Shay’s Short Game: Tiarnan McLarnon wins Mullingar Scratch Trophy

Eisenhower Trophy team selected, Gary Cullen wins Leinster Mid Amateur Open

Massereene’s Tiarnan McLarnon won the Sherry Fitzgerald Davitt and Davitt sponsored Mullingar Scratch Trophy. Photograph: Mullingar Golf Club

Massereene’s Tiarnan McLarnon won the Sherry Fitzgerald Davitt and Davitt sponsored Mullingar Scratch Trophy. Photograph: Mullingar Golf Club

 

Dawson, Murphy and Purcell selected for Eisenhower Trophy

Robin Dawson, John Murphy and Conor Purcell will represent Ireland in the World Amateur Team Championship for the Eisenhower Trophy at Carton House from September 5th to 8th. Dawson from Tramore, Murphy from Kinsale and Portmarnock’s Purcell were the three Irishmen in the Britain and Ireland side that lost to the Continent of Europe in the St Andrews Trophy last month but they will be hoping to enjoy some success in Maynooth and improve on Ireland’s best finish of third place in the Eisenhower Trophy in Mexico two years ago.

Currently ranked number six in the world, Dawson finally got his hands on a championship title in 2018, fulfilling a long-held ambition by winning the Flogas Irish Amateur Open at Royal County Down and came close to completing a rare double but had to settle for second at The Amateur Championship when he was beaten by South African Jovan Rebula in the final.

Dawson earned his place automatically on the Eisenhower Trophy team as the highest ranked Ireland player in the World Amateur Golf Rankings while Murphy and Purcell were selected by the GUI.

Murphy announced himself on the international stage with a spectacular victory at this year’s St Andrews Links Trophy. A multiple winner in Ireland before departing for college in the United States at the University of Louisville last year, Murphy has soared in 2018.

A superb second round of 66 on the Old Course put him in the frame for victory at the St Andrews Links Trophy and he held his nerve during a playoff with Germany’s Jannik de Bruyn, holing a 25-footer for birdie on the 18th to take the trophy.

He also reached the quarter-finals of The Amateur Championship, where he was beaten by Dawson, which was a performance that earned him a St Andrews Trophy spot.

Purcell, the son of former Portmarnock Golf Club professional Joey, followed in his father’s footsteps when winning his first Ireland senior cap at the Home Internationals in 2016. He has now played on two winning teams at the Homes and following his run to the semi-finals of The Amateur Championship in 2018, where he was beaten by Ireland teammate Dawson, he was named in the Britain and Ireland team for the St Andrews Trophy.

This season Purcell has recorded five top-10 finishes including a semi-final appearance at the AIG Irish Close in The European Club.

The Ireland team will be captained by John Carroll (Bandon) and accompanied throughout the event by Neil Manchip, GUI National Coach.

McLarnon finishes strongly in Mullingar

Massereene’s Tiarnan McLarnon produced a stunning finish to win the Sherry Fitzgerald Davitt and Davitt sponsored Mullingar Scratch Trophy by a stroke. The former Ireland international went into the final round two strokes behind Dun Laoghaire’s Alan Fahy, Tandragee’s Stefan Greenberg and Cork’s John Hickey on one-under par.

Tom Moore (Captain, Mullingar Golf Club) presenting Tiarnan McLarnon (Massereene) with the 2018 Sherry Fitzgerald Davitt & Davitt sponsored Mullingar Scratch Cup. Also in the picture (from left) are Chris Garry (President, Mullingar Golf Club), Aiden Davitt (sponsor) and John Moloughney (President, GUI). Photograph: Pat Cashman
Tom Moore (Captain, Mullingar Golf Club) presenting Tiarnan McLarnon (Massereene) with the 2018 Sherry Fitzgerald Davitt & Davitt sponsored Mullingar Scratch Cup. Also in the picture (from left) are Chris Garry (President, Mullingar Golf Club), Aiden Davitt (sponsor) and John Moloughney (President, GUI). Photograph: Pat Cashman

But after carding a two-under 70 in the third round, he bogeyed the seventh in the final round before picking up seven shots in his last 11 holes to card a six-under 66 and win by a stroke from West of Ireland champion Robert Brazill from Naas on nine-under 279.

Brazill closed with rounds of 69 and 67 to post the eight-under target but McLarnon hit a five-iron to the heart of the green and two-putted for a famous victory.

Fahy finished third after rounds of 68 73 67 73 with Caolan Raffertty from Dundalk after shooting 74 72 69 67and John Hickey (Cork) 69 72 70 71 on 282.

Scottish upset at Ballybunion

In a thrilling final day at Ballybunion, Scotland beat Ireland 6-3 to win the Ladies Home Internationals for the first time since 2010 while England beat Wales in a final day decider to retain the Girls Home Internationals title.

In the Ladies Home Internationals, it all came down the final match between Scottish Amateur Champion Gemma Batty and Curtis Cup team member Paula Grant. Batty, who had lost her singles matches against both Wales and England, needed only a half to secure victory on a count back of total points.

Despite being one up with three holes to play, the pressure was on Batty when Grant birdied the 16th to square the match. But the Scot held on with pars at the final two holes, bravely holing from three feet at the last for the vital halve.

Scotland had set the tone by winning the morning foursomes 2½ -½ and Hannah McCook continued her great form with a 6 and 5 win in the top singles. She had a great week, taking five out of six points.

Chloe Goadby and Connie Jaffrey were the other Scottish singles winners, while Mairead Martin and Annabel Wilson claimed points for the home favourites. So it all then came down to the final game.

In the other match, England, 5-4 winners over Scotland on day two, beat Wales 6½-2½ and clinched second place.

In the Girls Home Internationals, Amelia Williamson, who had to pull out due to gastroenteritis on the eve of the event last year, was the standout player, winning six points out of six matches to help England retain the trophy.

England won the foursomes 2-1 in the final day decider against a dogged Welsh team and it proved decisive as the singles were shared 3-3.

In the other match, Ireland beat Scotland 5½-3½ to finish in third place, just losing out to Wales on games won for the runner-up spot.

Cullen best in Leinster Mid-Amateur

Beaverstown’s Gary Cullen won the Leinster Mid Amateur Open Championship which was hosted by Corrstown Golf Club. Cullen shot a third round 68 to add to his first and second round scores of 71 and 74 to claim the title with a two shot victory which included six birdies with four birdies coming on the back nine and two bogeys. Second place went to the local hopeful Alan Doherty from Corrstown who carded rounds of 73, 68 and 74 for 215 with Greystone’s Alan Condren carding 72, 72 and 71 to claim third place on 215.

Beaverstown’s Gary Cullen after winning the Leinster Mid Amateur Open Championsip. Photograph: Mullingar Golf Club
Beaverstown’s Gary Cullen after winning the Leinster Mid Amateur Open Championsip. Photograph: Mullingar Golf Club

Paraic Connolly (Killeen Castle) finished in fourth place with a total score of 218 and last year’s runner up Jim Carvill (Banbridge) finished in fifth place.

Four Irish for St Andrews

Four Irish golfers are looking forward to the dream chance of teeing up at the ‘Home of Golf’ in the final of one of the largest domestic golf participation events. The team pairing of Maria Downey and Bessie Brophy, along with Marian Hamilton and Irene Currie, have successfully qualified for the final of the 2018 Coronation Foursomes in St Andrews after winning their respective Area Finals.

At Delgany, Downey and Brophy from Castlecomer emerged victorious on 36 points - winning on the back nine - from Wendy Hogan and Geraldine Lynch from Newlands, with Susanne Phillips and Liz O’Dwyer (Woodbrook) third on 34 points.

Meantime, at Moyola Park, Hamilton and Currie from Portstewart came out on top with 39 points. Rosi Armstrong and Catherine McQuillan from Lisburn took second spot on 37 points, with the pairing of Julie McKee and Emma Leslie from Moyola Park third on 34 points.

Downey, Brophy, Hamilton and Currie will now be among the 32 finalists who will tee up at the Eden Course at the ‘Home of Golf’ in St Andrews on September 24th.

McKenna takes under-13 title

The Leinster Under-13 Series was initiated 10 years ago by the Branch to assist the Junior Committee and Coaches identify talent at Under-13 level, at the time there was less opportunity to compete with their peers. The first event was played at Donabate GC where Gavin Moynihan at age 13 clinched the trophy, then playing off five handicap, from Paul McBride. Both are now professionals on the circuit.

Athy Golf Club played host to this year’s final which was sponsored by Titleist Footjoy Ireland. 40 boys lined up in the hope of taking the trophy home.

The overall winner was 11 year old, Daniel McKenna of Laytown and Bettystown who returned 32 Stableford Gross Pts playing off a handicap of 9 and winning on a count-back from Charlie Quinn playing off 8 handicap out of the Castle GC. The winner of the Nett Category was Alex Cass of Mount Juliet with 45 pts and the Putting Competition was won by Calum Duane.

Daniel McKenna (Laytown & Bettystown) winner of the 2018 Leinster Boys’ Under 13 series final at Athyl Golf Club. Photograph: Pat Cashman
Daniel McKenna (Laytown & Bettystown) winner of the 2018 Leinster Boys’ Under 13 series final at Athyl Golf Club. Photograph: Pat Cashman

Connacht Celebration Golf Event

To celebrate the 125th anniversary of the ILGU and its role in promoting women’s golf in Connacht the District invites clubs to enter a team of three to its celebratory golf competition on Thursday, September 13th at Castlebar GC. Entry is free.

Clubs must enter a team via email or telephone on or before September 5th to Mary McHugh 086 858 6903 or marypmchugh@gmail.com

Milne retains Munster title

Rory Milne from Faithlegg retained the Munster Boys Under-17 title in Roscrea after shooting a fine three under par 68. The Waterford golfer won the event last year in Kinsale and becomes the first golfer to win the age-grade event twice. Milne turned on level par but blazed through the back nine with three birdies in four holes. The Faithlegg golfer parred his way home from the 14th to claim his second Munster title.

Milne had one shot to spare over Muskerry’s Fionn Hickey. Hickey was one over turning but an eagle on the 10th and two further birdies got him to three under. A bogey on the 17th would prove costly as Hickey missed out by one. Robbie Walsh from Kinsale took third prize with a one over par 72.

The Under 15 Close Championship was won by Mel Deasy from Bantry Bay. The Cork player shot a one over par 72, three early birdies saw him reach two under par at one stage but late bogies meant he finished on one over. The bogies didn’t hurt Deasy as he had a four shot margin over second placed Alex Dineen from Cork. It was an all Cork podium as Jack Murphy (Douglas) took third place, after a countback with Dineen. Shane Williams (Douglas) took the Under-16 prize and Alex King (Faithlegg) won the Under-14 prize.

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