Shay’s Short Game: Three Irish on St Andrews Links Trophy team

Meanwhile, Ronan Mullarney books his place for NI Open at Galgorm Castle

Irish Girls’ Close champion Kate Lanigan from Hermitage and Pat Fletcher Trophy winner Niamh O’Dwyer from Lahinch after their victories at Clandeboye. Photo: Pat Cashman

Irish Girls’ Close champion Kate Lanigan from Hermitage and Pat Fletcher Trophy winner Niamh O’Dwyer from Lahinch after their victories at Clandeboye. Photo: Pat Cashman


Flogas Irish Amateur Open champion Robin Dawson from Tramore has been included along with St Andrews Links Trophy winner John Murphy from Kinsale and Portmarnock’s Conor Purcell in the St Andrews Links Trophy team to play the Continent of Europe at Linna Golf, Finland on Thursday 26th and Friday July 27th.

Dawson, 22, has risen to number 10 in the world this season and in addition to his Flogas Irish Amateur Open victory at Royal County Down, he has had runner-up finishes at The Amateur Championship and the European Amateur Championship.

Kinsale’s John Murphy, 20, made his big breakthrough earlier this season with victory at the St Andrews Links Trophy. Murphy also reached the quarter-finals at The Amateur Championship.

Conor Purcell is the third player from Ireland selected. The 21-year-old from Portmarnock, a son of PGA professional Joey, reached the semi-finals of The Amateur Championship.

Britain and Ireland team for the 2018 St Andrews Trophy: Todd Clements, 21, Braintree, England; Robin Dawson, 22, Tramore, Ireland; David Hague, 21, Malton & Norton, England; Matthew Jordan, 22, Royal Liverpool, England; John Murphy, 20, Kinsale, Ireland; Gian-Marco Petrozzi, 21, Trentham, England; Nick Poppleton, 24, Wath, England; Conor Purcell, 21, Portmarnock, Ireland; Mitch Waite, 23, Filton, England

Mullarney books place in NI Open

Ronan Mullarney booked his place in next month’s NI Open when he came out on top in the Modest! Golf Northern Ireland Amateur Open at Galgorm Castle from August 16th-19th.

The Galway international carded rounds of 67 and 66 to win by three shots on nine-under-par 133 from Forrest Little’s Jack McDonnell (68, 68) with Galgorm Castle’s Michael Reid (70, 67) a shot further back.

Reid’s better second round edged out Ardglass’ Adam Mulhall (68 ,69), who also finished on four-under 137. Mulhall continued his great form of late just days after reaching the semi-final of the North of Ireland at Royal Portrush.

Mullarney hit the front after his opening 67 and went on to shoot the best score of the second round by going one better for his 66 to win comfortably.

Having started on the 10th, Mullarney covered the back nine in four-under 31 before picking up a sixth birdie at the par-five ninth, his final hole.

Ulster title for Seapoint’s Keating

Seapoint’s Dylan Keating shot a second round 69 to add to an opening day score of 76 to claim the Ulster Under-16 Open Championship title at Donaghadee with a two shot victory from Josh Black (Lisburn) who shot rounds of 73 and 74 for 147. Niall O’Callaghan from Greenore and Jamie Butler from Naas tied for third place on 148 with O’Callaghan carding 78 and 70 while Butler shot 75 and 73.

This is Keating’s second victory this year after he carded a final round 70 and overcame a four-shot deficit to win the Irish Boys U16 Championship at Castle Dargan in June.

Lanigan is Irish Girls champion

Hermitage’s Kate Lanigan etched her name in the history books when she beat international teammate Valerie Clancy 6 and 5 to win the Irish Girls’ Close Championship at Clandeboye.

Lanigan beat 13-year old Emma Fleming from Elm Park 5 and 4 in the semi-finals as Clancy birdied the last hole to beat Woodstock’s Aine Donegan by one hole.

Laniagn revealed that she was brimming with confidence after making her debut for Ireland in the European Girls Team Championship in Sweden the previous week.

“I gained so much experience and I just felt great coming into this event even though I was a bit tired given all of the golf I’ve played lately,” Lanigan said.

Lahinch’s Niamh O’Dwyer won the Plate title for the Pat Fletcher Trophy with a 3 and 2 win over Killarney’s Corrina Griffin. Griffin beat Roscommon’s Chloe O’Connor 3 and 1 in her semi-final but fell two down early on to O’Dwyer, who beat Elm Park’s Emma Thorne 3 and 2 in the other semi-final.

First major for South Africa’s Vorster

South Africa’s Martin Vorster survived a final round scare to claim his first major international title in The Junior Open over the Eden course at St Andrews.

The 16-year-old member of the Louis Oosthuizen Academy was five shots clear of the field after opening rounds of 66 and 65 but after a solid start to his final round he found sand off the tee on the seventh on his way to running up a triple bogey seven.

The South African’s lead was suddenly cut to two but he showed composure beyond his years by hitting his tee shot on the par-three eighth to eight feet and then playing the next 10 holes in one-over-par to post a four-over-par 74 and become the first South African to win the championship.

Vorster’s closing 74 saw him finish on five-under-par 205 and one shot ahead of 14-year-old Japanese player Tsubasa Kajitani, who in front of a large crowd birdied two of her last three holes to card a level par 70.

New Zealand’s Jayden Ford played his last 12 holes in four-under-par to card a final round 68 and finish third on three-under-par 206 and his performance was all the more impressive because he lost his clubs in transit from London and had to play his opening round with borrowed clubs.

Seniors Team named

The ILGU has selected six players to represent Ireland at the European Senior Ladies Team Championships in September.

Captained by the experienced Valerie Hassett, the team will be led by recent Irish Senior Women’s Close Champion Suzanne Corcoran (Portumna) and includes a host of experience throughout including 2016 British Senior Women’s Champion Laura Webb and Gertie McMullen (The Island) who has won both the Irish Senior Women’s Open and Close Championships in the past.

The Championship takes place in Mont Garni Golf Club, near Charleroi, from September 4 - 8 2018.

European Senior Ladies Team Championships (September 4 - 8, Mont Garni, Belgium): Suzanne Corcoran (Portumna), Pat Doran (Donabate), Margaret McAuliffe (Ballybunion), Gertie McMullen (The Island), Catherine Reilly (The Heath), Laura Webb (East Berkshire). Captain: Valerie Hassett (Ennis)

McCabe third in McGregor Trophy

Roganstown’s Joshua McCabe fired a final round of six-under-par 66 to claim a share of third place as England international Conor Gough claimed his second England crown when he holed out from 25 feet on the last to win the McGregor Trophy at Kedleston Park, Derbyshire.

The 15-year-old signed for 72, 71, 70 and 68 for a 72-hole total of seven-under par 281, snatching a one shot victory in the English U16 boys’ open championship from Yorkshire boy champion Ben Schmidt (71, 67, 72, 72).

McCabe had rounds of 72, 72, 75 and 66 for 285. Robert Gilligan from Elm Park, the only other Irish player to make the 36 holes cut shot rounds of 73, 72, 76 and 80 for 302 and 41st place.

GUI Squad - McGregor Trophy, Kedleston Park, 17-19 July: Joseph Byrne (Baltinglass), Michael Fitzgibbon (Portmarnock), Thomas Higgins (Roscommon), Joshua Hill (Galgorm Castle), Ewan McArthur (Massereene), Joshua McCabe (Roganstown), Keaton Morrison (Greenacres).

McGrane’s good run continues

Carlow’s Damien McGrane maintained his remarkable PGA pro-am record at Royal Curragh last week winning the Newbridge Silverware sponsored event for the fourth time in a row although on this occasion, he had to share top spot with Joe Dillon from Headfort.

The pair carded rounds of five under par 67 to finish one shot ahead of Michael McGeady (Evolve Golf Coaching). McGrane dropped a shot on the fourth but collected four birdies on the front nine as he went to the turn in three under 34.

He continued his smooth progress on the back nine, adding birdies at the 12th, 14th and 18th with his second bogey of the day coming at the par four 17th.

In contrast, Dillon relied on a brilliant back nine to join McGrane at the head of affairs. Starting at the 10th, his front nine had a little bit everything, including back to back eagles at the 12th and 13th. He also collected a double-bogey, and three further bogeys as he went to the turn in one over 36.

His back nine was a completely different story as he picked up six birdies in a bogey-free run that helped him to the top of the leaderboard alongside McGrane.

The team event was won by Hazel Kavanagh (Impact Golf at Leopardstown) and her amateur partners with a superb score of 102 points.

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