Rocks, McDonnell and Morrison are Ladies winners

BRID Rocks (21), Sally McDonnell (24) and Denise Morrison (38) were the category winners in the Ladies 18-Hole Stableford competition which was played, as usual, over Saturday and Tuesday.

Rocks won Category A with 37pts with a round that included five three-point pars as she went out in 19pts and returned in 18pts.

McDonnell took Category B and recorded two three-point pars and two three-point bogeys as she returned nines of 17pts and 18pts respectively and finished strongly with ten points over the final four holes after blanking the par four 14th.

Morrison was the Category C winner and her total of 34pts included a four-point par at the par four 15th as well as three-point returns from the four par-three holes.  

June Desmond (31) won the nine-hole competition shooting an impressive 21pts to win by six from Clodagh Greene (37).

THE Ladies Winter League will commence on Saturday, October 24 and Tuesday, October 27. Please enter by using the envelopes provided in the locker room and take time to read the notice regarding entering and registering your scores.

Saturday, October 3 and Tuesday, October 6 – 18 Hole Stableford Competition – Category A: Brid Rocks (21) 37pts, Juliette Morrison (16) 34pts, Anne McDonnell (19) 32pts. Category B: Sally McDonnell (24) 35pts, Olive Jones (25) 32/15pts, Mary Laverty (24) 32/15/11pts. Category C: Denise Morrison (38) 34pts, Noreen Mullins (30) 33pts, Grainne Gallagher (41) 32pts. 9-Hole Competition: June Desmond (31) 21pts, Clodagh Greene (37) 15pts. CSS: Saturday – 76 (reduction only), Tuesday  -75.

 

Greenan and Reid the winners in contrasting weather conditions

BARRY Grennan and Noel Reid were the weekend winners in the men’s competitions with Greenan taking Saturday’s Singles Stableford competition and Reid prevailing on Sunday when conditions were absolutely horrendous.

Grennan (13) won the Saturday event with 42pts which was three better than the rest of the field and was greatly assisted by a four point birdie three at the last as he shot 22pts down the back nine. He also managed to birdie the par three 13th on the way home for three points and also had three -returns at the 12th and 15th.  Grennan had gone out in 20pts having recorded three-point pars at the first, second, fourth and ninth  

Cathal Purcell (14) came closest to catching Grennan but had to settle for taking the Category Prize. He had gone out in 22pts having opened the front nine with four successive three-point pars and closed it with back to back three-point pars at the eighth and ninth. He then birided the 10th for another four points and, even though he had another four-point birdie at the 17th, he was left rueing his failure to pick up points at the 13th and 16th as he finished with 39pts.

Mark Gorham (4) claimed Category 1 with 38pts while David McDonnell (22) won Category 3 with 36pts and Lee Egan (15) took yet another Juvenile Prize with 38pts. Gorham also returned the best gross score of the day.  

Sunday was the complete opposite to Saturday from a weather point of view making Noel Reid’s round of 38pts one of the rounds of the year. The 14-handicapper got off to a steady start before recording his first three-point par at the fifth. Although he dropped a point at the next he picked up three-point pars at the seventh and eighth as he went out in 20pts.

Down the back he had three three-point pars at the 12th, 15th and 17th and could even afford a blank at the 14th and a one-point return at the last, from his only double-bogey of the day, as he came home in 18pts for a superb score of 38pts.

That was three better than David Lynch (11) who shot 35pts and also recorded the day’s best gross score while David Cairns (16) was third on 32pts. The CSS of 33pts showed just how tough conditions were.

Saturday, October 3 – Singles Stableford – Overall: Barry Grennan (13) 42pts. Category 1 (0-12): Mark Gorham (4) 38pts. Category 2  (13-18): Cathal Purcell (14) 39pts. Category 3 (19+): David McDonnell (22) 36/19pts. Gross Recognition: Mark Gorham 34pts. Juvenile: Lee Egan (15) 38pts.   CSS: 36pts.

Sunday, October 4 – Singles Stableford – Overall: Noel Reid (16) 38pts, David Lynch (11) 35pts, David Cairns (16) 32pts. Gross recognition: David Lynch 25pts. CSS 33pts: Reductions only.

 

McDonough wins Lait Cup after excellent round

JUDY McDonough (27) won the Lait Cup with a score of 39pts after she compiled an excellent round that saw her score at every hole after a slow start.

She began by taking a point from the first and second holes before picking up three points at the third. Two points followed at the fourth, fifth and sixth before she earned one point at the seventh. However, she finished the front nine strongly with three point returns at the eighth and ninth.

That saw her go out in 18pts and she really found her rhythm down the back nine where she had three point returns from pars at the 11th, 13th, 16th and 17th as she came home in 21pts for a final score of 39pts which left her two points clear of the field.

Juliette Morrison (16) took Category A with 35pts, Evelyn Fallon (26) won Category B with 37pts and Teresa Oakes (29) claimed Category C with 36pts. Anne Redehan (28) won the 9-Hole competition with 16pts.

Saturday September 26 Tuesday September 29 – Lait Cup Singles Stableford – Overall: Judy McDonough (27) 39pts. Category A: Juliette Morrison (16) 35pts, Bernie McCabe (17) 34/18/14, Fionnuala Dullaghan (20) 34/18/13. Category B: Evelyn Fallon (26) 37pts, Caroline Dunne (28) 35pts, Catherine Mullins (28) 34pts. Category C: Teresa Oakes (29) 36pts, Maura M. Coyle (32) 34/20, Geraldine Mohan (33) 34/16/11/5/3. 9 Hole Competition: Anne Redehan (28) 16pts, Anne O’Reilly (32) 15pts.  CSS: Saturday – 73/36pts, Tuesday – 74/35pts.

Blistering finish propels McShane to victory in Irwin Lockington Salver

A blistering back nine was the key to success for Nicholas McShane (15) as he captured the Irwin Lockington Salver.

McShane shot an impressive 42pts to win by two points from Padraig Hassett (20) but it was a return of 24pts down the back nine that sealed the deal for him.

He started well with a three point par at the first followed by a pair of two point bogeys but then blanked the par four index one fourth to lie on seven points after four holes. He bounced back from that setback with a three point par at the fifth and then picked up two points at each of the next four holes to turn on 18pts.

A birdie for four points on the par five 10th was the ideal way to commence the run for home and although he had to settle for one point following a double bogey at the 11th he again showed his ability to bounce back quickly by parring the 12th for three points. He had no shots at the next two holes so his pars at 13 and 14 only yielded two point apiece but his run of pars continued over the final four holes and each yielded three points as he came home in a breath-taking 24pts. His back nine had yielded seven successive pars from the 12th and a birdie as he covered the homeward nine in 37, one over par gross.

 Hassett had roared out of the traps at the start of his his round and gathered 22 points over the front nine after six three point pars at the first, second, fifth, sixth eighth and ninth. It could have been better but for a blank at the difficult par five seventh. He had another blank at the par four 16th on the back nine which he covered in 18pts where the highlights were a four point par at the index two 11th and three points pars at the 13th and 15th.

Aaron Grant took the gross prize with a round of 34pts that included an eagle three at the par five 10th. Conall Mullins (12), Brian McDonnell (13) and Paul Morgan (23) were the category winners with Lee Egan continuing his fine season by winning the Juvenile Prize.

Saturday, September 26 and Sunday, September 27 – Irwin Lockington Salver Singles Stableford – Overall: Nicholas Mac Shane (15) 42pts, Padraig Hassett (20) 40pts. Gross Winner : Aaron Grant (+1) 34pts. Category 1 (0-12): Conall Mullins (12) 37/21pts, Joseph Laverty (4) 37/20pts. Category 2 (13-18): Brian McDonnell (13) 39/21pts, Cathal Purcell (16) 39pts. Category 3 (19+): Paul Morgan (23) 39pts. Conor Martin (19) 38/22pts. Juvenile: Lee Egan (15) 34pts. CSS: Saturday – 35pts, Sunday 36pts.

Walshe wins Seapoint Junior Scratch Cup

CLEM Walshe won the Seapoint Junior Scratch Cup on September 26 by three shots from Norman Lovie of the host club on a day when a cold North Easterly wind in off the Irish Sea made for tough conditions.

Walshe shot a one-over par 73 as he produced a steady round that included a birdie at the par five 10th, 15 pars and just two bogeys at the seventh and 13th.  

Corrstown end Dundalk’s run in Jimmy Bruen Shield

OUR run in the Jimmy Bruen Shield came to an end on Saturday when the team lost by 3.5 to 1.5 against Corrstown.  With three matches at home, hopes were high that the team could progress to the semi-finals but it wasn’t to be.

Teenagers Ciaran Johnston and Chris Clarke once again got a point away from home as they won their match in Corrstown 5&4 while the other match ended in a 4&3 defeat for Darren Myles and Eoin Purton.

That left Dundalk needing just two wins from the three home ties to advance. When Ciaran Sheridan and Emmet Savage McCabe were beaten on the 15th in the bottom match it all came down to the two matches still on the course.

In the second match, Joseph Laverty and Michael Staunton were two up with two to play but Dundalk were in trouble in the match ahead of them and Corrstown won the 17th to record a 2&1 victory over Conor Murphy and Eugene Hanratty to and secure the point they needed to secure a meeting with Baltinglass in the last four.

Great credit is due to Terry Sloane and Fergal Harte for guiding the team to the quarter-finals and in the process giving some of the club’s young and upcoming golfers valuable inter-club matchplay experience which will undoubtedly stand to them in the years ahead as they hopefully progress to the Junior and Senior Cup teams.  

Birdies help propel Sheridan to victory

CIARAN Sheridan (6) won the Singles Stableford competitions held over the weekend of September 19 and 20 with his score of 39pts just enough to pip John Laverty (19) who held off Bobby McCarthy on countback after both had finished on 38pts.

Sheridan, who played on the Saturday, had three birdies during his round including one at the par four index one fourth which yielded him four points. That really got his round going as he had picked up one point at the first, two at the second and three at the third before taking those four points at the fourth. Five at five wasn’t an option for the six handicapper but he did take two points from the par three before claiming his second birdie of the day at the par five sixth. Another three points followed at the seventh but he had to settle for one point returns at the eighth and ninth when he bogeyed both.

That gave him 20pts for the opening nine and he had moved to 24pts before he birdied the par five 12th for  three points. He hit the 30pts mark two holes later after a bogey at 13 and par at 14 and then covered the final four holes in nine points with a three-point par at 15, a two-point bogey at 16 and back to back two-point pars at 17 and 18.

Laverty, who played on Sunday morning, has been in good form of late and he went very close to taking the overall prize. His round included one birdie, a two at the short fifth, for four points. He went out in 18pts, despite failing to score at the par five seventh, and three-point returns at the 12th, 17th and 18th helped him come home in 20pts and finish just one point behind Sheridan.

McCarthy had the consolation of winning the Category 1 section while Peter Rogers (3) won the gross prize with a score of 35pts that included three birdies. Fergal McKenna (16) won Category 2 and George Rogers (20) took Category 3.  

Saturday, September 19 & Sunday, September 20 – Singles Stableford – Overall: Ciaran Sheridan (6) 39pts, John Laverty (19) 38/20. Gross: Peter Rogers (3) 35pts. Category 1 (0-12): Bobby McCarthy (12) 38pts, Neal Mackell (3) 37/20pts. Category 2 (13-18): Fergal McKenna (16) 37pts, Ross Quigley (18) 36/20. Category 3 (19+):  George Rogers (20) 36pts, Noel McGuinness (19) 35/20pts. CSS:  Saturday: 35pts, Sunday: 35pts.

ENDS

Walshe, Rocks, Casey-McKeever and Reilly on top in IJM Matchplay Series Finals

The IJM Scratch Matchplay Series was played out in September sunshine on Saturday as the 16 qualifiers in four categories battled it out for the Senior, Junior, Intermediate and Matchplay trophies.

The 16 players had qualified after finishing in the top four of their respective categories in the Golfer of the Year standings and, in the end, there were wins for Clem Walshe, Eddie Rocks, John Paul Casey-McKeever and Hugh Reilly but all four winners were made to fight all the way.  

CATEGORY 1 – SENIOR

Category 1 saw two of the Club’s young guns pitted against two of the most experienced players and it was the wily veterans who triumphed. In the top match Eddie Rogers was never behind from the moment he took the lead on the second hole and he was three up after winning the fourth and fifth holes. Laverty then won the back to back par fives to pull the deficit back to one hole after seven but Rogers responded by winning the next two to turn 3up with nine to play. He then won the 11th to go four up and although Laverty took the 13th, he bogeyed the next to go four down with four to play and a half on 15 gave Rogers a 4&3 win.

In the other semi-final Clem Walshe met Sean Reidy and once he got his nose in front he never gave Reidy a sniff. After halving the first four holes, Walshe went ahead on the fifth and then rolled in successive birdies on six and seven to go three up and extended his lead to four with another birdie on the ninth. Reidy did produced a birdie of his own on the 10th to get a hole back but another birdie on the 12th saw Walshe restore his four hole lead and he quickly extended it to five with a par on 13 before halving the 14th to record a 5&4 victory having shot three-under par for the 14 holes played.

The final was a much closer affair and was all square after the opening two holes as Walshe won the first and Rogers the second. They halved the next four holes before Walshe got his nose in front again on the seventh but Rogers won the ninth to bring it back to all square at the turn. After the 10th was halved, the match was ultimately decided over the next two holes as Walshe won both in par to open up a two hole lead with six holes to go. He then parred his way to the 17th to win 2&1 and take the IJM Senior Scratch Cup as Rogers battled in vain for the birdie he needed to haul himself back into the content.

CATEGORY 2 – JUNIOR

In Category 2 there was another match-up between youth and experience in both semi-finals and, just like the senior section, the junior matches saw experience prevail. In the top match Eddie Rocks beat newly crowned Golfer of the Year Emmet Savage McCabe on the 18th having been three down with seven to play. Rocks had won the opening hole but Savage McCabe drew level on the fifth and then won the next two holes. Rocks parred the ninth to reduce his lead at the turn but McCabe Savage struck back by winning the 10th and 11th to go three up. Rocks took the 12th and then won the 14th and 15th to leave it all square with three to play. After halving the next two holes, Rocks then parred the 18th to win one up.

In the other semi-final Conor Murphy struck first by winning the opening hole but was pegged back on the next and when he won the third he could only hold his lead until the fifth. Hanratty eventually took the lead for the first time in the match on the seventh and won the eight to extend it to two holes. However, Murphy came fighting back and won the ninth and 10th to bring the match back to all square with eight to play. It was nip and tuck after that. Hanratty won 12, lost 13, won 14 and 15, lost 16 and then won 17 with a birdie two to close out the match and win by 2&1.  

The final between Hanratty and Rocks saw the pair halve the opening four holes before Rocks took the fifth with a par and then won six and seven to open up a three hole lead. Although Hanratty won the eighth, Rocks took the ninth to restore his three hole advantage. That only lasted one hole as Hanratty claimed the 10th but Rocks won the final par five, the 12th, to go back to three up and extended his lead to four holes with a birdie on the par four 14th. That left him dormie four but Hanratty wasn’t surrendering easily and won the 15th. However, Rocks managed to get a half on 16 to record a 3&2 win and take the IJM Junior Scratch Cup.

CATEGORY 3 – INTERMEDIATE

In Category 3 there was never more than one hole between Patrick Dunne and Sean Gallagher in what turned out to be a titanic battle between the pair. Dunne struck first blood at the opening hole but Gallagher won the fourth to level it and went one up by taking the seventh. Davis took the ninth and then went one-up on the 10th but Gallagher took the 13th to level it again and then won the 14th and 15th to go two up with three to play. He went dormie two after the 16th was halved but Dunne took the 17th and then drained a monster putt on 18 to send the match down the 19th where Gallagher’s 10ft putt par was enough to sent him through to the final.

In the other semi-final John Paul Casey-McKeever met David Lynch and the 26-year-old struck a blow for the younger players with a comprehensive 7&6 victory. He won the second, third, fourth and fifth to open up a four-hole lead and although Lynch won the eighth to cut that lead, Casey-McKeever captured the next three holes to go six up with seven to play and then won the 13th to close out the match.

The final between Casey-McKeever and Gallagher was a lot closer. Gallagher took the third but a birdie at the par five sixth saw Casey-McKeever get back to all square. Gallagher retook the lead on the eighth but Casey-McKeever took the next to leave them all square at the turn. Casey-McKeever then won the 10th to lead for the first time in the match and then won the 11th to go two up. Gallagher parred the next to get one hole back but then lost the 14th to find himself two behind again. They halved the 15th in par before Casey-McKeever took the 16th to win 3&2 and take the IJM Intermediate Scratch Cup.

CATEGORY 4 – MINOR

The first Category Four semi-final featured two highly experienced golfers in Hugh Reilly and PJ Dooley so getting an early advantage was always going to be crucial and Reilly got himself into the driving seat by winning the second and third. Dooley parred the fifth to pull a hole back and although Reilly won the next to go back to two up, Dooley took the next to reduce the deficit to one. Reilly, however, finished the front nine strongly by winning the eighth and ninth to go three up. Dooley won the 12th to get back to two down but Reilly restored his three shot lead with a par at the 14th.  Dooley, however, wasn’t giving up and parred the 15th for a win. The pair then parred the long par four 16th as the golf moved up a gear and Reilly went dormie two and a par at the 17th saw Reilly win the hole and take the match by 3&1.    

The other semi-final saw Paul Morgan take on John McEneaney for whom qualifying for the IJM Matchplay Series was a remarkable achievement. He is currently undergoing treatment for prostate cancer and took the opportunity before he teed off to highlight the importance of men getting tested regularly. After losing the opening hole, McEneaney halved the next four but then lost five in a row to find himself six down with eight to play. He pulled a hole back by winning the 12th and then reduced the deficit to four holes with four to play by taking the 14th with a par but Morgan managed to get the half he needed on the next and won by 4&3.

A par on the opening hole of the final gave Morgan the perfect start against Reilly but the Cavan man responded clinically by taking the next three holes to open up a two hole lead. He then drove home his advantage by winning the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth to open up a six hole having covered the opening nine holes in four under par nett.  It looked all over at that stage but Morgan dug deep and started a remarkable comeback. He won the 10th, 12th, 13th and 14th to reduce Reilly’s lead to two hole but then lost a ball off his drive on 15 and a relieved Reilly took the hole to go three up with three to play. But Morgan wasn’t finished. He parred the index four 16th to bring the gap back to two holes but Reilly hung on and got the half he needed on 17 to take the IJM Minor Scratch Cup by 2&1 after a superb match.

Sponsor Peter McCaughey of IJM joined Captain Trevor Giff and President Vincent Conlon when the players picked up their trophies after the event. The Captain thanked Peter for his generous sponsorship of the event and paid tribute to all who qualified for the IJM Series before going on to congratulate the four winners.

Saturday, September 20 – IJM Scratch Matchplay Results. Semi-Finals: Category 1 (Blue Course) Eddie Rogers bt Joseph Laverty 4&3, Clem Walsh bt Sean Reidy 5&4. Category 2 (Blue Course): Eddie Rocks bt Emmet Savage McCabe 1up, Eugene Hanratty bt Conor Murphy 2&1. Category 3 (White Course): Sean Gallagher bt Patrick Dunne 19th,  John Paul Casey-McKeever bt David Lynch 7&5. Category 4 (White Course): Hugh Reilly bt PJ Dooley 3&1, Paul Morgan bt John McEneaney 4&3. Finals: Category 1: Clem Walshe bt Eddie Rogers 2&1. Category 2: Eddie Rocks bt Eugene Hanratty 3&2. Category 3: John Paul Casey-McKeever bt Sean Gallagher 3&2. Category 4: Hugh Reilly bt Paul Morgan 2&1.

 

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.

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

ENDS

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.