Murphy grinds it out to take first Club Championship

Eoin Murphy won the Club Championship for the first time when he had one shot to spare over Joseph Laverty after a tremendous battle between the pair over 36 holes on Saturday.

A 25kmh southerly wind and slick greens created a tough test and Murphy and Laverty were tied after opening with one over par rounds of 73.

Murphy had started with a birdie on the opening hole but turned in one over after dropping shots at the seventh and eighth. He then reeled off three successive birdies from the 10th but then dropped shots when he turned into the wind on 13 and 14 and dropped another shot on the last.

Laverty went through the opening nine in two under thanks to birdies at six and nine but dropped shots at the 10th, 12th and 15th.

Rain made conditions even tougher in the afternoon for the second round and it was Murphy who ground it out better with his three over par 75 which was one shot better than Laverty could manage.

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

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.


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.  

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.

Ace Rafferty finishes sixth in African Amateur

Caolan Rafferty finished sixth in the African Amateur Strokeplay Championship in his first tournament outing of 2020 and also managed to record the second competitive hole-in-one of his career to date.

The ace came on the third day of the tournament at Leopard Creek Golf Club when he holed a pitching wedge from 145 yards at the par three 12th hole. “I got the yardage, picked a club, and tried to hit a shot,” said Rafferty.

“It was one of those funny ones. I didn’t really catch it and turned away in a bit of disgust. As I was turning back, I heard my playing partner telling it to go in, and I was like, ‘Sorry, that can’t be right!’ And as I turned around, it just disappeared!

“It was lovely to get the hole-in-one because it’s been a while since I had one. It wasn’t a pretty shot but that’s golf for you, the bad ones end up being the best sometimes.”

The hole in one helped to propel him into the top ten and into contention for the tournament going into the last round after he had opened with rounds of 74 and 72 to sit on two over par and tied 16th at the halfway stage. In addition to the ace, he also recorded two birdies, a bogey and a double-bogey on his way to a one-under par 71 which was one of just seven sub-par totals in the third round.

It moved Rafferty up to tied fifth and just four shots off the lead going into the final day. But he was unable to mount a challenge and needed a birdie on the last to join Ireland teammate and British Amateur champion James Sugrue on sixth place on three over, seven shots behind the winner Martin Vorster, who won the 2019 East of Ireland Championship at Baltray.

Nonetheless, Rafferty was very happy with a top ten finish and the opportunity to dust off the cobwebs ahead of what will be another very busy year for him.

“It was a funny old week because I didn’t play wonderful at all. I just managed to get it round in a way that kept me ticking over. It was my first tournament of the new year so to finish tied sixth was nice. It leaves me looking forward to next week and trying to improve on that.”

Rafferty’s next assignment in South Africa is the South African Amateur Strokeplay at Rand Park Golf Club which has previously hosted the South African Open.

Rafferty wasn’t the only Dundalk player in action abroad last week. Eoin Murphy, who is a student at Maynooth University, was in Portugal for the fourth round of R&A Student Series where he finished tied 27th after rounds of 76, 77 and 79 in the three-round 54 hole event. 

Top 20 finishes for Rafferty, Mackin and Murphy in Spain

There were Top 20 finishes for Caolan Rafferty, Josh Mackin and Eoin Murphy in the third round of the R & A Student Series last week at the Centro National de Golf in Madrid.

Making his first appearance in the Series, Rafferty shot a two under par 70 in the final round to finish third overall on two over after opening rounds of 75 and 73.

Mackin, who won the second round of the series in Carton House in September, had been lying third going into the final round after opening with a 76 and a 69 which was the joint best round of the week. However, he shot 80 in the final round and finished 11th overall.

Murphy shot round of 77, 75 and 75 to finish in 17th place overall which was two places better than his position in the second series.

The three Dundalk players were all representing Maynooth University in the tournament.

The leading players in the Series after the fourth event in Portugal will be invited to the Tour Series Final in Carnoustie and St Andrews next year.