Rafferty off to Irish Open after leading Senior Cup team to victory

Caolan Rafferty is off to this week’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Mount Juliet with club colleague Eoin Murphy on his bag.

This will be Caolan’s first European Tour event although he did take part in the recent Challenge Tour event at Portmarnock and played in the Pro-Am at the 2019 Irish Open in Lahinch. 

Rafferty is in good form at the moment as last Wednesday he shot 40pts off plus four to win the low category in the Open Singles competition at Dundalk and the following day he led the Senior Cup team into the third round of the competition as they beat Greenore 3-2 and gained some revenge for their Barton Shield defeat a fortnight earlier.

Rafferty and Eoin Murphy both won their home matches on the 15th while Josh Mackin won on the 17th in Greenore to secure the match-winning point. Jason Murphy and Joseph Laverty both made their Senior Cup debuts for the Club and, while both were beaten away from home, they will have benefited greatly from the experience.

The Jimmy Bruen Cup team are also through to the next round of their competition after beating Royal Tara 3-2. While Gerard Carroll & Alan McCabe were beaten away from home, Fergal Harte & Emmet Savage McCabe got a vital away point with a 3&2 win. That left Dundalk needing just two wins from the three home matches and they were delivered by Chris Clarke & Donal Sheridan who won 2up and Darren Murphy & Niall Martin who won 4&3 while Mark Cumiskey & Paddy Puton were beaten 1up after their opponents left their drive on the 18th just ten yards from the front of the green where there was a forward pin.  

The Junior Cup team are also through to the next round after beating Greenore 4-1. Ciaran Johnston won 4&3, Brian Og Reneghan won 4&3 and Richard Newell won 2&1 to secure the win with Colin Roche one up when he was called in while Chris Clarke was beaten 2&1.

The Barton Cup team lost their match against Greenore 4-1. John Conlon and Chris Clarke were beaten on the 18th, while Brian Og Reneghan & Denis Cunningham lost on the 17th and Clem Walshe and Ronan Farrelly were beaten on the 16th. The remaining two matches involving Feergal Harte & Emmet Savage McCabe and Aidan Thornton & Conor Hackett were both in sudden death when called in.


A weekend to remember for Emmet as he sweeps all before him

Emmet McCabe Savage won’t forget the first weekend of September 2020 in a hurry after he had a Friday, Saturday and a Sunday to remember as he tasted success in two inter-club matches, won the Knights of Malta Cup and also won the Club’s prestigious Golfer of the Year title for the first time.

On the Friday he partnered with Ciaran Sheridan to win their Jimmy Bruen Shield match against The Island by 3&2 and on Sunday he was alongside Neal MacKell, as the duo posted 5&4 win of the day against Balcarrick.

In between those two matches he went out on the Saturday and shot a superb 41pts off an 11 handicap to capture the Knights of Malta Cup with his Barton Cup sidekick MacKell (3) taking the Gross Prize with 36pts.

He got off to the perfect start with a birdie on the first for four points and after a two point par at the second and a one point double bogey at the third, he reeled off five successive two-point holes before closing the opening nine with a three point par on the ninth.

That saw him out in 20pts but he only managed to add another eight points to his total over the next five holes following a one point bogey at 10, a two point bogey at 11, a three point par on 12 and one point bogeys on 13 and 14.

Then, he hit the accelerator and produced the type of golf that is the hallmark of champions. He parred the 15th and 16th for three point pars and then birdied the par three 17th and par four 18th which were worth three and four points respectively. That haul of 13pts over the final four holes was enough to catapult him to the top of the leaderboard and nobody was able to bridge the gap to him over the rest of the weekend.

Some came close. Joseph Laverty (4) shot 40pts on the Saturday and Pat McKeown (15) did the same on Sunday but ultimately they came up short.

Those 41pts were enough to catapult him to the top of the Golfer of the Year standings in what was the last counting event of the season and saw him pip defending champion and long-time leader Clem Walshe who had to settle for third place overall after another youngster, Joseph Laverty, stole past him to claim runners-up spot.

The weekend also decided the semi-finalists foreach of the four categories in the IJM Scratch Matchplay. Players from Categories 3 & 4 will play the semi-final and final this Saturday, September 19 while Category 1 & 2 has been deferred because of a clash with the next round of the Barton Cup. Players will arrange their own matches with semi-finals to be completed by October 6 and finals to be finished by November 2.

Oonagh Quinn was the winner of the Singles Stroke competition sponsored by Club Professional Leslie Walker. Playing off 29, she shot a nett score of one-under par 72 to lead home the 135 strong field. Ellen McEneaney (11) maintained her recent run of form to take Category 1 with a 73 nett while Judy McDonough (27) has 73 nett to win Category 2. Geraldine Mohan (34) claimed Category 3 with a 74 nett while Deirdre Clarke (19) pipped Geraldine Gorham (33) on countback to win the 9-Hole competition after both tied on 16pts.

Alan Uzell had two points to spare as he won Saturday’s Singles Stableford competition. Uzell, playing off 17, shot 39pts while Colin Roche (6), Declan Ward (18) and Paul Lynch (20) won the category prizes. Roche also achieved the day’s best gross score of 31pts while John Clarke (25) was the Juvenile winner.

Good luck to our Barton Cup team who face Portmarnock Links this Saturday.

Congratulations to Jake Whelan who won the Dundalk Scratch Cup on Sunday with a fine score of 138 after two successive rounds of 69. His father Tom is a former member of the Club and his grandfather Jack had a long association with Greenore. Indeed, Jake use to spend his summers with his grandparents and played Monarch Cup for Greenore.

Saturday, September 5 and Sunday, September 6 – Knights of Malta Cup Singles Stableford – Overall: Emmet McCabe Savage (11) 41pts. Gross: Neal McKell (3) 36pts. Juvenile: Lee Egan (16) 36pts. Saturday – Overall: Joseph Laverty (4) 40pts. Category 1 (0-11): Paul Coburn (10) 39/21/13pts. Category 2 (12-16), Cillian Halpenny (12) 38pts. Category 3 (17+): Ronan Farrelly (17) 39pts. CSS: 36pts. Sunday – Overall: Pat McKeown (15) 40pts, Peter McCaughey (19) 39/19pts, Brendan Keane (11) 39pts. Category 1 (0-13): Neil Mullooly (6) 37/21pts. Category 2 (14-18): David Cairns (17) 37/17pts. Category 3 (19+): Noel McGuinness (19) 36/18pts. CSS: 34pts.

Golfer of the Year Final Standings: 189 – Emmet Savage McCabe. 187 – Joseph Laverty. 186 – Clem Walshe. 185 – Sean Reidy. 184 – Eddie Rogers. 182 – Eugene Hanratty. 181 – David Lynch, Patrick Dunne, Sean Gallagher, Conor Murphy.

Barton Cup and Jimmy Bruen Shield teams continue to advance

DUNDALK are through the next rounds of the Jimmy Bruen Shield and the Barton Cup after wins over The Island and Balcarrick.

The Jimmy Bruen Shield team beat The Island 3-2 last Friday. In Dundalk, Joseph Laverty sank a 20ft putt on the final green to give himself and Michael Staunton a one-hole win while Ciaran Sheridan and Emmet Savage McCabe won 3&2. In the away leg, there was a one-hole win for Ciaran Johnston and Chris Clarke while Conor Murphy and Eugene Hanratty were all square going down the 20th when they were called in. Colin Roche and Aaron Hoey were beaten in their match. The team will now face Clontarf or Corrstown in the Leinster quarter-final.

On Sunday, the Barton Cup team faced Balcarrick in the Third Round of the competition and there was a 5&4 win away from home for Mark Gorham and Chris Clarke while Billy Cairns and Damian English came up against a strong home pairing and went down by a similar margin. They lost the par three seventh to a hole in one with Damian English almost following the Balcarrick player in. In Dundalk, Neal MacKell and Emmet Savage McCabe won 5&4 and Peter Rogers and Bobby McCarthy won 3&2 while Clem Walshe and Kevin Redmond were one up on the 15th when they were called in. Portmarnock Links or The Island now await in the fourth round.

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.

Two more wins as Barton Cup and Jimmy Bruen Shield teams advance

It was a good weekend for Dundalk in inter-club competitions as both the Barton Cup and Jimmy Bruen Shield teams advanced at the expense of Laytown & Bettystown and Bellewstown respectively.

On Saturday, in the Barton Cup, Dundalk faced Laytown & Bettystown for the third time in over a week and came away with a third win over the Co Meath club despite playing three of the matches away from home and facing a Laytown team packed full of experience with two scratch players and a plus one handicapper in their line-up.

The foundation for the victory was laid in Dundalk with two wins on home soil. In the top match Peter Rogers and Bobby McCarthy won 4&3 after three successive birdies on the seventh, eighth and ninths by McCarthy gave them a firm grip of their match.

Behind them Andrew Keenan and Conor Conroy had a one-hole lead playing the 18th and got the half they needed for the win when Keenan sank a six foot clutch putt on the final green.

Up in Laytown & Bettystown, Shane Hession and John Mulligan lost 3&2 after losing three holes in a row from the 12th when their opponents drained three successive long putts while Clem Walsh and Kevin Redmond also lost by the same margin.

But Mark Gorham and his 15-year-old partner Chris Clarke showed great character to hang in after seeing their opponents rattle in four birdies on the first four holes and were only one down after witnessing that onslaught. Clarke played exceptional golf and delivered four birdies of his own as he and Gorham secured a memorable 2&1 victory to send Dundalk into the next round.

On Sunday, in the Jimmy Bruen Shield, Joseph Laverty and Michael Staunton got things off to a flying start in the first of the home matches with a comprehensive 7&6 win while behind them Ciaran Sheridan and Emmet Savage McCabe won 6&5.

Over in Bellewstown, victory was secured when Eugene Hanratty and Conor Murphy won 3&2 to secure the winning point. The other two away matches were called in with Neil Mulooly and Chris Clarke all square while Damian English and Adrian Thornton were 1up.

Barton Cup team lose to Royal Tara in close encounter

The Barton Cup team bowed out of this year’s competition when they lost their third round tie against Royal Tara by 3.5 to 1.5.

Neil MacKell and Conor Hackett were the only Dundalk winners on the day as they clicked from the off by birdieing the first to go one up and sealed victory with wins on 13, 14 and 15.

Aidan Thornton and Billy Cairns lost 2& 1 in a tight match that turned when the Dundalk pairing lost 14 and 15, won 16 and then lost 17 to lose the match. 2&1.

Mark Gorham and Trevor Giff won the first two holes to go two up in their match but wayward shots that ended up out of bounds allowed Royal Tara to peg them back and the pairings were all square through 13. The Meathmen then won 14, despite almost going out of bounds twice, when they got up and down from the back of the green for birdie. They then birdied 15 and sealed a 3&2 win when taking 16 with a par.

Neil Mullooly and Mickey Coburn were also hauled back after going two up after eight holes. Royal Tara won the next three holes to go one up after 11 and held that lead until the 17th when Dundalk made it all square with one to play. However the Meath side holed their par putt on the last to claim the all-important third point in the overall match.

The remaining match was another close encounter as Conor Curran and Bobby McCarthy were all square with five to play. A wayward tee shot on 15 and a lost ball on 16 saw them go two down with two to play when the match was called in and declared a half as Royal Tara had collected the three points needed to advance to Round Four and a meeting with The Island.

Wins for Mixed Foursomes and Barton Cup teams

The Irish Mixed Foursomes team are through to the next round where they will face Ardee following their impressive 4-1 win over Laytown & Bettystown. 

In the Barton Cup Dundalk beat Ardee 3-2. Conor Curran & Bobby McCarthy came from one down with two to play to beat Jamie Kelly & Peter Taaffe on the 19th. Brian Renaghan & Damian English had a convincing 7&6 win over Ben Caffrey & Jack Phipps having taken early control of the match by winning the first three holes to go three up.

Billy Cairns & Aidan Thornton had a 4&2 win over Paul Wisniewski & Ronan Phipps. Having turned three up and then won 12 to go four up, the Dundalk were three up with three to play when Cairns stitched his second shot on 16 to within a foot of the pin to close out the match.

Martin McEnteggart & Mark Gorham were beaten 2&1 by Kevin Commins & John Callan after the Ardee pair went two up afer 12 and held on to win on the 17th. Alan McDermott & Jim Dwyer lost 3&2 to Eamonn Breen & Sean McAufield when, after being level with five to play, they lost the next three holes and the match. Dundalk will now play Ashbourne in the next round.

Three teams make it through the weekend

Three Dundalk teams advanced to the next round of their respective inter-club competitions over the weekend but it is the end of the road for the Barton Cup and Newsam Cup teams as they both lost out to Meath opposition in their respective competitions.

There were wins for the Boys U18 team in the Fred Daly Trophy, the Ladies Revive Action team and the North Leinster Mixed team while the Husband and Wife team produced another strong performance in this annual competition at Co Meath Golf Club.

The strength in depth of the underage programme at Dundalk Golf Club was clearly shown on Saturday when the Boys U18 team went into the second round of the Fred Daly Trophy without three of their top players but beat Greenore 4-1 to remain on course for a successful defence of the Leinster title they won last year.

Boys U18 internationals Eoin Murphy and Josh Mackin, as well as juvenile captain Padraig Fallon, were all unavailable for this match but their replacements stepped up to the plate and won their matches to secure a Dundalk victory.

Playing in Dundalk, Oisin Conroy and Zak Alderdice both recorded victories with Conroy winning 6&5 and Alderdice winning 5&3. The other three matches were played in Greenore where another rookie, Ciaran Johnston, had a one hole win while Kyle Rafferty won 2up and Sean Laverty was beaten on the 15th.

Youth was also to the fore for the Ladies as their Revive Active Fourball team, which is managed by Maureen Sheridan and Marie Griffin, scored an impressive victory over Co Louth despite having to play three of the five matches in Baltray.

Teenager Eve Rowland was one of the stars of a great team performance when she partnered Pauline Campbell to a 3&2 win in Dundalk while in Baltray there was a 2&1 win for Criona O’Reilly and Theresa Connolly and a one hole win for Jacinta Foran and Bernie McCann.

The North Leinster Mixed team faced Royal Tara in the opening round of this year’s competition and won thanks to victories in Dundalk for Tommy and Briege Reneghan as well as Larry Soraghan and Sally McDonnell while Anne Murray and Brendan Keane got the vital win away.

In the Newsam Cup on Saturday it all came down to inches as Dundalk lost by 3.5 to 1.5 to the runners-up in the competition for the past two years, Knightsbrook. Dundalk had defeated the Trim based club in the final in 2016 and the Meath men exacted revenged in a match that was in the balance right up to the final stroke.

After a 3&2 win for Gavin McDonnell and Derek Teather, a 4&3 defeat for Dermot McKenna and Alan Uzell and a 4&3 defeat for Sean Gallagher & Steve Buckingham, Knightsbrook held a 2-1 lead with two matches still alive. In Dundalk Benny O’Shaughnessy and Sean Quigley were 1up standing on the 18th tee while, in Trim, Gerry McDermott and Mark Browne were two down with two to play.

McDermott and Browne, who had hung in doggedly down the back nine, finally got a break on the 17th when they found the par five green in three while their opponents found the water with their fifth shot. The Dundalk pairing then got up and down from off the green at the par three 18th for a win to send their match down the 19th where a booming drive from Browne split the fairway before they were called in because of what had unfolded in Dundalk.

Knightsbrook managed to win the 18th in Dundalk to force their match with O’Shaughnessy and Quigley down the 19th where it all came down to two putts as Dundalk lipped out from five feet and Knightsbrook sank a four footer to take the overall match

In the Barton Cup on Sunday, after a bright start, Dundalk fell away against Headfort and eventually lost 4.5 to 0.5. In Dundalk, Neal MacKell and Aaron Waite lost 6&5, while Ciaran Sheridan and Damian English lost 5&4 and Billy Cairns and Aidan Thornton lost 3&2. In Headfort, Ciaran Traynor & Eugene Hanratty were beaten 4&3 while Clem Walsh and Paul O’Callaghan were all square after 16 when called in.

On Sunday, Dundalk took part in the annual Husband & Wife competition hosted by Co Meath Golf Club in Trim. Dundalk won the inaugural competition in 2016 and the team, managed by Elaine Ward and Paul O’Callaghan, put in another strong showing in this year’s event but came up short at the end as victory went to Killeen Castle.

Next weekend sees the ladies in action in the Junior Foursomes against Headfort in Mannan Castle while the Junior Cup team faces Co Meath in Kilcock. The men’s All-Ireland Fourball team face Greenore on Saturday at 12.30pm with three matches at home. The JB Carr Diamond Trophy second round tie against Greenore will be /played on May 17 and May 25 with the first leg in Dundalk.

Representing Dundalk in the Newsam Cup away leg against Knightsbrook on Saturday were (from left): Steve Buckingham, Gerry McDermott, Pat Davis (Vice-Captain and Assistant Manager), Sean Gallagher and Mark Browne.