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.  

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.

Trip to Tipp in search of Barton Shield glory

Dundalk Golf Club is making its own Trip to Tipp this week as its senior panel heads to Thurles for the All-Ireland Finals of the Barton Shield.

Having won the club’s first ever senior title in July when they captured the Barton Shield Leinster pennant, the senior panel are now looking to make history again by landing a first ever national pennant at senior level.

Dundalk’s only previous national men’s golf title was in 2004 when they won the Jimmy Bruen Shield and there is a strong desire around the Blackrock links to add another.

But it’s not going to be easy as Dundalk will face Munster champions Kinsale in their semi-final on Thursday morning and if they come through that assignment they will meet either Clandeboye or Athenry in Friday’s final.

The Munster finals were held in Thurles a few weeks ago so Kinsale will feel very much at home when they tee it up on Thursday. The Cork men are also guaranteed big support as they have also qualified for the national finals of the Jimmy Bruen Shield which are also being played in Thurles this week.

Like Dundalk, Kinsale won their first provincial Barton Shield pennant this year when they beat Munster Senior Cup winners Dungarvan in the provincial semi-final and then defeated Castletroy in the final.

They did it without their top player, Irish international John Murphy, a plus five handicap player who is on a golf scholarship in America. Murphy has had a great year, winning the St Andrews Trophy and making Ireland’s Eisenhower Trophy team so it remains to be seen if Kinsale will stick with the four men who got them to this stage – Gary Ward, Keith Fitzpatrick, Cathal Butler and Eric Rumley – or bring Murphy home to strengthen their challenge.

However, Alan McCabe, who manages the Dundalk team along with John Conlon, says the fact that Kinsale won the Munster title without Murphy shows the strength of their panel and he added that Dundalk will face a formidable challenge no matter who they face.

“They have an immediate advantage from the Munster finals being played in Thurles and having two teams qualified for this week means they will have no shortage of support. Winning a Munster senior title is no mean feat so they have to be respected. All we can do is concentrate on ourselves and ensure that we are ready to go on Thursday morning. We are well aware that we may never get this opportunity again to win a national title. This is a unique chance for the boys to bring a national pennant back to Dundalk and we intend to give it our best shot,” said McCabe.

Dundalk were in Thurles last weekend practicing and will head south on Tuesday to begin final preparations on a track that is not too dissimilar to their own course according to McCabe.

“It is similar to our own in that it is a traditional parkland course and a members club. The holes are tree-lined and there are some tricky greens. It is a great venue and the members and staff were lovely.”

The Barton Shield is a foursomes competition with each club fielding two pairings and the overall match is decided by the aggregate score of the two matches.

Dundalk will select their four players for Thursday’s semi-final from an eight strong panel that includes Irish international and South of Ireland champion Caolan Rafferty as well Aaron Grant, Eoin Murphy, Josh Mackin, Brendan Lawlor, Neal MacKell, Andrew Keenan and Conor Curran. All have been playing well this year and McCabe admits they face some tough decisions.

“There is huge competition among the eight players and they have pushed each other very hard all year. They have a great spirit and the four who don’t play will be fully behind those who are playing. They are proud to be not only representing the club but also Dundalk, Louth and Leinster.”



AIG All-Ireland Barton Shield at Thurles Golf Club

Thursday, October 4

Semi-Finals: Dundalk v Kinsale 08:20, Clandeboye v Athenry 08:40

Friday, October 5

Final: 10:15

Men’s senior and ladies juniors march on as three teams bow out

Dundalk Golf Club have qualified for the Leinster Finals of the AIG Senior Cup, the most prestigious inter-club competition in Irish golf, and remain on course for an historic double having already qualified for the Leinster finals of the Barton Shield.

It was a tremendous end to a week that was bookended by two fabulous victories as the Ladies Junior Cup team also advanced to the Leinster quarter-finals when they defeated Laytown & Bettytown at the beginning of the week.

However, in between those two magnificent wins was a lot of heartache as Dundalk’s runs in the Jimmy Bruen Shield, All Ireland Fourball and Revive Active Fourball came to an end.

It is the first time in the club’s history that a team has reached the Leinster finals of the top two inter-club competitions in the same year and the senior team will head to Mount Wolseley in July and Mount Juliet in August with a lot of confidence after three impressive wins over the weekend in the regional qualifying round of the Senior Cup at Laytown & Bettystown.

Having received a bye in the First Round, Dundalk faced Killeen Castle on Saturday afternoon and won by 3.5 to 1.5 with Caolan Rafferty winning 6&5, Aaron Grant winning 3&1 and Conor Curran winning 3&2.

On Sunday morning they met Headfort and there were wins for Rafferty, Curran and Grant while Brendan Lawlor, for the second successive match, was called in while in a strong positive to win his match.

That set up a regional final with Co Louth and Eoin Murphy, who had flown in that morning from England, won two up after being dormie four. Fellow Irish Boys international Josh Mackin, who like Murphy had only finished his Leaving Certificate last Thursday, came from two down to win 2&1 thanks to birdies on three of the final four holes.

Rafferty was six under par in his 5&3 win while Grant was two up when his match was called in.

The win booked Dundalk a place in the Leinster final at Mount Juliet with their quarter-final match against The Island scheduled for August 28.

Earlier in the day, Dundalk’s Jimmy Bruen Shield team came agonisingly close to reaching the Leinster Finals in their regional qualifier at Roganstown.

They opened up with a 3.5 to 1.5 win over leading qualifiers Balbriggan with Pat Purton and Paul O’Callaghan winning 7&6, Billy Cairns & Zak Alderdice winning 4&3 and Damien English and Christy Ward winning on the 20th. Conal Murdock and Conor Murphy were looking good to win their match on the 19th when called in while Shane Hession and Fergal Sexton came up against Balbriggan’s strongest pairing and lost 5&4.

In the regional final on Sunday afternoon Dundalk faced Forest Little and a comfortable 6&5 win for for Ward and English and a 5&4 win for Murdock and Murphy left the tie level at 2-2 after Cairns & Alderdice and Ciaran Traynor and Cian Lynch McCrave had lost their matches.

It all came down to the match involving Purton and O’Callaghan which was all square after 16. However, Dundalk lost the 17th to a birdie and then saw Forest Little sink a 10ft putt for par on the 18th before O’Callaghan’s birdie putt to send the match down the 19th lipped out.

There was more heartbreak in the All-Ireland Fourball Leinster quarter-final against last year’s Leinster finalists, Malahide, who beat Frank Byrne’s charges 3-2 in a dramatic match that was eventually finished at around 10pm on Thursday evening.

In Malahide, Dundalk lost the opening match 4&3 as Colm Garvey and Michael Keating were hit by blitzkrieg from a home pairing that were two under gross for the 15 holes played as they rolled in three birdies, 11 pars and one bogey in a faultless round.

Behind them, Kevin Carthy and Ray Pepper were three down with four to play but won 15, 16 and 18 to draw level with Carthy producing a miraculous chip over a greenside bunker from the trees on the last to find the green and then sank a 15ft putt to send the match down the 19th.

On the first sudden death hole, it was Pepper who came to the fore as he hit a fabulous shot out of a fairway bunker to within six feet of the green and then chipped on to leave himself with two putts for the win and Dundalk’s first point on the board.

The remaining three matches were played in Dundalk where Adrian Kenny and Gerry McDermott maintained their unbeaten run with an excellent 3&1 win having taken control of the match midway through the opening nine when they won the fourth, fifth and sixth to open up a three hole lead.

Peter O’Brien and Dermot McKenna were involved in an extremely tight match which was all square with three to play but they lost 16 and 17 and were edged out 2&1 to leave the tie at 2-2 with one match out on the course.

Eamonn McEneaney and Joe Flanagan had been four down after 10 but they won the next three holes to reduce the deficit to one and, after losing the 14th, they bounced back with wins at the 15th, 16th and 17th to stand one up with one to play.

After Malahide had secured their par on the 18th, the home pair both had putts to send Dundalk into the Leinster semi-finals for the first time in the club’s history but both efforts burned the edge of the hole and sent the match down the 19th where Malahide secured the win with a five.

Earlier that day, the Ladies Revive Action team were beaten in their Third Round match by Ardee who won by 3.5 to 1.5.

At the beginning of last week the Ladies Junior Cup team reached the Leinster Finals with a 3-2 win over Laytown & Bettystown and they will now face Rathfarnham in Foxrock for a place in the semi-finals.


Mixed fortunes for teams but two move on

There were mixed fortunes for Dundalk Golf Club teams last Saturday but two teams managed to progress to the next stage of their respective competitions.

The Mixed Foursomes team defeated Greenore on Saturday but the ladies Minor team saw their run come to an end at the hands of Ashbourne in a match played in Beaverstown.

The Jimmy Bruen team, managed by Fergal Harte and Clem Walshe, qualified for the regional semi-final in a blustery Roganstown Golf Club.

The new look line up featured many of Dundalk’s young up and coming players who showed maturity beyond their years to get the job done and ensure the club qualified for the section semi- final which will be played against Balbriggan on Sunday next, June 24, at 8am in Roganstown. The regional final will be played that afternoon against the winners of Forrest Little and Co Louth at 2pm.

Balbriggan were the leading qualifiers on 336, which was five ahead of Forest Little and Co Louth on 341 with Dundalk a shot further back on 342.

A big incentive for Dundalk is that the Leinster Finals take place in Mount Wolseley on Saturday, July 21, alongside the Barton Shield which Dundalk have already qualified for.

This Thursday, the Ladies Revive Active team face Ardee in the Third Round of the competition at 3.30pm with the three matches in Dundalk while at 4pm the All-Ireland Fourball team will meet Malahide In the Leinster quarter-finals with three of the five matches at home.