Shay’s Short Game: One governing body for golf in Ireland

Irish off the pace at St Rule Trophy, McGeady reigns at Hermitage, inter-club results

Lianna Bailey took the honours at the St Rule Trophy. Photo: Inpho

Lianna Bailey took the honours at the St Rule Trophy. Photo: Inpho


A bid to unite the game of golf in Ireland moved a step closer last week when the GUI and the ILGU agreed to a proposal for the creation of one governing body. It’s taken two and a half years of discussions and consultations to agree on the proposal, which will be put to a vote of GUI and ILGU club members later this year.

If approved, the ILGU and the GUI will be wound down and the arduous task of transitioning to a new organisation, designed to make the sport more inclusive, will begin.

Following extensive discussions and consultation, the Boards of the Golfing Union of Ireland (GUI) and the Irish Ladies Golf Union (ILGU) have approved a Proposal which provides for the formation of a single governing body for Golf in Ireland.

The ILGU and GUI will now prepare for EGMs of the organisations at which affiliated clubs will vote on the Proposal.

In the coming months, Information Packs containing important details regarding the new organisation will be prepared and issued to affiliated clubs. The packs will include the Proposal and all information pertinent to clubs, in the form of an Executive Summary and Frequently Asked Questions.

The EGMs are expected to be held before the end of 2018, with the club briefings being held in advance of the vote date. The ILGU and the GUI will hold separate club briefings with their respective ladies and men’s clubs in advance of the vote date.

If the clubs of the ILGU and GUI support the proposal, a transitions phase will commence during which the GUI, ILGU and Confederation of Golf in Ireland (CGI) will be wound down and the new body will be established to carry out all activities currently undertaken by the three organisations.

Irish off the pace as Bailey wins St Rule Trophy

Lianna Bailey from Kirby Muxloe became the first English winner of the St Rule Trophy women’s open amateur trophy at St Andrews since Mel Reid in 2007 as Shannon Burke from Ballinrobe finished best of the Irish.

Bailey had rounds of 71 and 73 over the New Course followed by a 70 at the Old Course for a 12-under-par total of 214 - one shot ahead of joint runners-up Hazel MacGarvie (67-76-72) and Emily Brennan 73-71-71.

Bailey had a sensational start to her third round: eagle at the second followed by birdies at the third, fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth: seven-under-par 31 to the turn.

Hannah McCook, recent winner of the Welsh and Irish women’s open amateur stroke-play titles, looked well on the way to a notable hat-trick when she led with a pair of 71s over the New Course but her closing 74 at the Old for a 216 total was only good enough to see her tie for fourth place alongside Chloe Goadby (St Regulus).

Burke finished eighth shots back on 222 after rounds of 70, 75 and 77. Clandeboye’ s Jessica Ross rounds of 73, 76 and 74 for 223 with Ciara Casey from Hermitage a shot back on 224 after 75, 74 ad 75. Chloe Ryan (Castletroy) shot 75, 73 and 77 for 225 with Molly Dowling (76, 79, 74) from Lucan and Meadhbh Doyle (73, 79, 77) from Portarlington both on 229. Clodagh Walsh from Castlewarden finished on 233 (78, 80, 77).

Scotland (428) did pip England (430) for the team title.

McGeady three clear at Hermitage

Michael McGeady eased to a three shot victory at The Heritage Challenge Pro-Am sponsored by on Sunday. The 40-year-old followed up his opening round 64 (-8) with a second round 71 (-1) to top the leaderboard on nine under par.

Colm Moriarty (Glasson Hotel & GC) finished in second, three shots back (66/72) with Richard Kilpatrick (Banbridge GC) in third 71/69.

Reigning Irish PGA Champion, Tim Rice (Limerick GC), guided his amateur partners Daragh O’Sullivan, John Reilly and Dermot Doolan, to victory in the team event with a two-round total of 186 (95/91).

Moriarty was also in the winner’s enclosure last week when he fired a six under par 66 to claim his second win of the season at the Malahide Pro-Am. The Glasson professional recorded seven birdies and a bogey to finish one shot ahead of Richard Kilpatrick (Banbridge GC).

David Higgins (Waterville Links) finished in third, two shots behind the winner with Damian Mooney (Damian Mooney Golf) and reigning Irish PGA champion, Tim Rice (Limerick GC), tied for fourth on three under-69.

Playoff drama as Poppleton wins Brabazon Trophy

England’s Nick Poppleton won the Brabazon Trophy in dramatic style when he chipped in on the second play-off hole at Frilford Heath Golf Club, Oxfordshire.

South Africa’s Wilco Nienaber (67, 71, 65, 69) - who had tied with Poppleton (66, 72, 67, 67) on 16-under 272 - tried to equal him. But his shot to keep the championship alive hit the hole and lipped out.

It was an exciting finale to a day of superb golf, played out in hot sunshine, with low scores which included a course record 63 - and a magical eagle which set up Poppleton’s victory in the Englishmen’s open stroke play championship.

The 24-year-old from Wath in Yorkshire was chasing Nienaber for most of the final round. The South African number one had blitzed the third round in seven-under 65 to get to 13-under after 54 holes, two clear of Poppleton.

Nienaber set off like a rocket in the final round. He was five-under after seven holes, 18 under par and, at this stage, five shots clear of Poppleton. But a bogey on the short 11th, where he missed the green, and a double bogey on 14 where he lost his drive in the gorse, pulled him back to 15-under.

Poppleton, playing in the group ahead, was making steady progress and got to 14-under after 12 holes. He needed something more - and he took his chance on the par four 16th, driving the green and holing a 15-footer for and eagle two.

At 16-under par he had overtaken his rival. But Nienaber wasn’t finished. He slotted an eight-footer for birdie on the last to force the play off.

The title was decided on the par three ninth. Oddly, both players missed the green both times they played it - but compensated with superb chip shots. The final day of the championship was marked by low scoring. Andrew Wilson (Darlington) set a new course record of nine-under 63 in the third round, which propelled him into contention.

In the final round, Bailey Gill (Lindrick) shot 67 to finish on 13-under 275 and climb into a tie for third place with Jack Cope, whose putter warmed up over the back nine and helped him to a closing 69.

Kavanagh tied fifth in PGA Championhip

Hazel Kavanagh finished tied for fifth in the Titleist & FootJoy Women’s PGA Championship at Trentham Golf Club. Now coaching with Noel Fox and John Langan at “Impact Golf at Leopardstown”, the former tour player shot rounds of 76 and 73 to finish four shots behind winner Keely Chiericato on three-over-par.

Chiericato looked to be cruising to victory when she made the first ace of her professional career at the fourth and led on four-under-par with seven holes to go.

But she bogeyed three holes coming in and ended up in a playoff with Heather MacRae, carding a 74 to the Scot’s 72 to leave them tied on one-under.

MacRae had a chance to win on the 18th in regulation play but her birdie putt stopped a fraction short.

But at the par-four first in the playoff, her approach clipped some leaves and fell well short of the green and after missing from six feet, Chiericato made a winning par to claim the silver salver and the £1,000 winner’s cheque. Lynn McCool was 16th on 14-over after rounds of 82 and 78.

Inter-club results

FBD Barton Cup – Third Round: Headfort bt Skerries 4/1; Beaverstown bt Greenore 3/2; Malahide bt Swords 4/1; Clontarf bt St. Margaret’s 4/1; Westmanstown bt Killeen Castle 4/1; Knockanally bt Highfield 4/1; Tullamore bt Mount Temple 4/1; Dunmurry Springs bt Esker Hills 3/2; Mount Juliet bt Heritage 3/2; Palmerstown House Estate bt Carlow 3/2; Baltinglass bt Killeen 4/1; Grange bt Newlands 3/2; Milltown bt Stackstown 3.5/1.5; Killiney bt Woodbrook 3.5/1.5; Arklow bt Blainroe 3/2; New Ross bt Courtown 3/2

Fred Daly Trophy – Third Round: Naas bt Carton House 3.5/1.5; Royal Dublin bt Hermitage 4/1; The Island bt Dundalk 3/2; Malahide bt Headfort 3.5/1.5; Mullingar bt Tullamore 3.5/1.5; Kilkenny bt Enniscorthy 5/0; Castle bt Blainroe 4/1; Greystones bt Elm Park 3/2

AIG Barton Shield qualifying

(Arklow Golf Club) – Qualifying: 152 Rosslare; 154 Baltinglass; 155 Enniscorthy; 156 Wexford.

Non-qualifying: 164 New Ross, Blainroe; 165 Charlesland, Courtown, Waterford; 166 Arklow; 170 Woodenbridge; 176 Macreddin; 183 Wicklow.

Semi-finals: Rosslare bt Wexford 4h; Enniscorthy bt Baltinglass 3h.

Final: Enniscorthy bt Rosslare 5h.

(Balcarrick Golf Club) – Qualifying: 149 Portmarnock; 152 Dundalk; 153 Royal Dublin; 154 Howth; 155 Balcarrick; 156 The Island; 157 Greenore; 160 Corballis Links (Best Card).

Non-qualifying: 160 The Links Portmarnock; 161 Clontarf, Skerries, Malahide; 162 Swords, St Anne’s; 164 Roganstown; 165 Forrest Little, County Louth; 167 Beaverstown; 170 Deer Park; 172 Ardee; 173 Balbriggan; 179 Donabate; 183 Rush; Withdrawn Seapoint, Sutton.

Semi-finals: Royal Dublin bt The Island 6h; Dundalk bt Greenore 4h; Portmarnock bt Corballis Links 13h; Howth bt Balcarrick 2h.

Finals: Dundalk bt Royal Dublin 3h; Portmarnock bt Howth 5h.

Qualifier A: Dundalk

Qualifier B: Portmarnock

(Black Bush Golf Club) – Qualifying: 151 Carton House; 153 Corrstown; 153 Black Bush; 159 Killeen Castle.

Non-qualifying: 161 Co Meath; 162 Laytown & Bettystown; 163 Royal Tara; 163 Moyvalley; 166 Headfort; 169 Birr; 171 Ashbourne; 174 Knightsbrook; 177 Hollystown.

Semi-finals: Killeen Castle bt Carton House 2h; Corrstown bt Black Bush 6h.

Final: Corrstown bt Killeen Castle 11h.

(Hermitage Golf Club)

Qualifying: 151 Hermitage; 152 Elm Park: 153 Newlands; 155 Woodbrook; 156 Dun Laoghaire; 158 Greystones; 159 Old Conna; 159 Castleknock.

Non-qualifying: 159 Edmondstown; 160 Grange; 160 Castle; 162 Westmanstown, Grange Castle; 163 Druids Heath; 164 Delgany; 165 Bray; 168 Milltown, Lucan, Powerscourt; 169 Beech Park; 170 Stackstown; 181 Killiney; 192 Foxrock.

Semi-finals: Newlands bt Greystones 8h; Elm Park bt Old Conna 2h; Castleknock bt Hermitage 2h; Dun Laoghaire bt Woodbrook 8h.

Finals: Elm Park bt Newlands 6h; Dun Laoghaire bt Castleknock 7h.

Qualifier A: Elm Park.

Qualifier B: Dun Laoghaire.

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