The Short Game



Foley hits putting form

Pat Foley, from Borris GC, Co Carlow, won his third national putting title at Mount Juliet last week. Players representing 20 clubs participated on a course varying in length from 10 to 36 yards, incorporating bunkers and water hazards. Following the opening round, the leading three players qualified for a play-off over a further 18 holes. These were the 1999 and 2000 champion, Foley, with a par 53, his club captain Pat O'Neill also on 53 and Tom Mullins of Gowran Park with 52.

In the final round O'Neill extended his advantage to two shots after nine holes. This was reduced to one by his opponents after 11. The challenging 12th, which features a huge borrow and water protection along both sides of the approach, ended O'Neill's run as he found water three times in registering a 10 on the hole. Foley edged ahead with a birdie at the 17th and held out to claim his third title. Foley totalled 108 (53, 55) for the 36 holes with Mullins on 109 (53, 56) and O'Neill 112 (52, 60).

Powerscourt opens

Powerscourt GC are offering an attractive deal with open competitions throughout November, starting on Saturday. For an all-in cost of €€79 golfers are offered tea/coffee on arrival, 18 holes of golf, prizes and a three-course meal on completion of the round. It is also unique for the Dublin area in that two of the competitions are on Saturdays. The dates for the opens are Saturday, 8th November - singles - East Course; Friday, 14th November - singles - West Course; Saturday, 22nd November - fourball - East Course and Friday, 28th November - fourball - West Course. Places on the timesheet are available at 01-2046033.

Dunne triumphs in US

Irish international Maria Dunne (Skerries), a golf scholarship student at Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, Florida, won the Intercollegiate Division One women's tournament at Indigo Lakes Country Club Dunne, beaten by Martina Gillen in the final of the Irish women's championship in June and a member of the Ireland team, who won the women's home international title at Cruden Bay in September, had rounds of 73 and 77 for a six-over-par total of 150. The Wildcat player won by two shots from Ashley Grieg (Jacksonville) (76, 76), Samantha Maust (Stetson) (76, 76) and Ulrika Norden (Jacksonville) (79, 73).

The Wildcat team finished in third place with a two-day total of 630, 15 shots behind Jacksonville University (615) and only two shots behind Stetson University (628).

PPUI decision on prizes

Jim Finglas (Seapoint) and Paddy Browne (Collinstown) have been elected to the Leinster non-portfolio positions on the new Pitch and Putt Union of Ireland national executive council. The pair were elected at the Leinster Convention in Naas over the weekend.

Also agreed at that meeting was the PPUI set an upper limit on the monetary value of prizes, which will not violate the amateur status of a player, prizes - i.e. cash vouchers - was agreed and will be passed on the the national convention at the Anner Hotel, Thurles, on December 6th. Delegates also agreed the national intercounty championship revert to the old system - i.e. one division for women and one division for men.

Maybin finishes fourth

Irish international Gareth Maybin finished eighth in the LSU Spring Invitational in Alabama last week. Maybin, the defending champion, shot rounds of 70, 71 and 75 to take eighth place behind John Humphries of LSU, while his South Alabama team shot a final round 299 to finished in a tie for fourth. The Jaguars, who shared the top spot after the second round, finished nine strokes behind team champions LSU, led by former Jag coach Greg Jones. LSU finished the day at 290 to capture the title. Jacksonville State (873) finished second, followed by the College of Charleston (875) and South Alabama and Arkansas State (877).

Humphries took the individual honours with a three-day total 211. He finished at five-under, two strokes ahead of Matt LeConche of Central Florida.

Weathering the storm

Horrendous golfing conditions may well have been the order of the day at the opening outing of the Boyne Links Alliance season at Carton House last Thursday, but that didn't stop some excellent scores being recorded by the eventual winners.

Although torrential rain and strong winds resulted in almost half of the competitors calling it a day early and not finishing their rounds, Zac Roulier and Kevin Commins, who were the winners of the professional and amateur sections respectively, recorded impressive scores, given the very testing conditions.

Roulier, from Spawell, won the prize for the professionals with a score of 73, just two over par, three ahead of Dundalk's Leslie Walker and his Spawell clubmate Brian O'Brien, while Shane O'Grady of Black Bush was fourth with a 77.

Meanwhile, in the amateur section, Commins, a two handicapper from Ardee, fired an excellent 35 points for a three-point win over Slade Valley's Con Carroll (5) and Tony Doyle (9, South County) with Alfonsis McGahon, also of Ardee, in fourth.

The gross honours went to Greg Bowden, a plus one handicapper from Hermitage with 31 points, three head of Laytown & Bettystown's Donal O'Brien. And in the team event, Royal Dublin's Neil Manchip, partnered the South County duo of David and Tony Doyle, and Jim Cuddy of the host club Carton House to win with 43 points.

The Alliance's next outing is on November 20th at Laytown & Bettystown, with the timesheet open from November 10th at 01-6282919 (evenings only).

Lahinch in rules final

Lahinch GC took a step closer to reaching the Rules of Golf Quiz Final after they progressed to the regional final. The Co Clare club are one of four Irish clubs that will compete in the Irish Regional Final, which will be held on Sunday, November 23rd, at Edmonstown GC (5 p.m.).

The other Irish regional finalists are Roe Park, Borris and Clane. The popular quiz is now in its ninth year, and poses club teams questions on the rules of golf, prepared by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews. Over 450 clubs started out in the knock-out stages in May and have battled through several rounds to make the finals. The six regional winning teams will go to St Andrews from the Britain and Ireland final, which will be held on December 14th.

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