Shay’s Short Game: Alex Gleeson second in Spain

Martin wins Lahinch Scratch Trophy, Portmarnock to host richest single day event

Alex Gleeson from Milltown GC, second in the recent West of Ireland Championship and second again at the European Nations championship at Real Club de Golf Sotogrande.

Alex Gleeson from Milltown GC, second in the recent West of Ireland Championship and second again at the European Nations championship at Real Club de Golf Sotogrande.


Gleeson second in Spain

Alex Gleeson continued his excellent start to the season with a runner-up spot in the European Nations Championship at Real Club de Golf Sotogrande in Spain. The Castle golfer, who was runner-up in the West of Ireland Championship at Co Sligo at Easter, made six birdies in his second successive, three-under 69 to go with opening rounds of 76 and 74 to finish tied second on level par 288.

England’s Todd Clements shot 69 73 71 and 70 to win the title by five strokes on five-under 283 from Gleeson, Denmark’s Ramus Nergaard-Petersen and compatriot Gian-Marco Petrozzi.

Dundalk’s Caolan Rafferty tied 12th on eight-over296 after rounds of 72, 79, 74 and 71 with Naas’ Jonathan Yates tied 20th (77 74 72 75) on 298.

Tramore’s Robin Dawson finished well after struggling in the opening rounds to close with a 71 to end the week tied 46th on 309.

England won the team title by 20 shots from Ireland on 11-under par with Denmark third, a further seven shots behind.

Denmark’s Sofie Kibsgaar Nielsen (71 77 76 71) won the women’s event by two strokes from Candice Mahe of France on seven-over.

Humphreys denies the Scots in Helen Holm

England’s Lily May Humphreys dashed home hopes at the Helen Holm Scottish Women’s Open Championship at Royal Troon, securing another notable title at Royal Troon.

With joint overnight leader Shannon McWilliam, Chloe Goadby and first-round leader Hannah McCook all in the hunt going into the final 18 holes, there were genuine hopes of a first Scottish winner in the event since Heather Stirling 16 years ago.

But the wait goes on as reigning English women’s amateur champion Humphreys, who only turned 16 last month, claimed the title with rounds of 71 68 and 68 for a an nine-under-par-total of 207. Goalby finished second just one shot back after carding rounds of 71 68 and 68 for 208. Defending champion Sweden’s Linn Grant, whose grandfather, James Grant won the Scottish boys championship in 1958, finished third on seven under par 209 - with the Swedes taking the team title by a shot over Scotland - with McWilliam finishing on five under.

Paula Grant from Lisburn was the best of the Irish in 13th place after rounds of 74, 68 and 80 for 222 with Clodagh Walsh from Castlewarden 18th 223 after rounds of 76 71 76 and Shannon Burke from Ballinamore 23rd on 224 (75, 72, 77).

Other Irish scores included: 227 Meadhbh Doyle (Portarlington) 77, 72, 78; 230 Lauren Walsh (Castlewarden) 78, 69, 83; 233 Ciara Casey (Hermitage) 78 76 79; 253 Valerie Clancy (Killarney) 74 77 82.

Martin Impresses at Lahinch

Mairead Martin had an impressive five-stroke win in the Lahinch Scratch Trophy. The 18-year-old from Kanturk laid the foundation for her win with eight birdies in a seven-under-par 67 in the opening round to lead Co Louth’s Deirdre Smith by six shots.

Smith came back strongly with a best of the day 70 in the second round but Martin shot a three-under 71 to secure an impressive victory on 10-under 138.

Smith finished second on 143 with Mary Doyle from The Heath next on 151 after rounds of 76 and 75 with Rachel McDonnell from Elm Park (77, 76) and Aine Donegan from Woodstock (76, 77) two shots back on 153.

Top Class field for Kilkenny Scratch Cup

TransferMate Global Payments will sponsor the 54th edition of the Kilkenny Senior Scratch Cup on Saturday, May 5th. A 69-strong field will be chasing €1,850 in prizes with the winner picking up at least €575 for one of the country’s top events.

Kilkenny’s Graham Nugent will defend the trophy with former winners Michael Buggy, Richard Walsh, Paul O’Hara and multiple winner Eddie Power also set to tee up.

Past winners include Joe Carr, Liam Higgins, John O’Leary, Pat Mulcare, Pauric O’Rourke, Liam MacNamara, Mark Gannon, Damien McGrane, Pádraig Harrington (1992), Harrington’s caddie Ronan Flood (1998) and Kilkenny’s Tommy Duggan, who was the inaugural winner in 1964 and the victor again in 1966.

The format is a shotgun start at 8.30am followed by the leaders in score order from 1.45 pm in the afternoon.

Castletroy sets new challenge for top players

Another quality field will be seeking early season form for the championships in the Bank of Ireland sponsored Castletroy Senior Scratch Cup on May 26th. First contested in 1948, it’s one of the oldest and most prestigious scratch cups in the country with a list of past winners that includes such greats as JB Carr, Liam Higgins, Vincent Nevin and Des Smyth.

Gary O’Flaherty, Niall Gorey, Eddie McCormack, Mark Shanahan, Alan Thomas, Eamonn Haugh, John Kavanagh, Michael O’Kelly and Peter Sheehan have also lifted the trophy.

Mallow’s James Sugrue, who would go on to win the South of Ireland title at Lahinch, shot rounds of 72 and 69 to win on three-under-par last year.

Call Castletroy Golf Club at (061) 335 753 or email

Handicap limit 4 - confined to the lowest 72 entrants. Gunshot starts on May 26th - 9 am / 2.30 pm; Entry fee - €30 (includes lunch). Closing date - 5 pm, Thursday, 24 May

Richest one-day Pro-Am at Portmarnock Links

A prize fund of €16,000 will be on offer at Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links on July 16th when the north Dublin resort hosts the richest single day pro-am on the PGA Ireland schedule - the “mac-group Portmarnock Links Pro-Am”.

The event is expected to attract 50 pro-am teams for morning and afternoon shotgun starts, and the club is confident that all of the top Irish PGA professionals will tee it up as many already have strong links with the course thanks to its popular Tuesday Winter Series.

“This past winter we have added 80 new members and we are currently creating some exciting new facilities in-house for all our golfers,” said Portmarnock Resort Director, Barry O’Connor.

Entry costs €550 for a team of three amateurs. Contact resident club professional Conor Russell - email or telephone (01) 866 6547.

Flogas extend Amateur Open sponsorship

Flogas Ireland has confirmed it will sponsor the Irish Amateur Open for another three years until 2021. John Rooney, Managing Director of Flogas Ireland said: “The Flogas Irish Amateur Open is firmly established on the international stage as one of the most historic and prestigious events in the amateur golf calendar, and played on some of Ireland’s best golf courses every year.

“We in Flogas are delighted and truly honoured to have our company associated with this event over the past two years and are looking forward to its hosting on the famous links of Royal County Down next month.

The Flogas Irish Amateur Open takes place from May 17th-20th at Royal County Down with Peter O’Keeffe from Douglas Golf Club the defending champion.

The event will be played at Co Sligo in 2019 and at Galway Golf Club in 2020 and 2021 before moving to The Island in 2022.

Marshall takes lead in order of merit

Lisburn’s Aaron Marshall is the new leader of the Bridgestone Boys International Order of Merit following a superb display at the Peter McEvoy Trophy. While Marshall narrowly missed out on the title, finishing one shot behind the winner at Copt Heath, he scooped 70 order of merit points for his performance.

Athenry’s Allan Hill was next best of the Irish at the McEvoy Trophy, taking seventh place. Hill is now second in Bridgestone Boys International Order of Merit, 22 points behind the leader. Odhran Maguire from Slieve Russell slips to third having previously been tied at the top with Edward Walsh (Mallow) and Luke O’Neill (Connemara).

Maguire and co can make up ground at the Fairhaven Trophy (May 4th-6th), which is the next event in the Bridgestone series.

BRIDGESTONE BOYS INTERNATIONAL ORDER OF MERIT Leaderboard: 1 Aaron Marshall (Lisburn) 85; 2 Allan Hill (Athenry) 63; 3 Odhran Maguire (Slieve Russell) 48; 4 David Kitt (Athenry) 35; =5 Luke O’Neill (Connemara), Max Kennedy (The Royal Dublin) 28; 7 Edward Walsh (Mallow) 25; 8 Charlie Denvir (Elm Park) 23; 9 Tom McKibbin (Holywood) 15; 10 John Brady (Rosslare) 13.

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