Short Game: Luttrellstown claim Irish Times shield
Meanwhile, Burke is universities champion and Matthew appointed Solheim captain
From left to right: Michael Ruane (The Irish Times), Colm Kelly, Liam Lynch, Dave Heary (Luttrellstown Captain), Owen Doyle, Bobby Hawkshaw, Brian Williams (Leinster Golfers Alliance).
For the second successive year local knowledge proved a winner as hosts Luttrellstown Castle Golf Club won their first Leinster Alliance Irish Times Shield on a perfect day at Luttrellstown.
Their team of Owen Doyle, Colm Kelly, Bobby Hawkshaw and Liam Lynch amassed 103 points from their best three cards to edge out the Castle who carded 102. Doyle led the team home with 36 points closely followed by Kelly on 34 and Hawkshaw on 33.
Greystones plus two handicap Alan Condren took full advantage of the calm conditions on a testing course after the recent heavy rain to shoot an excellent two under par 70 for 38 points to win the gross prize. Condren had halves of 35 with birdies at the first, third, 11th and 17th while dropping only two shots at the fourth and 13th. Second in the gross and seven back on 31 was Powerscourt’s David Joyce on countback from Luttrellstown Owen Doyle and Jack Blake from The Island.
Liam Tyrrell was a clear winner in the nett category with 39 points The Stackstown five handicap fired 20 points on the first nine despite dropping a shot at the first. He came home with 19 points to win by three from Hugh Bregazzi (7) from the Castle on 36 points.
Club pride on the line at the AIG Ladies Cups and Shields
The AIG Ladies Cups and Shields National Finals take place at Malone Golf Club starting on Wednesday. Thirty teams from across the country are hopeful of experiencing the success and prestige associated with winning a national pennant.
Mountbellew are involved in three finals as their Intermediate Cup, Minor Cup and Challenge Cup teams claimed honours at the Connacht finals, while Shandon Park and Lurgan both have two teams in action and will no doubt have home support as they chase victory across the Ballydrain and Drumbridge nines at Malone.
Another two clubs that will be vying for double glory are Lucan, East Leinster Senior Foursomes champions, and Cahir Park, Mid Leinster Intermediate Cup champions, who will take part in not only the AIG Ladies Cups and Shields finals next week but also at the Revive Active Fourball finals the following week at Royal Tara.
With players ranging in handicap from plus to 36 competing next week, the AIG Ladies Cups and Shields is the most diverse event on the ILGU calendar. As the excitement of the week unfolds, heartbreak is inevitable for most and national pennants will come to a few but the event will undoubtedly create unforgettable memories for all who attend.
Webb third in British Seniors
Ireland’s Laura Webb finished third as Spain’s Macarena Campomanes Eguiguren shot a final round 73 to win the Ladies Senior British Open Amateur Championship at Royal Belfast Golf Club.
Finishing on five-over-par 218, she won by five shots from Australia’s Sue Wooster with the defending champion, Webb, in third place on 11-over-par after a closing round of 74.
Tied with Wooster at the start of the final round, Campomanes Eguiguren, who captained the Continent of Europe in the Vagliano Trophy on three occasions, made a fast start and never lost control.
Her final two-over-par round was the joint best of the day – Gertie McMullen (The Island) also shot 73 in the final round and rose to finish tied for seventh place on the leaderboard.
Webb, the winner at Caldy last year, put up a spirited defence. A member at East Berkshire, she returned a best of second round 74 to move into third place going into the final 18 holes.
The 2018 Ladies Senior British Open Amaeur Championship will be held at Crail in Scotland from September 18th-20th.
Wilson GB&I Women’s Order of Merit Winner
Annabel Wilson has won the GB&I Women’s Order of Merit. The Britain and Ireland Women’s Order of Merit (formerly the LGU Order of Merit) was completed following the British Ladies Open Amateur Strokeplay Championship. The table runs on a 52 week cycle and uses information extracted from the World Amateur Golf Rankings
Four Irish finished in the top 10, with Annabel Wilson (Lurgan) coming out on top. Paula Grant (Lisburn), Leona Maguire (Slieve Russell) and Chloe Ryan (Castletroy) finished third, fifth and 10th respectively while a further six Irish sat comfortably within the top 30.
Wilson follows in the footsteps of Olivia Mehaffey (RCDL) who won the title in 2015 and 2016 and will gain a full exemption to the Ricoh Women’s British Open to be played the next year at Royal Lytham and St. Anne’s.
Burke is Universities champion
Maynooth Universities (MU) Shannon Burke from Ballinrobe was crowned European Universities Champion in spectacular style last week in the Czech Republic. Liberec Golf Club was host to 57 European University Students, including four girls from MU; Molly Dowling (Lucan), Meadhbh Doyle (Portarlington), Ciara Casey (Hermitage) and of couse Burke. Finishing on one under par with scores of 64, 69 and 73, Burke finished one shot ahead of Scotland’s Chloe Goadby (Stirling University) and follows on from Robin Dawson (Faithlegg/MU) who won the men’s event in 2015.
The only Irish college represented, MU Women had to settle for silver in the team event, six shots behind eventual winners Stirling, a team which includes Lahinch’s Sinead Sexton.
Irish pair win Coronation Foursomes
The Irish partnership of Siobhan Behan and Lorraine Walsh, members of Killeen Golf Club, Co Kildare, were narrow winners of the Coronation Foursomes Grand Final over the Eden Course, St Andrews.
Behan (handicap 8) and Walsh (handicap 23) scored 41 stableford points. They gained 19 points by the turn and 22 points in a sparkling inward half. They had a gross score of 84 strokes.
That second nine holes won it for Behan and Walsh as they were trailing Hayston’s Susan Thom (18) and Joyce Woollon (19), and Moor Hall’s Julie Burton (6) and Claire Howells (6) after nine holes, both pairs having 20 points to their credit at the turn.
Scots Thom and Woollon finished second with 40 points (20-20) and Burton and Howells third with 39 (20-19).
The winners receive a place in next year’s Ricoh Women’s British Open pro-am at Royal Lytham and St Annes Golf Club.
Moriarty and Thornton share first place at Tulfarris
Colm Moriarty (Drive Golf Performance Ltd) and Simon Thornton (Simon Thornton Golf) shared the winner’s cheque at The IrishGolfer.ie Tulfarris Pro-Am.
The leading duo carded rounds of three under par 69 at the Co Wicklow venue to beat Irish PGA champion, Tim Rice (Limerick), and Mark Staunton (Delgany) by a shot.
With a shot gun start in operation Thornton started his round at the fourth and played his opening six holes in level par with a bogey at the eighth cancelled out by a birdie at the par five ninth.
He stepped things up on back nine and reached four under for his round courtesy of two birdies and an eagle at the par five 15th. A dropped shot at the first halted his progress somewhat and he parred his way in to post 69.
Moriarty reached the turn in two under par 34. Two further birdies got him to four under par but a closing bogey at the last, when he found bunker trouble, cost him outright victory.
Michael McDermott (Grange GC) and playing partners Colin Dunne, Warren Byrne and Ruairi O’Hanlon won the team prize with 89 points edging out David Foley’s (Dromoland Castle GC) team courtesy of a better back nine.
Meanwhile, David Higgins (Waterville Links) fired a three under par 69 to successfully defend his Galway Bay Resort Pro-Am title.
Higgins finished one shot ahead of Colm Moriarty (Drive Golf Performance) with Damien McGrane back in third after a level par round of 72. Roganstown’s Brendan Walton and amateur partners, Brendan Lenyski, Matt Kavanagh and Walter McDonagh won the team prize with 95 points.
Matthew appointed Solheim Cup captain
Catriona Matthew has been appointed as European captain for the next Solheim Cup, which will take place on the PGA Centenary Course at The Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, Scotland, on September 13th-15th 2019.
Matthew made her ninth appearance as a player for the European team at Des Moines Golf and Country Club in Iowa last month, having served as a vice-captain to Annika Sörenstam.
Selected as the travelling alternate by the captain, she stepped into the player role after Suzann Pettersen withdrew through injury and the Scot proved to be one of the stars of the team, earning three points for Europe from her four matches.
With a career total of 22 Solheim Cup points, Matthew moved up to third on the all-time points list, behind Laura Davies (25) and Sörenstam (24). She also moved into joint third with Cristie Kerr on the all-time match victories list, with 18 career match wins, behind only Davies and Sörenstam with 22 apiece.