Compiled by SHAY KEENAN
McLaughlin takes top prize at Dunfanaghy
Dunfanaghy Golf Club hosted the latest of the North Western Golfing Alliance events and an impressive 41 points secured victory in the nett category for Niall McLaughlin.
The 10 handicapper from Buncrana had one point to spare over Paul O’Doherty (9) from Greencastle with Strabane’s Brian Boyle (15) in third place with the best of the 39 points.
In the gross category Michael McGeady – representing McCambridge Duffy – made it yet another win for the season shooting 67 to end two strokes clear of Rosapenna’s Enda Kennedy with Keelan Quigg of City of Derry claiming third also on 69.
Next up for the North Western Golfing Alliance is a visit to Rosapenna Golf Club on Saturday, March 23rd, where they will be playing for Marty McDermott’s Captain’s Prize.
Brennan shows the way at Seapoint
Clontarf’s Mark Brennan led the way at Seapoint Golf Links in the RaboDirect Hilary Golf Society’s third event of the season. Brennan carded 16 pars and dropped just two shots on a calm, cold day. The Seapoint links still provided a very stern test and birdies were in short supply with neither Brennan nor runner-up John Grant carding a single birdie between them.
Tony O’Regan, from Carton House, won the gross with a 72 – coming home in two-under-par 34 having earlier double bogeyed the short second. Barry Morris (Portmarnock Links) was third with 70 but was beaten on a tie by The Island’s John Grant. The team prize was won with 11 under 61 with O’Regan combined with clubmate Llyod O’Rourke and Sutton’s Tony Higgins. Next outing is in Co Louth on Sunday, March 24th.
Competition to play all Clare courses
In the only competition of its kind in Ireland, 400 golfers will have the chance to play all of Co Clare’s 10 courses between April and September.
The top eight ranking teams will then compete in a final to be held at the Greg Norman-designed links course in Doonbeg in November. Other participating courses included are Lahinch, Dromoland, Ennis, Woodstock, Shannon, Spanish Point, Kilrush, Kilkee and East Clare.
Entries are now open and anyone interested can enter on line at www.clare.ie/golfThe event is open to anyone with a GUI/ILGU card and costs €400 per fourball.
Whitson on the double in Spain
Ireland’s Reeve Whitson made it an Irish double in Spain over the weekend when he followed victory in the Nations Cup by taking the Spainish Amateur title with a 4 and 3 win over England’s Neil Raymond.
Despite falling behind by the slimmest of margins on the fourth hole, Whitson was never more than one hole behind over the opening nine holes, and after winning the 10th hole with a birdie three, never looked back.
With the wind getting up for the final 18 holes, the Mourneman held his nerve. Despite losing the 22nd hole, Whitson won the 24th and 25th to go to three up. He closed the match out on the 15th green.
Earlier Ireland captured the Nations Cup in style Whitson, Richard O’Donovan and Chris Selfridge held off the hosts by two strokes, and the England team by four. Having opened with a one-under-par 71, O’Donovan followed this up with a round of 74.
Selfridge and Whitson both carded 75 on day one, with one of these discarded, and Whitson shot an impressive level par 73 on day two to give Ireland a 293 total.
Trainor makes immediate impact
Barrie Trainor of Old Joe’s Golf Range near Sudbury, made an immediate impact last week in his first Suffolk PGA event since moving from Ireland. His round of two-over-par 70 in bitterly cold conditions was enough to win the Suffolk PGA pro-only medal at Aldeburgh. Trainor, who won the Irish PGA order of merit in 2011 and was third last year, will play in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in May for which he qualified with a seventh place finish in the Titleist PGA play-offs in Turkey.
Challenge Tour returns to North
The European Challenge Tour will return to Northern Irish shores for the first time in 10 years when Galgorm Castle Golf Club in Ballymena hosts the Northern Ireland Open Challenge from August 29th to September 1st.
Michael Hoey, a four-time winner on the European Tour, will headline the field at the Co Antrim venue, hoping to add to his trophy haul, having also won three times on the Challenge Tour.
The €170,000 Northern Ireland Open Challenge presents an opportunity for the next generation to follow in the footsteps of those superstars and begin their path to the European Tour.