Short game


Compiled by SHAY KEENAN

Ireland win first senior home title

IRELAND, bronze medallists at the recent European team championships, captured their first senior women’s home internationals title at Elie Earlsferry, Scotland, last week. Following their 6-1 and 5-3 victory over England and Wales on the first two days, Ireland beat 2009 champions Scotland 7-1 on the final day to complete the triple crown and bring the Sue Johnson Trophy to Ireland for the first time.

Carol Wickham was voted MVP with six points from her six matches while Sheena McElroy, Pat Doran and Suzanne Corcoran took five points from their six matches with Helen Jones on four points.

England beat Wales 6-2 to finish second while Scotland were third due to their win over Wales on the first day.

IRELAND: Captained by Terry Sexton (Dún Laoghaire), Suzanne Corcoran (Portumna), Pat Doran (Donabate), Kate Evans (Frilford Heath), Helen Jones (Royal Portrush), Sheena McElroy (Grange), Gertie McMullen (The Island), Carol Wickham (Laytown and Bettystown).

THE Ladies Golf Union will announce that Trish Wilson (England) is set to succeed Gillian Kirkwood as chairwoman at the agm next February 23rd in Dublin.

Westport honour former professional

A presentation to PGA professional Alex Mealia took place at Westport Golf Club last Friday. Following 21 years’ service as the head professional in Carrowholly, Alex stepped down earlier this year.

An integral part of the club, Alex was to the forefront of many new initiatives that were developed in Westport both on and off the course. He represented Westport in a number of pro-am events over the years and was a driving force in the development of the junior golf programme.

The club was ahead of its time in securing Alex’s services and the decision to commit to having a registered PGA professional on site established Westport’s reputation as been one of the premier golfing destinations in the West of Ireland.

Alex’s biggest contribution to the Carrowholly club was the vital role he played in bringing the Irish PGA Championship to Westport back in 2002, won by Paul McGinley.

Irish Links Initiative Conference

ROSSLARE Golf Club will host this year’s Irish Links Initiative Conference on Tuesday and Wednesday, October 16th and 17th. The Irish Links Initiative, which was set up in 2008 to “preserve, protect and promote links golf in Ireland”, hosts an annual conference to share knowledge and experiences with all of the links courses on the island.

Each year the conference is hosted by one of the country’s links courses which is also used in practical demonstrations for the delegates.

In Rosslare the practical demonstrations will concentrate on how the club has reverted back to traditional links Fescue grasses on greens, aprons, tee boxes and even the fairways. Delegates will also look at the club’s coastal erosion work and the reconstruction of tees. Also on the agenda for the conference is a demonstration of the “greentester”, a device which allows greens superintendents monitor the reliability of their putting surfaces all year around.

The “greentester” has been developed in Ireland to fulfil the requirements of the RA’s “holing out” test. The conference is open to all links courses in Ireland whether members of the ILI or not. Full details can be found on the ILI website at www.irishlinks.ieor email Tracy Coburn at or tel (00 44) 7803 237 247.

Kearney gets boost ahead of PGA Irish Region event

THE PGA Irish Region Championship has produced many photo finishes down the years, so stand by for more of the same when the 102nd instalment is staged at Mount Juliet starting on Thursday.

Among the thrilling finishes was David Mortimer’s 30-foot eagle putt on the 72nd green, at Seapoint two years ago, to pip tour player Damien McGrane by one stroke.

There was also an exciting finish at The Island in 1999 when Neil Manchip, now the GUI national coach, beat Darren Clarke in the run-in and, at Belvoir Park in 1995, as Philip Walton and Paul McGinley exchanged the lead several times during the final round, before Walton claimed the title for a fourth time.

Mortimer, Manchip and Walton will be trying to add the title again at Mount Juliet but they can expect stiff opposition as a number of players are currently in sparkling form.

Last week, Niall Kearney stormed to success in the Ulster Championship at The Hilton, to finish at 12-under-par with five strokes to spare over Damian Mooney, Michael McDermott and John Kelly. Kearney, who also plays the Challenge Tour, will surely be boosted by that victory.

David Higgins has a seemingly unassailable lead in the 2012 Ping Race to Mount Juliet (Order of Merit) but the championship will, surely, have a major bearing on the points.

East of Ireland Alliance resumes

THE East of Ireland Alliance winter season is ready to resume with the first outing scheduled to take place October 17th at the European Club in Brittas Bay.

Places on the timesheet are available on 0404-47415.

LOSING a couple of shots last week made no difference to Lucans Regina Fitzgerald who chalked up two wins. On Thursday playing off 15, she fired 41 points for the best score of the day which won class one and cost her two shots, but on Saturday – off her new handicap of 13 – she was again top player on the day with 34 points.

The other class winners were Mary Whelan, Fiona Madigan and Ann O’Donnell.

All-Ireland ladies fourball finals

THE Míele All-Ireland Ladies Fourball Championship finals will be staged at Westmanstown Golf Club on Saturday and Sunday next.

The event brings together 32 golfers who will all tee off with high hopes of claiming a national pennant for their club.

Eastern Region winners Dublin City, having defeated Lucan, last year’s winners, will face Ballycastle, victors over Clandeboye in the Northern finals.

Portumna, winners back in 2009, are hopeful of bringing the Pennant home once again having claimed victory over Donegal’s Dunfanaghy in the Western final and they will go head to head against Clonmel who narrowly defeated Skibbereen in the Munster final.

This competition continues to prosper each season and this years tournament, which teed off mid May, saw a record number of 235 clubs involved and over 2,200 lady golfers from across the North, East, South and West taking part.

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