Shay’s Short Game: Irish quartet named for European Nations Cup

James Butler from Naas takes the Leinster Boys Under-16 Amateur Open

Leinster Under-16 champion James Butler from Naas with Joe McNamara (Honorary Secretary Leinster Golf), Alan Costello (Captain Beaverstown GC) and sponsor Pat MacCallion of Multi Cargo Ltd. Photograph: Ronan Quinlan

Leinster Under-16 champion James Butler from Naas with Joe McNamara (Honorary Secretary Leinster Golf), Alan Costello (Captain Beaverstown GC) and sponsor Pat MacCallion of Multi Cargo Ltd. Photograph: Ronan Quinlan

 

European Nations Cup and Lytham Trophy teams named

Robin Dawson, Alex Gleeson and Caolan Rafferty have been selected by the Golfing Union of Ireland for both the European Nations Cup at Sotogrande in April and the Lytham Trophy in May.

The fourth member of the European Nations Cup team will be Jonathan Yates.

The Irish quartet will be looking to recapture the title last won at La Reserva in 2016 when Jack Hume also scooped the individual title. This year’s event takes place at Sotogrande from April 18th-21st. Ireland were runners-up last year while Dawson was second in the individual event.

Mark Power, Tiarnan McLarnon and Ronan Mullarney join Dawson, Gleeson and Rafferty for the Lytham Trophy at Royal Lytham & St. Annes from May 4th-6th. Previous Irish winners of the Lytham Trophy include Tom Craddock (1969), Martin Sludds (1982) and Paul Cutler (2009).

The Irish Team Captain is John Carroll (Bandon) who will accompany both selections.

European Nations Cup Team, Sotogrande, April 18th-21st: Robin Dawson (Tramore), Alex Gleeson (Castle), Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk), Jonathan Yates (Naas). Team Manager: John White (Co Armagh)

Lytham Trophy at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, May 4th-6th: Robin Dawson (Tramore), Alex Gleeson (Castle), Mark Power (Kilkenny), Tiarnan McLarnon (Massereene), Ronan Mullarney (Galway), Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk). Team Manager: Niall MacSweeney (Athenry).

Grehan leads Europro Tour qualifying

Stuart Grehan topped his qualifying venue as 13 Irish golfers made it through Stage One to this week’s Final Stage of the Europro Tour Qualifying School at Frilford Heath.

Played over 36 holes at Caversham Heath, Formby Hall and Haggs Castle; and 18 holes at Mannings Heath Golf Club & Wine Estate and The Players Club due to adverse weather, over 170 golfers took a step closer to gaining full playing rights on the satellite tour.

All those who got through will at least a category 14 status for 2018 with golfers making the Final Stage cut earning a minimum category 10 and the top 30 earning category three.

Grehan is joined at the Final Stage by Colin Fairweather, John Ross Galbraith, Jack Hume, Kevin Phelan, Chris Selfridge, Stephen McCarthy, Iarlaith Keane, Cameron Raymond, Joe Dillon, Luke Donnelly, Brian Doheny, amateur Owen Crooks as well as Brian McElhinney and Reeve Whitson who were exempt from Stage One.

All 240 golfers at Final Stage will play one round on each the Red and Blue Courses at Frilford Heath on Wednesday, April 4th and Thursday, April 5th before a cut to the leading 80 players and ties play a concluding 18 holes on the Blue Course on Friday, April 6tg.

Six selected for McEvoy Trophy

The race for the Bridgestone Boys International Order of Merit moves to Copt Heath for the Peter McEvoy Trophy on April 11th and 12th with many of Ireland’s leading boys in action.

The squad selected by the Golfing Union of Ireland includes Luke O’Neill (Connemara) who currently shares top spot alongside Odhran Maguire (Slieve Russell) and Edward Walsh (Mallow) in the Bridgestone Boys International Order of Merit.

Athenry duo Allan Hill and David Kitt, runner-up at last year’s AIG Irish Amateur Close, will also travel to Copt Heath alongside John Brady (Rosslare) and Charlie Denvir (Elm Park). Denvir is fourth in the Bridgestone Boys International Order of Merit, just five points behind the leading trio.

Odhran Maguire also makes the trip to the McEvoy Trophy, as does Laytown & Bettystown’s Alex Maguire.

The Peter McEvoy Trophy has become the traditional curtain raiser to the boys’ golf season. The McEvoy is a 72-hole stroke play tournament played over two days. Restricted to 72 players, the top 40 and ties progress to the final 36 holes on day two. There are two previous Irish winners of the event: Gavin Moynihan (2012) and Mark Power (2016).

GUI Squad: Peter McEvoy Trophy, April 11th-12th, Copt Heath: John Brady (Rosslare), Charlie Denvir (Elm Park), Allan Hill (Athenry), David Kitt (Athenry), Aaron Marshall (Lisburn), Luke O’Neill (Connemara).

Butler claims Leinster title in playoff

James Butler from Naas beat Elm Park’s Robert Galligan by two shots in a three-holes aggregate playoff to capture the Leinster Boys Under-16 Amateur Open at Beaverstown.

The pair followed opening rounds of 73 with final round 74 to finish two strokes clear of Greenacres’ Keaton Morrison on three-over 147.

Butler then emerged victories when he produced three pars at the first, second and third as Galligan followed a birdie-par start with a six at the par-three third. First round leader Ewan McArthur tied for ninth on 152.

Hapgood best at Portmarnock Links

Welshman Jake Hapgood took the honours in the TaylorMade Winter Series at Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links after resisting the rain and stiff breeze to head for Rosses Point with the top gross prize.

Playing off plus three, Hapgood went out in two-under par with three birdies and a bogey on his card before coming home in one-over by following bogeys at the 10th and 12th hole with a birdie at the 13th and five finishing pars for a one-under 70.

Castle’s Alex Gleeson, a former junior member at Rosses Point, will also be fancied to challenge for the West of Ireland after he shot a one-over 72 to take second in the gross.

Greystones’ Robbie O’Brien won the nett with a 72 of six, edging out Powerscourt two-handicapper Declan King by a stroke.

Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links will host its annual Senior and Junior Scratch Cups on April 13th while the TaylorMade Winter Series will continue until the end of April.

Six selected for Quadrangular test

The Golfing Union of Ireland have named their team for the Under-16 Quadrangular (Four Nations) tournament in the Netherlands.

Irish Under-14 champion Edward Rowe (Tandragee) is among six players selected for the three-match series against Scotland, Wales and the Netherlands at Golfclub De Hoge Kleij.

Joseph Byrne (Baltinglass), Mel Deasy (Bantry Bay), Joshua Hill (Galgorm Castle), Eoin McGrath (Athlone) and Josh Black (Hilton Templepatrick) who was on last year’s winning side in Wales completes the Irish line-up in the Netherlands from Aoril 10th-12th.

Ireland Under-16 captain Kevin Rafterty (Forrest Little) accompanies the team along with coach Ian Kearney.

Ireland squad: U16 Quadrangular (Golfclub De Hoge Kleij, 10-12 April): Josh Black (Hilton Templepatrick), Joseph Byrne (Baltinglass), Mel Deasy (Bantry Bay), Joshua Hill (Galgorm Castle), Eoin McGrath (Athlone), Edward Rowe (Tandragee).

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