Shay’s Short Game: Alan Condren wins Mid-Amateur in style
Killarney make it a 2017 double, adding Senior Foursomes to Senior Cup succes
Condren eases to Mid-Amateur victory
On a good day for the Greystones Club Alan Condren captured the Irish Mid-Amateur Championship in style with a seven stroke margin of victory at Clandeboye. Leading by six heading into the final round, the 2015 Leinster Mid-Am champion could afford a final round of 74 to finish well clear of Mark Duffy of Naas on five-under par for the championship.
Condren, winner of the individual prize at the Leinster Alliance Irish Times Shield at Luttrellstown last week and was also part of the Greystones side that won the I Need Spain Irish Mixed Foursomes at Shandon Park in 2016, opened the championship with an impressive five-under par round of 66 and followed that with a 68 to give him a comfortable cushion coming into the final day.
With cold, wet and windy conditions prevailing at the Dufferin Course at Clandeboye, Condren was a clear winner carding 14 birdies over the 54 holes tournament.
Duffy signed for rounds of 70, 70 and 75 to secure the runner-up spot while two former Irish internationals - Balbriggan’s Robbie Cannon (72, 72, 73) and Galway’s Eddie McCormack (69, 75, 73) - shared third place on four-over par 217, nine shots behind the winner.
Killarney double as Munster clubs dominate
Killarney made it a 2017 double when they added the AIG Senior Foursomes to their AIG All Ireland Senior Cup success with a 2-1 win over Roscommon in the All Ireland ILGU Cups and Shield finals, as Munster clubs took four of the six titles at Malone GC.
Killarney were joined on the winners rostrum by Cahir Park, Limerick and Lee Valley as AIG All Ireland champions while Malahide took the Challenge Cup and Portumna the Junior Foursomes.
After Lee Valley beat Mountbellew 4-1 to claim the Minor Cup on Friday, the Senior Foursomes and Intermediate Cup finals were suspended because of darkness with both already in extra holes.
Killarney’s Mary Sheehy and Fidelma O’Connor won their match for the Munster side on the 18th and Roscommon’s Ruth Lennon and Ciara Hereward-Ryan made it 1-1 with a 5 and 3 win, the final match between Roscommon’s Rosemary O’Brien and Paula Quinn and Killarney’s Eimear O’Donnell and Amy Arthur was still undecided after 20 holes.
In the end, it went the Kerry club’s way when it resumed at on Saturday, with O’Donnell holing a five-footer for par on the 21st to give them the Senior Foursomes.
It took even longer to decided the Intermediate Cup final with Carton House’s Ann McQuillan and Cahir Park’s Patricia Browne, still deadlocked after four extra holes, forced to return on Saturday.
And it was the Tipperary club that claimed its first All Ireland pennant on the 23rd with Browne hitting a spectacular bunker shot almost stone dead to secure a win.
There was more glory for Munster golf in the Junior Cup as Limerick beat Athenry 4-1 to consign their defeat of two years ago to history. Wins for Emma Guinnane, Fiona McGann and Siobhan Conway in the top three matches secured the title for Portumna.
There was no joy for Munster golf in the Junior Foursomes as Portumna beat Ballykisteen 2.5-0.5. Mary McElroy and Mary Madden added a 5 and 4 win to Mary and Brid Kelly’s 7 and 5 triumph to ensure All-Ireland success for the Galway side.
East Leinster champions Malahide celebrated the club’s 125-anniversary in winning fashion with a 4-1 win over Tyrone’s Fintona in the Challenge Cup.
Louise Lynch got Malahide’s first point with 79-year old Maire Falvey - winner this year of her third All Ireland Mother and Daughter title at Donabate - unbeaten all week, adding another before Louise Young clinched the winning point, meaning the top two matches were called in.
The 2018 AIG Ladies Cups and Shields will be held at Knightsbrook Hotel and Golf Resort in Trim, Co Meath.
England retain Seniors International title
England retained the weather-affected Seniors Home Internationals by remaining unbeaten at Rosslare. The champions tied with Scotland in their match, which was enough to secure victory as Ireland came up half a point short and had to settle for second.
Play was suspended on day two due to high winds. When the action resumed on Thursday morning, Ireland beat Scotland 6-3 while England crushed Wales 7.5-1.5, winning all six singles.
By agreement of the team captains, the foursomes matches were halved.
With two wins from two, England needed just half a point against Scotland.
Ireland applied the pressure by beating Wales, winning 7.5-1.5, but England secured the title when they finished level with Scotland, 4.5 points apiece.
Revive Active Fourball final at Royal Tara
The Revive Active Fourball National Finals take place at Royal Tara on October 7th-8th. Regional Champions Lucan, Killymoon, Ballybunion and Portumna have battled to reach the final four from 220 clubs who entered the event at the beginning of the year. Ballybunion have tasted success before in this event, winning at Newlands in 2015, while both Lucan and Portumna also had teams competing at the AIG Cups and Shields National Finals this year.
Each team consists of five pairings, the lowest handicap in each match plays off scratch and will concede shots to the other three players based on 90 per cent of the difference between full handicaps.
Revive Active National Finals - Semi- Finals - Saturday 7th October: 10:30 Lucan vs. Killymoon
11:20 Ballybunion vs. Portumna; Final - Sunday 8th October 1.0pm.
Taylormade sponsor Winter Series
Taylormade Golf is to sponsor the hugely popular Portmarnock Links Winter Series which starts this year on 3rd October. The series, which has become a real feature of winter golf in Ireland has attracted almost all the leading names in Irish golf since it started in 2003 .
The format of the series is singles strokes with three gross and three nett prizes every week. It is open to both male and female professionals and amateurs (handicap limit 9). For the amateurs all competitions are counting competitions for handicap.
This year will will see the creation of Order of Merits for both the professionals and amateurs. In both case the Order of Merits which will be based on a players top six rounds with end of season overall winners. The Order of Merit prizes will be in addition to the weekly prizes. Based on previous years it is expected that an average of 90-100 players will participate each week. Entries can be made immediately by directly contacting the Pro Shop at the Links on 01 866 6592.
Moriarty and Thornton share first place Tulfarris
Colm Moriarty (Drive Golf Performance Ltd) and Simon Thornton (Simon Thornton Golf) shared the winner’s cheque at The IrishGolfer.ie Tulfarris Pro-Am.
The leading duo carded rounds of three under par 69 at the Co Wicklow venue to beat Irish PGA Champion, Tim Rice (Limerick GC), and Mark Staunton (Delgany GC) by a shot.
Thornton is in a rich vein of form at the minute. This was his third win in five starts on the region and he appears to be heading back to best six months after foot surgery.
Michael McDermott (Grange GC) and playing partners Colin Dunne, Warren Byrne and Ruairi O’Hanlon won the team prize with 89 points edging out David Foley’s (Dromoland Castle GC) team courtesy of a better back nine.
Underage squads named
As the golfing year draws to a close, preparations for 2018 continue apace with confirmation of the GUI’s underage panels for next season. In total, 23 players representing 22 different clubs have been selected. Two-time Irish Boys champion Mark Power leads a 12-strong Under-18 Panel, with four players retained from 2017.
In addition to Power, John Brady (Rosslare), Jack Doherty (Carton House) and Edward Walsh (Mallow) remain with the Under-18s. Holywood’s rising star, Tom McKibbin, has been promoted from the Under-16 Panel along with Odhran Maguire (Slieve Russell), Aaron Marshall (Lisburn) and Luke O’Neill (Connemara).
Athenry duo Allan Hill and David Kitt, beaten finalist at this year’s AIG Irish Close, also made the cut as did Charlie Denvir (Elm Park).
Ireland begin the 2018 season at the Cardigan Cup in Wales, which is scheduled for March. The European Boys Team Championship (10-14th July, Czech Republic) and the Boys Home Internationals (7-9 August, Royal Dornoch) will be the major targets.
On the Under-16 panel Josh Black (Hilton Templepatrick) and Keaton Morrison (Greenacres) are the two returning players from this year’s panel.
Ireland Under 18 Panel 2018: John Brady (Rosslare), Charlie Denvir (Elm Park), Jack Doherty (Carton House), Allan Hill (Athenry), David Kitt (Athenry), Tom McKibbin (Holywood), Odhran Maguire (Slieve Russell), Aaron Marshall (Lisburn), Eoin Murphy (Dundalk), Luke O’Neill (Connemara), Mark Power (Kilkenny), Edward Walsh (Mallow).
Ireland Under 16 Panel 2018: Josh Black (Hilton Templepatrick), Joseph Byrne (Baltinglass), Mel Deasy (Bantry Bay), Michael Fitzgibbon (Howth), Thomas Higgins (Roscommon), Joshua Hill (Galgorm Castle), Ewan McArthur (Massereene), Joshua McCabe (Roganstown), Eoin McGrath (Athlone), Keaton Morrison (Greenacres), Edward Rowe (Tandragee).
McBride back to best form
The Island’s Paul McBride equalled his career-best finish in US collegiate golf when he finished second in the Graeme McDowell Shoal Creek Intercollegiate in Alabama.
As Wake Forest took the team honours by 13 strokes from Liberty, the 21-year-old Walker Cup player shot rounds of 71, 68 and 69 to finish a stroke behind Ole Braden Thornberry - the player who beat him in the final day singles in the Walker Cup - on eight-under-par.