Short game


A round-up of today's other stories in brief

Maguire leads strong Irish bid

IRISH CLOSE champion, Leona Maguire and runner-up Stephanie Meadow will lead a nine-strong Irish attack on the British Women’s Amateur Championship at Carnoustie this week as they bid to emulate the feat of Alan Dunbar at Troon last week.

The venue for many British Open Championships (Pádraig Harrington in 2007) and the 2011 Ricoh Women’s British Open, the tournament at Carnoustie has attracted an unprecedentedly strong international field, with the handicap cut-off point being a Championship record of plus 0.5.

Following two stroke play rounds today and tomorrow, the top 64 scores qualify for the match play stages, which start on the Thursday morning.

The world class field at this year’s championship will see all eight members of the Britain and Ireland Curtis Cup take their places in the starting line-up, while last year’s winner, 16-year-old Lauren Taylor from Rugby – the youngest champion in 118 years – will defend the title she won with a devastating short game at Royal Portrush Golf Club, last June. Other Irish in the field include: Jessia Carty, Karen Delaney, Paula Grant, Lisa Maguire, Chloe Ryan, Jean O’Driscoll, and Deirdre Smith.

Palmer Cup at Royal County Down

THERE might only be one golfing show in town this week with all attention focused on Royal Portrush, but further down the coast Royal County Down (RCD) will play host to the prestigious Palmer Cup.

This week’s sell-out Irish Open at Royal Portrush is the big draw with McIlroy, Harrington and McDowell on view.

However, many of the stars of the future will be at RCD for the annual team match between the top college players in the United States and Europe.

Both eight-man teams read like a who’s who of the elite amateur game.

The visiting American team boasts no less than three Walker Cup players from last year’s contest at Royal Aberdeen. Respective world number two and three, Chris Williams and Patrick Rodgers, plus Blayne Barber form the backbone of Josh Gregorys team.

Although there are no Irish players on the European side, it still shows plenty of strength with Lytham and St Andrews Trophy winner Daan Huizing leading the team.

Raymond defends his Brabazon title

NO player has won two successive Brabazon Trophies for over 20 years. But England international Neil Raymond will attempt to change that when he defends the title over the Old Course at Walton Heath next weekend.

Raymond won the title at Burnham and Berrow a year ago, a victory that followed his full England debut in the international with Spain.

The last player to win back-to-back Brabazons was Gary Evans who shared top spot with Frenchman Olivier Edmond at Burnham Berrow in 1990 and with Mark Pullan a year later at Hunstanton. However, should there be a tie this year there will be a sudden death play-off.

Ireland will have 10 players in the field of 153. The six players selected by the GUI – Paul Dunne (Greystones), Niall Gorey (Muskerry), Nicky Grant (Knock), Richard ODonovan (Lucan), Kevin Phelan (Waterford Castle) and Reeve Whitson (Mourne) will be joined by individual entries from Michael Durcan (Co Sligo), Gary Hurley from West Waterford, Kelan McDonagh from Athlone and Richard Bridges from Stackstown.

Royal Dublin’s Niall Kearney was the last Irish winner in 2009 while David Long won in 1979 and Ronan Rafferty shared the title with Peter McEvoy in 1980.

USA v Europe Golf Classic bound for Powerscourt

IT may still be a few months away, but build up to this year’s Ryder Cup began recently as the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland launched the fifth biennial USA v Europe Golf Classic.

The tournament is a traditional precursor to the Ryder Cup and will take place at Powerscourt Golf Club on September 26th, just two days before the professionals take to the course in Medinah.

The competition is based on a mock Ryder Cup format with teams for Europe and the USA drawn from corporate members of the American Chamber of Commerce, with every card counting towards the winning score.

Just like the real thing the two teams will do battle on the Championship East Course in Enniskerry, sporting their continent’s colours. The destination of the trophy will be decided by the combined stableford points of every player.

Joanne Richardson, chief executive of the American Chamber of Commerce, said, “This biennial golf classic was inaugurated in 2004 to coincide with The Ryder Cup. Every year the players who sign up really get into the spirit of the event.

“Europe remain undefeated after four previous tournaments so I have no doubt America will be pulling out all the stops to change that.”

Places in the event are still available, see www.amcham.iefor further information.

Carrolls to the fore at Malahide 

THE Bray pairing of Susan Carroll and her son Brian proved comfortable winners of the recent All-Ireland Mother and Son competition at Malahide.

The ever popular foursomes event saw Susan – playing off a handicap of 26 – and four handicapper Brian shoot a fine score of 68, which was good enough to give them a three -stroke winning margin over Black Bush’s Mena Ahearne (33) and Philip (1) with St Anne’s Margaret McNeice (35) and her son David (10) occupying third place on 71.5.

The Howth duo of Mary Hyland (29) and son Philip (3) won the best gross prize with a score of 87.

O'Neill still picking up trophies 

IN the recent Fundraiser for Tramore GAA Juvenile Club held at Tramore Golf Club, the winners were the great former Waterford and League of Ireland record holder John O’Neill, his son Damien O’Neill, former Railway Union Hockey and Cricket player Tosh Walsh and former Tramore GAA star Paul Kelly.


THE holders Philomena and Ellen O’Gorman from Laytown and Bettystown and Milltown retained the Tipperary Crystal Mother and Daughter Open Foursomes event with a score of 38 points from Biddy and Susan Butler.

Meanwhile, Milltown GC will be hosting the Pavilion Cup on Thursday, July 12th. This is an open stableford ladies competition.

Online bookings are currently open on Thursday next on www.milltowngolfclub.ieor by phoning 01-4976090.


GALWAY GC won the Connacht Barton Shield with a seven holes victory over Athenry.

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