,5
36 O’Dwyer, Luke 78 76 154 154,76,38,21,10,3
37 Hession, Shane 77 77 154 154,77,38,24,12,4
38 Rogers, Peter 77 77 154 154,77,39,24,13,4
39 Gammell, Samuel 75 79 154 154,79,40,25,12,4
40 Wade, Gareth 78 77 155 155,77,38,24,11,4
41 Green, Michael 77 78 155 155,78,40,25,13,5
42 O’Connor, Ruairi 75 80 155 155,80,39,23,11,4
43 Harbourne, Dylan 74 81 155 155,81,40,24,12,4
44 Mackell, Neal 82 74 156 156,74,34,21,10,5
45 Quigley, Aidan 80 76 156 156,76,37,23,11,4
46 Dooley, Aidan 80 76 156 156,76,39,23,13,4
47 Murdock, Conall 79 77 156 156,77,39,25,14,4
48 Abom, Thomas 78 78 156 156,78,39,24,12,4
49 Mina Ronayne, Mikey 81 76 157 157,76,38,23,12,5
50 Murphy, Conor 72 85 157 157,85,42,28,15,6
51 Alderdice, Zak 82 76 158 158,76,38,25,13,5
52 McKenna, Daniel 78 80 158 158,80,39,24,13,4
53 McCaughey, Connor 78 80 158 158,80,40,26,13,4
54 Pilkington, David 77 81 158 158,81,38,25,12,4
55 Caffrey, Ben 77 81 158 158,81,40,26,13,4
56 Kelly, Jamie 75 83 158 158,83,41,24,13,5
57 Tynan, David 81 78 159 159,78,39,23,11,5
58 Roche, Colin 82 78 160 160,78,38,21,11,4
59 Mackin, Josh 78 83 161 161,83,44,27,13,4
60 McCann, Austin 82 81 163 163,81,40,24,12,4
61 Mullins Shortt, Conall 89 76 165 165,76,36,22,9,3
62 Kennelly, Ruairi 83 83 166 166,83,42,28,13,4
63 Copeland, Gerard 86 87 173 173,87,46,30,17,6
IC Reidy, Sean 77 IC IC

Barton Shield run comes to an end

Dundalk’s provincial dominance of the Barton Shield, which yielded Leinster titles in 2018 and 2019, came to an end last Wednesday when the team lost to Greenore.

Caolan Rafferty and Eoin Murphy won their match but Aaron Grant and Josh Mackin were beaten as Greenore won the tie by three holes. 

The Fred Daly team got their campaign off to a winning start with a 3-2 win over Laytown & Bettystown. Zak Alderdice, Chris Clarke and Conal Mullin were the Dundalk winners with Conor Murphy going down 3&2 and Joseph Laverty losing on the 19th after forcing his match to sudden death having been three down with three to play.

In the Pierce Purcell Dundalk beat Ardee 3.5 to 1.5 despite having to play three of the matches away from home. In Dundalk Tommy Reneghan and Denis Cunningham recovered from being three down after nine to win 2&1 while Larry Soraghan and Paul Cheshire also won 2&1. In Ardee, John McKeever and Sean Quigley were beaten 5&4 but Cathal Muckian and Michael McDermott won by two holes to secure the third and winning point with Dessie Ward and Ken Lynch three up with three to play when they were called in.

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.  

Impressive Whelan wins Dundalk Scratch Cup by five shots

Jake Whelan from Newlands produced a sublime performance to captured the 58th Dundalk Scratch Cup sponsored by One Finance.

The 26-year-old fired two three under par rounds of 69 to win by five shots from Cian Geraghty of Laytown & Bettystown and Roganstown’s Arron Edward-Hills on a day when a strong wind, tricky pins and slick greens presented a formidable challenge for the top class field.

Whelan led at the halfway stage after shooting an opening 69. The Dubliner, who has strong Dundalk connections, was two under after five holes following birdies at the first and fifth but dropped a shot on the par three ninth to turn in one under. Down the back he birdied the short par four 14th and the long par four 16th to come home in 34 and set the pace at three under.

That left him two shots clear of Dundalk’s Aaron Grant, Roganstown Aaron Edward-Hills, the 2018 North of Ireland winner, and Portmarnock’s Geoff Lenehan with Jack McDonnell of Forest Little and Daivd Shiel of Powerscourt a shot further back on level par.

 Grant, who won this competition in 2013, opened with a birdie on the 10th, his first hole, but turned level after bogeying the 18th. He responded to that setback with back to back birdies on the first and second and parred his way in to sign for a one under par 71.

Edward-Hills also began on the back nine and got off to a blistering start with birdies at the 10th, 11th, 14th and 15th to lie four under after six holes. A bogey at 16 interrupted his momentum but he still completed his first nine in three under par. He was still three under with two to play, after a bogey on five was cancelled out by a birdie on the par five seventh, but dropped to one under following a double bogey six on the tricky par four eighth where he three putted from close range.

The defending champion, Caolan Rafferty, who was bidding for his third successive title and fourth in all, went out in one under par thanks to a birdie on the par four 11th. However, a wayward tee shot on the first, his 10th, led to a double bogey six and that was followed by a bogey five on the next.

He got back to level par for the round with birdies on the third and sixth but a bogey on the par five seventh meant he came home in 38 for a first round total of one over par 73 which was matched by his playing partner Colm Campbell.

In the second round neither Rafferty or Campbell were able to mount a charge. Rafferty did birdie the ninth to turn level but fell away down the back nine and eventually finished on four over par with Campbell matching him.

Edward-Hills set the clubhouse lead when he carded a second round of level par 72 to finish on one-under and was joined by Laytown & Bettystown’s Cian Geraghty who shot a second round 69 to go with his 74 from the morning. After a bogey at the fourth moved him to three over, Geraghty birdied the sixth, eighth, 12th and 17th to move through to the pack into second.

If Whelan was feeling the pressure holding the halfway lead he didn’t show it. Starting his second round on the 10th he reeled off ten consecutive pars, including a sublime up and down from the back of the first green. Then he holed a long putt from the front of the second, his 11th, for birdie to move to four under.

Although he handed that back at the next with a bogey he showed his confidence on the par five sixth when hit a driver off the fairway from 260 yards out and left the ball eight feet from the pin. His eagle putt didn’t drop but his tap-in birde brought him back to four under and he then birdied the par five seventh to move to five under before finishing in style by sinking a birdie putt on his final hole, the par three ninth, to finish on six under.

“This is the biggest win of my career,” said Whelan afterwards. “It is one of the biggest Scratch Cups and there are some great names who have won it in the past. I am delighted for my family as we have strong links to the area and my father was a member here.

“I hit the ball well all day and I also putted well for a change,” said Whelan, who added that he intends to keep an appointment he had made last week for a putting lesson on Tuesday with Dundalk professional Leslie Walker.  

Final Leaderboard:  138 – Jake Whelan (Newlands) 69, 69. 143 – Cian Geraghty (Laytown & Bettystown) 74,        69; Arron Edward-Hills (Roganstown) 71, 72. Robert Moran (The Castle) 74, 70. Jack Mc Donnell (Forest Little) 72, 72. 146 – Dylan Keating (Seapoint) 75, 71; Geoff Lenehan (Portmarnock) 71, 75. 147 – Hugh Foley (Royal Dublin) 74, 73. 148 – Sean Keeling (Roganstown) 77, 71; Gerard Dunne (Co Louth) 75, 73; Joseph Byrne (Baltinglass) 74, 74; Colm Campbell Jnr (Warrenpoint) 73, 75; Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk) 73, 75; David Shiel (Powerscourt) 72, 76. 149 – Richard Knightly (Royal Dublin) 75, 74; 150 – Paul Conroy (Enniscorthy) 78, 72, Jason Rackard (Enniscorthy) 75, 75; Daniel Mulligan (Laytown & Bettystown) 75, 75; Aaron Grant (Dundalk) 71, 79.

Official Results: 1st Jake Whelan (Newlands) (+2) 138 (69/690).  2nd Cian Geraghty (Laytown & Bettystown) (+1) 143 (74/69) 3rd Aaron Edward-Hills (Roganstown) (+4) 143 (71/72). 4th Robert Moran (The Castle) (+4)           144 (74/70). Best Nett: Sean Keeling (Roganstown) (2) 144 (75/69). 1st 18  Gross: Geoffrey Lenehan (Portmarnock) (+3) 71/36. 1st 18 Nett: David Shiel (Powerscourt) (0) 72/37. 2nd 18 Gross: Dylan Keating (Seapoint) (+3) 71. 2nd  18 Nett: Graham Callaghan (Co Louth) (0) 72/36.

1st  Round CSS 76 reductions only

2nd Round CSS 74


PHOTO: The 2020 winner of the Dundalk Scratch Cup Jake Whelan of Newlands Golf Club pictured with sponsor Martin McDonnell, Managing Director of One Finance, and Dundalk Golf Club Captain Trevor Giff. 

Week dominated by titanic battles with Ardee in cup competitions

Last week was dominated by a series of titanic inter-club battles with neighbours Ardee as the clubs met in the Senior Cup, Jimmy Bruen Shield and Barton Cup having already clashed in the Junior Cup the previous weekend when Ardee ran out winners by 3.5 to 1.5.

Hopes of immediately gaining revenge for that defeat last Thursday in the Senior Cup were dashed when the young Ardee team emerged 3-2 winners in dramatic fashion. The match was in the balance after Aaron Grant and Caolan Rafferty won while Andrew Keenan and Conor Curran were beaten. Eoin Murphy was two up with three holes to play but failed to close out the match and ended up losing on the 20th.

The Jimmy Bruen Cup team were next on the Friday and there was plenty of drama here as well. Damian English and Aidan Thornton lost 6&5 in Ardee but Eugene Hanratty and Conor Murphy won 4&3 while in Dundalk Emmet Savage and Ciaran Sheridan lost on the 17th but Joseph Laverty and Michael Staunton secured a sensation victory on the 18th when Laverty holed his approach for an eagle two to win one up. That left everything hanging on the final match in Ardee where teenagers Ciaran Johnston and Chris Clarke were all square through 19 before bad light halted play.

The match was eventually concluded last Thursday when Johnson and Martin returned to Ardee. ch in our Jimmy Bruen Shield tie against the home club. The 20th, which was the second in Ardee, was par three and both Dundalk players found the green from the tee with Ardee chipping on to eight and 10 feet respectively. Johnston from 60ft got to within three feet of the hole while Clarke, rolled his swinging putt inside him. When Ardee missed both their par putts, it was left to Johnston to close out the match with a solid putt.  Dundalk will now play The Island in the next round.

Ardee’s impressive first round demolition of Headfort meant they started as raging hot favourites when the clubs met for the fourth time in eight days in the Barton Cup last Saturday but manager Carl Stewart had his homework done, got his pairings right and with watched with satisfaction as Dundalk won the three first three matches #

In Dundalk, Andrew Keenan and Conor Conroy, playing in the top match, were always in control from the moment Keenan won the opening hole. They went two up after winning the 13th and although Ardee responded immediately by winning the 14th, Conroy won the 15th and they closed out the match on 16 for a 3&2 win.

Behind them Clem Walshe and Kevin Redmond looked to be on their way victory when they were three up after eight but Ardee won the next three holes to draw level and ask serious questions of the Dundalk duo. However, Walshe and Redmond hung in and eventually got back in front on the 15th before closing out the match by taking 18 to win 2up.

That left Dundalk 2-0 ahead and they got over the line when Mark Gorham and 15-year-old Chris Clarke snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the top match in Ardee. A purple patch from the 8th hole onwards saw Ardee open up a commanding four hole lead through 11 but Gorman and Clarke kept their nerve and dug deep. Over the next six holes they dovetailed well to bring it back to all square with one to play.  A superb 20 foot birdie putt from Gorham on the 18th nullified Ardee’s nett birdie to send the match into sudden death where it was finally decided on the 21st when Clarke showed nerves of steel to sink a slippery six foot par for par and the winning point.

The other matches were called in, giving Dundalk a 4-1 victory. Shane Hession and John Mulligan were all square going down 18 after a high quality encounter where there was never more than one hole between the pairings while Peter Rogers and Bobby McCarthy were also involved in a tight match and were on the verge of going back to all square on the 17th when their match was called in.

Wins in Senior and Junior Cups but Pierce Purcell team lose

There’s been a good start to the commencement of inter-club competitions for 2020 with two of our three teams recording first round victories over the past week.

On Thursday, our Senior Cup team had a narrow 3-2 win over Laytown & Bettytown who had won the regional qualifier last year in Dundalk and, with three matches of the five matches being played on the famous Co Meath links, they were favourites to advance.

The match was decided in Laytown after it finished 1-1 in Dundalk where Aaron Grant played some great golf to see off Jack McDonnell who had won the Balbriggan Scratch Cup the previous Sunday. McDonnell was five under through the front nine and along the way eagled the par five sixth following a drive and wedge to eight feet.

But after being two down after two, Grant hung in and won five and 11 to go level with seven to play, He edged in front by winning the 15th and then sealed a 2 and 1 victory by winning on 17.

Behind him Josh Mackin found himself three down after four but managed to steady the ship without being able to eat into his opponent’s lead and eventually ran out of holes on the 16th as he lost 3 and 2, having shaved the edge of the hole with his birdie putt.

In Laytown, Maurice Murphy played their star player Alex Maguire, recently returned from an impressive sophomore year in Florida Atlantic University, in the top match but a misbehaving driver left Maurice chasing the match from early on and he eventually he succumbed on the 14th hole.

Behind him, Eoin Murphy played Annrai Collins and after a blistering start he was three up after three holes. Although Collins pulled him back to all square after 10, Murphy’s power game was ideally suited to the newly re-routed Laytown layout and a series of 350 yard plus drives saw him regain control of the match and run out a comfortable 3&1 winner.

That left everything hinging on the final match where Irish international and Walker Cup star Caolan Rafferty was matched against the dogged David Foy. An out of sorts Rafferty, combined with some inspired iron play from Foy, saw the Dundalk player trailing by one hole with six to play.

But, with Dundalk’s Senior Cup campaign hanging by a thread, Rafferty rose to the challenge and popped in three birdies over the next five holes to record a great 2&1 win and earn Dundalk a place in the next round against either Ardee or Royal Tara.

The clubs met again on Friday in the Junior Cup with Dundalk have the advantage of three matches at home and they made it count as Andrew Keenan, Billy Cairns and Joseph Laverty all won while Laytown and Bettystown won their two home matches to leave the final score at 3-2.

After almost driving the first hole, Keenan was never in trouble in the top match and romped to a 5&4 victory while Cairns won 2&1. Laverty found himself two down after four holes but responded well and played some great golf as he hauled himself back into the match and on the 17th.

On Sunday the Pierce Purcell Shield team met Royal Tara with three matches taking place in Dundalk. The Meath club won the two matches over their home track by 4&2 while, in Dundalk, Ultan Herr and Emmet Savage McCabe took the top match 3&2. John Mulligan & Michael O’Sullivan were dormie two as they headed to the 17th tee but they were called in after Danny Miele & Pat Davis, in the bottom match, lost on the 15th to a strong Meath pairing.

Dundalk lose in Barton Shield All-Ireland semi-final

Dundalk Golf Club’s latest bid to win its first national senior title ended in disappointment last Friday morning when they were beaten by Co Sligo Golf Club in the semi-finals of the AIG Barton Shield in Westport.

Having lost in last year’s All-Ireland Final to Athenry, Dundalk travelled to the Co Mayo venue hoping to go one better after winning back to back Leinster titles in July when they beat The Island in the provincial decider at Royal Tara.

They went into the last four as second favourites behind Warrenpoint, who were bidding for their third Barton Shield title in four years, but, like Dundalk, they too fell at the semi-final stage.

Dundalk managers Alan McCabe and John Conlon went with the same pairings that had delivered both provincial titles with Aaron Grant and Josh Mackin up against Ruairi O’Connor and Thomas Finnegan in the top match while Caolan Rafferty and Eoin Murphy faced brothers TJ and Daniel Ford in the other.

Right from the beginning it was obvious that Dundalk were in trouble as they found themselves behind in both matches and never managed to get their noses in front in either of them after that.

After six holes Dundalk were three down in the top match and one down in the bottom match and by the turn Grant and Mackin were four down while Rafferty and Murphy were still one behind.

That meant Dundalk were five holes behind with 18 to play and while Rafferty and Murphy managed to get it back to all square by the 12th, up ahead of them it was looking ominous as Grant and Mackin were five down with six to play in their match.

It was all over a few holes later as Dundalk ran out of holes with Grant and Mackin seven down with two play while Rafferty and Murphy were all square with three to play.

“It was disappointing not to perform the way we know we can but these things happen in sport and all we can do is pick ourselves up and get ready to have another shot at it next year,” said joint manager John Conlon.

“We still managed to retain our Leinster title this year which is a fair achievement but the lads really wanted to bring home a green one and they are gutted they didn’t do that especially for the large group of supporters who travelled to Mayo for the All-Ireland Finals.”

In the final on Friday afternoon it was Co Sligo’s turn to be on the end of a seven hole defeat as they lost to Limerick.

Walker Cup stars heading for Dundalk Scratch Cup

Walker Cup and Ireland stars Caolan Rafferty, James Sugrue and Conor Purcell will switch from being teammates to rivals this Sunday (September 15) when they tee it up at the One Finance sponsored Dundalk Scratch Cup at Dundalk Golf Club.
Last weekend the trio were part of the Great Britain & Ireland team in the Walker Cup at Hoylake before travelling to Lahinch to represent Ireland in the Home Internationals.
The presence of three players from the World’s top 60 is sure to attract big crowds to Dundalk for the 36 hole tournament which will have shotgun starts at 9am for Round 1 and 2pm for Round 2.
Rafferty is the defending champion and is bidding to win a third title in four years while Sugrue from Mallow is the Amateur champion and Portmarnock’s Purcell is the Australian Amateur champion.
The three Walker Cup players will start as favourites but there are plenty of players in the star studded field that will fancy their chances of lifting the famous trophy. Previous champions include the likes of three-time major winner Padraig Harrington while another former Walker Cup players, David Sheahan, was the first winner in 1963.
Warrenpoint’s Colm Campbell won the event in 2017 while Co Louth’s Gerard Dunne set a new course record in last year’s second round and both will be expected to feature strongly as will another former winner, Gary Cullen, while current Boys’ internationals Max Kennedy and Dylan Keating will see this as their opportunity to make their senior breakthrough.
Rafferty will lead a strong home challenge into this year’s competition as members of the club’s senior panel will be battling to nail their places in next week’s All-Ireland Barton Shield semi-final against Rosses Point in Westport. Over their home course, the challenge of Aaron Grant, Eoin Murphy, Josh Makin and Brendan Lawlor cannot be underestimated. 
The greenkeeping staff at Dundalk have been working hard over the last few weeks to have the course in top shape for Sunday and Dundalk Captain Pat Davis said everybody is looking forward to the event.
“We have a great field this year and are delighted that James Sugrue and Conor Purcell are able to play given their busy schedules. The course is in superb condition and we are expecting a lot of people to come out and take advantage of the opportunity to see some of our top amateur golfers in action,” he said.