Shay’s Short Game: Irish PGA set for prime date

Five Irish will compete in Spanish Amateur and McGrane reigns again in Portmarnock

Announcing details of the Irish PGA championship were Moyvalley Hotel and Golf Resort director, Vichai Tripipatkul (left) with 2016 Irish PGA Champion, Damien McGrane.

Announcing details of the Irish PGA championship were Moyvalley Hotel and Golf Resort director, Vichai Tripipatkul (left) with 2016 Irish PGA Champion, Damien McGrane.

 

Five Irish in Spanish Amateur Championship

A five-strong Irish contingent of Georgia Carr (Milltown), Maria Dunne (Skerries), Paula Grant (Lisburn), Chloe Ryan (Castletroy) and Annabel Wilson (Lurgan) will be competing in this week’s Spanish International Ladies’ Amateur Championship taking place at Sherry Golf Jerez.

The highly competitive championship is a counting event for the Women’s World Amateur Golf Rankings and for the Ping Junior Solheim Cup.

Dunne was the only Irish player to qualify at the Championship last year but she bowed out in the first round to French player Pauline Roussin-Bouchard.

A number of the Irish competing in the championship have made a strong start to the season already. Ryan finished best of the Irish at the Portuguese International Ladies Amateur Championship at Montado in January. With three rounds of level par 72, she finished in a tie for 13th position. Grant secured tied 11th position at the R&A supported South American Amateur Championship in January of this year and Curtis Cup star Dunne will be hoping to impress internationally once again.

Lurgan member Wilson, and Milltown’s Carr will make up the Irish party to compete in the Championship. The field will play 36 holes on Wednesday and Thursday with the top 32 qualifying for matchplay from Friday.

Dunne, Ryan and Wilson will lead Ireland’s hopes in the Nations Cup event, which will be played simultaneously with the first 36 holes of the Championship. The Cup will be awarded to the two lowest scores of each day.

Prime date for PGA Championship

The Irish PGA Championship will make a welcome return to the Twin Oaks Championship Course at Moyvalley Hotel & Golf Resort in Co Kildare. As befits the historic tournament which has been won by Fred Daly, Harry Bradshaw, Paul McGinley and Padraig Harrington and carries a prize fund of €30,000, it has moved to a prime date in the golfing calendar.

It will be contested from Thursday June 22nd until Sunday 25th and preceded by a fundraising pro-am for the Shabra Charity Foundation on June 21st.

Last year’s event was won by Damien McGrane who edged out Simon Thornton by a shot after a tense back nine battle at the Kildare venue.

McGrane leads the way at Portmarnock Links

Damien McGrane fired a three-under-par 68 to win the nett prize in the Tuesday Winter Series outing at Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links. The 2008 Volvo China Open winner edged out Baltinglass three-handicapper William Byrne on a countback with Joseph Byrne third with a 72 from a field of 79.

In the gross, Headfort assistant professional Joe Dillon took the top prize with a two-under-par 69. Portmarnock assistant Colin Starrett shot a two-over-par 73 for second place on a countback from Ballyhaunis’ Andrew Hickey.

Kelly tops in Hilary outing

Athy’s Jonathan Kelly shot level par on both nines to win the nett in last week’s RaboDirect sponsored Hilary Golf Society outing at Seapoint Golf Links. The three-handicapper carded a 69 to win by just one shot from Greenore’s Sean Murphy (4).

Hermitage’s Alan Dowling scorched to the turn in four under par 32 and went on to card a 71 to claim the gross prize. Tullamore’s Bernard Quigley shot fine 71 to win the professional prize by two shots from former European Tour player Gary Murphy.

Greenore’s Murphy was on the winning team, racking up 61 points with The Royal Dublin’s Niall Lavin (3) and Beech Park’s Vincent Carney (5).

The third outing of the series takes place in Laytown and Bettystown on Sunday, March 5th.

Munster Junior Golf seminars

Munster Golf are holding Junior Golf Seminars in three locations over the coming weeks at Cork Golf Club on March 7th; Killarney Golf Club on March 9th and Clonmel Golf Club on March 14th.

These seminars are to give people an outline of what Munster Junior Golf is about, and would be of particular interest to new officers in Munster Clubs.

Olazábal and Jackson accept R&A membership

José María Olazábal and Scotland’s Bridget Jackson have accepted invitations to become Honorary Members of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.

Olazábal is one of the world’s most successful and popular golfers, winning 30 professional tournaments during his career, including the Masters in 1994 and 1999. He was admitted to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2009. During a notable amateur career, Jackson played in the Curtis Cup for Britain and Ireland on three occasions and was selected as an England international nine times. She has served as Chair and President of the English Ladies Golf Association and President of the Ladies’ Golf Union. She was made a MBE in 2003 for her services to women’s golf.

“Winning The R&A’s amateur championships and the Silver Medal in The Open were huge achievements for me and gave me a tremendous boost in the early stages of my career. It is a privilege to follow in the footsteps of so many of golf’s great champions in becoming part of the Club’s celebrated history,” said Olazábal.

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