Shay’s Short Game: Caolan Rafferty best of the Irish at Lytham Trophy

Meanwhile, Alan Fahy triumphed in Munster while Blackrock took schools title

Dundalk’s Caolan Rafferty, who finished 14th in the Lytham Trophy at Royal Lytham and St Annes.

Dundalk’s Caolan Rafferty, who finished 14th in the Lytham Trophy at Royal Lytham and St Annes.


England’s Jordan dominates Lytham Trophy

With three subpar rounds, including a final round four-under 66 that matched the low round of the tournament England’s Matthew Jordan blitzed the field to win the Lytham Trophy by nine shots at Royal Lytham and St Annes.

Jordan with rounds of 67, 69, 70 and 66 for 272 was the only player under-par for the week. In the final round Jordan got off to a perfect start with a birdie on the first and never looked back carding five birdies overall against just one blemish on the par-four 15th.

Mitch Waite was a distant second on one-over-par 281 after rounds of 72, 66, 70 and 73 while Sam Locke (68, 75, 74, 67) and Sweden’s David Nyfjall (69, 69, 70, 76) shared third place on four-over 284.

Dundalk’s Caolan Rafferty was the best of the Irish in tied 14th on 10-over after carding rounds 69, 73, 72 and 76 for 290. Tiarnan McLarnon was on 292 (71, 74, 69 and 78) one ahead of Robin Dawson from Tramore (74, 72, 76 and 71) with John Brady from Rosslare on 296 (68, 74, 75, 79).

Fahy strikes late to claim Munster title

Dun Laoghaire’s Alan Fahy birdied two of his last three holes to win the Munster Strokeplay Championship by two shots at Cork Golf Club.

He fired a 66 in the third round to tie for the 54-hole lead on four-under-par with Balbriggan’s Robbie Cannon, who had shot an eight-under-par, course record 64 to lead by one stroke on two-under after 36 holes.

In the final round, Fahy turned in level par to remain tied with Cannon he birdied the 16th and 18th for a closing 70 to set the target at six-under 282.

Cannon birdied the 12th, 13th and 15th but as he chased a birdie in his last three holes for overall victory, he lost a ball at the 17th and made a triple bogey seven for a disappointing 73, leaving him alone in fourth on three-under.

Warrenpoint’s Ryan Gribben closed with a 66 to finish second, tied on four-under with Waterford’s Eanna Griffin, who shot a 69 in the final round.

Wales title for McCook in playoff

Hannah McCook beat England’s Curtis Cup player Sophie Lamb at the first hole of a sudden-death play-off to win the Welsh women’s open amateur stroke-play championship at Aberdovey Golf Club where Paula Grant from Lisburn finished best of the Irish in seventh place.

McCook (71, 70, 71) and Lamb (69, 74, 69) had 54-hole totals of seven-under 212, finishing six strokes ahead of the three players who shared third place on 218, Scot Chloe Goadby, another English Curtis Cup selection Lily May Humphreys and Thalia Kirby (Harleyford).

McCook, the overnight leader by two shots, was pegged back by Lamb over the outward half of the final round, McCook taking 34 shots to Lamb’s 32.

McCook then birdied the 10th, 12th and 13th to regain the lead but opened the door again for her rival by taking a double bogey six at the 14th and bogeying the 18th, coming home in 37 for a 71.

Lamb birdied the 10th and 14th. Her only bogey of the round came at the 11th in halves of 32 and 37 for a 69.

But McCook prevailed in a sudden death play-off for one of the best wins of her amateur career.

Lisburn’s Grant tied for seventh on two over after rounds of 73 75 73 for 221 while Milltown’s Georgia Carr was 10th on five after 73, 75 and 73 for 224. Shannon Burke from Ballinrobe finished 28th on 228 (74 75 79) with Elisa Corcoran from Grange 237 (79 80 78).

Scotland 1 (Hannah McCook, Shannon McWilliam, and Chloe Goadby) tied with England 1 (Georgia Price, Lily May Humphreys and Sophie Lamb) for the team championship. Both teams totalled 430. Ireland finished on 440.

Blackrock College take Schools title

Blackrock College claimed the Leinster Inter Schools League Match Play title with a convincing 10-holes win over Avondale Community College at Killeen Golf Club.

The champions beat Naas CBS by eight holes in the semi-finals as Avondale defeated Scoil Na mBraithre Kilkenny by seven holes.

But there was no stopping them in the final as Ronan Cowhey, Cathal French, Rory Reid, Robert Abernethy, Shane Brosnan and Robert O’Callaghan led their school to victory

Park claims Junior Series

Edmondstown’s Evelyn Park claimed the Golfer of the Year Trophy after the final event of the East Leinster Junior Winter Series at Powerscourt Golf Club.

Five players were in contention for the overall honours, but it was Park who took the top prize with Chloe Maples Gaffney (Royal Tara), Nicola Lynch (Malahide) and Niamh Carroll (Royal Tara) claiming the class prizes.

The winter series is organised by the East Leinster Junior Development Committee, which runs 18-hole stableford, 9-hole stableford and 6-hole scramble competitions every month over the winter.

Mallon best at Sandy Hills

Dungannon’s Dwayne Mallon followed a 72 on the Sandy Hills Links with a 69 on the Old Tom Morris Links to win the McGinley Motors sponsored Rosapenna Senior Scratch Cup.

He finished one stroke clear of Malone’s Matthew McClean and County Sligo’s Ruairi O’Connor on two-under 141.

Gweedore’s Pol O Maolagain won the Junior Scratch Cup by six shots on 10-over 153 from Vaughan Valley’s Paul Duffy with Rosapenna’s Enda McMenamin third on 160 and Paul Daly fourth with 161.

Rory Leonard and Michael Ryan shot 68s in the first round to lead the Senior Scratch Cup by a shot from Stefan Greenberg and O’Connor with Niall Carroll carding a 71 and 72s for Dwayne Mallon, Kealan Quigg, Jack Madden, Matthew McClean, Owen Crooks and JJ Logue.

Showers sprinkled the afternoon play on the par-71 Old Tom Morris Links but it was Mallon who emerged victorious, carding a two-under 69 to claim victory by a shot from Balmoral’s Matthew McClean on two-under 141.

Opportunity for Amateur players

A place in the Challenge Tour’s NI Open at Galgorm Castle will be up for grabs at July’s NI Amateur Open.

Sponsored by Specsavers Ballymena and Srixon Cleveland, a 77-strong field will tee up in the 36-hole event at Galgorm Castle on Tuesday, 18 July, just one week after the North of Ireland Championship at Royal Portrush.

Knock’s Colin Fairweather booked his place in the NI Open last year with a winning total of 146 while Reeve Whitson (2010), Cormac Sharvin (2012), Dermot McElroy (2013) and current Ireland international Tiarnan McLarnon (2015) are all former winners.

No amateurs will gain an automatic place at this year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Ballyliffin but up to six amateurs will be invited to compete in the Irish Open Qualifier at Rosapenna.

This means winning the NI Amateur Open is a rare opportunity for the 2018 champion to test their game against the best professionals in Europe.

The NI Open takes place at Galgorm Castle from August 16-19 and will be one of the standout events on the European Challenge Tour.

Denvir seventh at Fairhaven

In the Fairhaven Trophies, Elm Park’s Charlie Denvir shot rounds of 72, 73, 74 and 69 for 291 to tie for seventh on level par, five shots behind England’s Conor Gough (69, 75, 70, 69), who won the boys title by a shot from Sweden’s Adam Wallin (71, 69, 72, 72) on five-under-par 283.

Dundalk’s Eoin Murphy (71, 75, 74, 71) and Athenry’s David Kitt (71, 71, 77, 72) tied for 13th on three-over-par 291.

Douglas’ Sara Byrne missed the cut but tied for ninth in the girls’ event behind Scotland’s Louise Duncan with Aine Donegan tied 14th.

McDermott charges to victory at The K Club

Michael McDermott carded a pair of 67’s to claim The K Club Irish PGA Pro-Am title.

The Grange Golf Club professional finished the two-day 36-hole event on 10 under par, two shots clear of Eamonn Brady (Clontarf Golf Club) and four clear of third-placed Brian McElhinney (North West Golf Club).

Brady, the recent winner of the Moran Cup, opened the tournament with a six under par 66 to lead alongside Richard Kilpatrick (Banbridge Golf Club). McDermott, meanwhile, was handily placed after the close of play on day one, just a shot back.

Overnight leader Brady couldn’t match McDdermott in round two, posting a two-under par 70 while Kilpatrick’s one over 73 saw him slip into a tie for fourth.

In the team event, Royal Curragh’s Gerry Burke and amateur partners Catherine Kinane, Michael Kinane and Michael Burnell posted a two round total of 172 points to collect first prize.

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