Short game


Compiled by SHAY KEENAN

Fitzpatrick takes Hilary’s first of year at Laytown

The RaboDirect Hilary Golf Society began their 60th year in Laytown on Sunday with Gus Fitzpatrick storming home to win the first event of the year by four strokes.

The Naas man could afford to three-putt his final hole for a par five, such was the quality of his golf on a damp, breezy day at the Meath links.

Runner up Greg Cooke, from St Anne’s, used his links experience in a fine round of 71, with Dundalk’s Clem Walshe third on 72.

Eoin O’Kelly from Co Meath captured the gross prize with a level par 71, beating Irish Amateur Open Champion Gavin Moynihan by a stroke.

Dara Lernihan, from Elm Park, was a shot further back on 73 after a rollercoaster round which saw him ace the par-3 ninth (pitching wedge) only to follow with a quadruple bogey eight at the 10th.

Slieve Russell Pro-Am 21 years a goin’

The Slieve Russell Pro-Am, a flagship event for the PGA in Ireland, will chalk up its 21st anniversary this year and take place over a weekend for the first time.

The pro-am, which always attracts a quality field, takes place on June 8th and 9th , at its traditional Slieve Russell Hotel Golf and Country Club home and remains one of the highest prize funds on the Irish PGA Pro-Am calendar of events.

First played in 1993, the Pro-Am has become one of Ireland’s most popular events for Irish PGA professionals.

The tournament is a Pro-Am team competition, teams comprising of one professional and three amateur golfers and is played over 36 holes. Upwards of 40 teams are expected to compete to make it a memorable golfing weekend. Contact:

January a medal month for Duggan once again

Adare Manor’s Bernard Duggan has taken a likening to the January medal in recent times.

Having won the medal at the start of last year, Duggan began the new year in winning style once again as he was victorious in the same event, which was played at the weekend after having to be rescheduled.

Duggan, a local Adare man, won with an excellent score of 43 points to leave the rest of the field trailing in his wake as he won by four points from six-handicapper Laurence Kelly, with Brian MacGoey (9) next best on 37 points, having edged out Packie McNamara (10) on a countback.

Great Irish Links as big a Challenge as ever

THIS year’s Great Irish Links Challenge will take place from on May 7th, 8th and 9th.

The Challenge is played by teams of four over the links at Ballybunion, Lahinch and Doonbeg. The winning score is based on the cumulative team performance during the three days of competition, using the Stableford scoring system.

In both 2011 and 2012 nearly 200 golfers played in the Challenge, with a large number of participants coming from the US, along with golfers from Sweden, Australia and the UK. In both years there was a strong representation from local teams.

This year’s proceedings begin on Monday, May 6th, with registration and a welcome reception at Doonbeg, followed by 18 holes of competition over the next three days. The entry fee is €595 per person. The fee includes the welcome reception, golf at the three courses, daily transport to the courses, prizes and the final gala dinner. It does not include flights or accommodation.

Full details can be found on the website www.greatirishlinkschallenge.comor by phoning +353 65 9055 602.

Murphy takes 29th place in Portuguese’

Ireland’s Aedin Murphy, with rounds of 76, 75 and 76 for 227, finished in a share of 29th place at the Portuguese international women’s amateur championship at Montado Golf Resort, Setubal, on the Costa Azul.

Friday’s third round was fogged off, reducing the scheduled 72-hole championship to three rounds.

The winner was Spain’s Clara Baena Sanchez with a seven-under-par total of 209, made up of rounds of 71, 68 and 70. She won by two shots from Germany’s Karolin Lampert.

Three in a row for McGeady

The North Western Golfing Alliance resumed their season in Portsalon on Saturday after their mid-winter break and Michael McGeady continued were he left off with victory.

Having won the gross in Rosapenna and Narin Portnoo at the end of last year, the plus three handicapper made it a third win in a row when he shot 68 to win by three from Rosapenna’s Enda Kennedy (scr) and Brian McElhinney (+3, Foyle Golf Academy).

Meanwhile, Strabane’s Kieran Martin, playing off 12, won the nett with 39 points from Justin MacLochlainn (4) of North West on a countback. Next up for the Alliance is Rosapenna on Saturday, February 16th.

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