Shay’s Short Game: Mary Doyle pick of the Irish in 20th Faldo Series Grand Final

Leona Maguire one of 32 amateurs in field for LPGA and Symetra Tour Qualifying School

Mary Doyle finished tied-third in the 20th Faldo Series Grand Final at Stoke by Nayland.

Mary Doyle finished tied-third in the 20th Faldo Series Grand Final at Stoke by Nayland.


Joint-third for Doyle in 20th Faldo Series Grand Final

Mary Doyle from The Heath was the best of the Irish in the 20th Faldo Series Grand Final at Stoke by Nayland. The left-hander finished tied third in the Girls’ Final on six over 219 after rounds of 75, 69 and 75, just four shots behind overall winner Sara Zrnikova from Slovakia. Doyle was second in the Under-21 section behind Zmikova with Elm Park’s Anna Foster fifth in the Under 16s and tied 11th overall on 234 after rounds of 78, 76 and 80.

Lurgan’s Maeve Cummins carded a final round of 82 which saw her drop from 18th to 21st overall and to 10th in the Under-21 category with scores of 80, 78 and 82 for 240.

In the Boys’ competition, the Czech Republic’s Jiri Zuska won the overall title by four shots on seven under par 206. Lurgan’s Peter Cummins, who was eighth in the Under 18 category, tied for 13th on three over after rounds of 69, 73 and 74. Holywood’s Rory Williamson, fifth in the Under 21 section, tied for 16th on six over 219 after rounds of 76, 70 and 73. Dundalk’s Eoin Murphy was 35th overall on 240 and 14th in the Under 16s after rounds of 75, 81 and 84.

Preferred lies confirmed

The Golfing Union of Ireland and the Irish Ladies Golf Union have confirmed that the specified period for preferred lies in Ireland is October1st 2016 to May 31st 2017. As per the CONGU UHS Manual 2016-2018 (Clause 15), each Union is now required to give directions to its Affiliated Clubs defining the period during which preferred lies may be used. The GUI and the ILGU have both agreed to establish October 1st - May 31st as the specified period for preferred lies in Ireland.

The adoption of preferred lies, can allow Qualifying Competitions to be conducted under acceptable playing conditions. Clubs should, whenever practicable, play competitions as Qualifying Competitions during the preferred lie period. Reference should be made to Decisions 1(a) and 1(b) that have been formulated to promote and encourage Qualifying Competitions in the preferred lie period.

When preferred lies are in operation the following points shall be taken into consideration:

15.1 Each Union shall give directions to its Affiliated Clubs defining the period during which preferred lies may be used, if required. Competition Play Conditions will apply notwithstanding the application of a Local Rule for preferred lies as a result of adverse conditions during this period (See Clause 15.3). The Local Rule may apply to specified holes only.

CONGU, The Council of National Golf Unions, represents England Golf, Golf Union of Wales, Golfing Union of Ireland, Irish Ladies Golf Union, Scottish Golf, R&A and LGU. The Unified Handicapping System (UHS) 2016-2018 has been effective from January 1st, 2016.

Maguire in field for LPGA qualifying school

World number one ranked amateur golfer, Leona Maguire is one of 32 amateurs in the field of 210, for Stage two of the LPGA and Symetra Tour Qualifying School starting of Thursday at the Plantation Golf Course, Venice, Florida. The top 80 and ties will then advance to Qualifying School Stage three, to be played at Daytona Beach, Florida from November 28th to December 4th.

Fellow amateurs and Curtis Cup stars Bronte Law and Charlotte Thomas will compete alongside Maguire.

Leona Maguire secured the Smyth Salver Trophy after finishing the RICOH Women’s British Open as the top ranked amateur. The highlight of Maguire’s season can be pinned to her performance in Rio during golf’s return to the Olympic Games. Having succeeded to qualify among only three amateurs, she placed T21st alongside her team mate Stephanie Meadow who finished 31st. Earlier in the season, Maguire played a substantial role in the Curtis Cup victory against the USA in June.

Most recently however, Maguire helped Ireland capture an historic Bronze Medal at the World Amateur Team Championships - Espirito Santo. Leona, alongside Olivia Mehaffey and Annabel Wilson were the first Irish team to medal the WATC.

Maguire won the European Ladies’ Amateur Golf Ranking’s gold medal for the second successive year as well as defending her position as World Leading Women’s Amateur which gained her a second WAGR’s Mark H McCormack Medal.

Grehan leads field at Irish Intervarsity

Irish international Stuart Grehan heads a strong field at the Irish Intervarsity Championship, which gets underway at Lahinch on Wednesday. In the race for the ladies title at Lahinch, Maynooth’s Shannon Burke is bidding for two-in-a-row. Burke was a convincing winner at Rosslare last year while Grehan, who also represents Maynooth University, finished second to UCD’s Alex Gleeson.

Grehan, who helped Ireland take home a bronze medal from the World Amateur Team Championships last month, is first out in the opening round alongside Irish Youths Champion Neil McKinstry (Ulster) and Marc Nolan (IADT).

North of Ireland champion Sean Flanagan (Maynooth) and World University Championship winner Robin Dawson (Maynooth) will provide strong opposition for Grehan in the race for the men’s title.

Played over three rounds, the top 30 and ties will progress to the final day of the men’s competition while the top seven and ties will vie for the ladies title in round three.

Junior Presidents Cup set for 2017

Junior boys golfers in the USA received some exciting news last week when the PGA Tour and AJGA announced the formation of a Junior Presidents Cup, beginning in 2017.

The Junior Presidents Cup, which is scheduled for September 25th-26th at Plainfield Country Club in Edison, New Jersey, will feature 24 of the top junior boys ages 19 and under, 12 on the U.S. side and 12 from the rest of the world, excluding Europe.

“The PGA Tour is excited to introduce this new tradition to Presidents Cup week,” said Jay Monahan, deputy commissioner and chief operating officer of the PGA Tour. “By partnering with the AJGA, our vision for the Junior Presidents Cup is to provide the best young players in the world with a unique playing opportunity that will not only help advance their golfing careers, but also be a source of inspiration as they then witness their professional golfing heroes compete at the highest level and represent their home countries with pride during the Presidents Cup.”

The qualifying process for the 2017 Junior Presidents Cup is simple: the top 11 eligible U.S. players in the AJGA Polo Golf Rankings as of August 3rd will make the team, and a 12th will be added off the rankings on September 6th, following the AJGA Junior Players, which will award double points. The International team qualification will use the same cutoff dates, though it will use the World Amateur Golf Ranking.

Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player will serve as honorary captains for the U.S. and International teams, respectively, and will each be supported by a captain, who will handle the primary duties during the competition. Captains for the inaugural Junior Presidents Cup will be major champions David Toms (U.S.) and Trevor Immelman (International).

The Junior Ryder Cup has been a success since its inception in 1997, but since it happens bi-annually, some juniors are put at a disadvantage to qualify if their graduation year falls on a Junior Ryder Cup year. The Junior Presidents Cup serves as a nice compliment, happening every odd year and giving juniors more chances to experience international match-play competition.

There is, of course, some surprise that girls are not eligible to compete in the Junior Presidents Cup. But there’s always the possibility down the line, as we’ve seen with other events, such as the Arnold Palmer Cup, which will add women to its annual collegiate competition in 2018.

Sandy Lyle wins World Hickory Open championship

Sandy Lyle has repeated his 2014 win in the World Hickory Open championship at Panmure, near Carnoustie. He put a lock on the 2016 title when he led the field by seven strokes after a first-round 67 and a second-round 71 for 138 saw him finished 10 strokes clear of the field of 50.

“I’m delighted to have won my fourth Major,” joked Sandy, winner of the 1985 Open and the 1988 Masters and many other titles, including the World Hickory Open 2014. “It’s been a fantastic few days at Panmure with a great championship and great golf.”

Joint runners-up on 148 were 2015 World Hickory Open winner, Andrew Marshall from Bawburgh Golf Club, Norfolk and Johan Moberg from Sweden. Both shot 74 in each round.

Rymer Smith, a scratch player from Buckinghamshire, won the Archie Baird Trophy, which is presented to the tournament’s top amateur golfer. He scored 76 and 74 for 150

Switzerland’s Mauris Lauber won the 55-64 category, with Christopher Homer from Morecambe winning the 65+ category.

The women’s scratch title was won by Sweden’s Brita Nord (81-97 for 178), while Ingrid Lind from the Emirates claimed the handicap title.

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