Campbell edges out McLarnon to win Dundalk Scratch Cup

September 18, 2017

Martin McDonnell of One Finance and Dundalk Club Captain, Mickey Coburn, presenting the Dundalk Scratch Cup to Warrenpoint’s Colm Campbell

Warrenpoint’s Colm Campbell produced a superb second round to win the 36 hole One Finance Dundalk Scratch Cup at Dundalk Golf Club.
The 30-year-old Irish international shot a five under par 67 to pip Massereene’s Tiarnan McLarnon on countback after the two Ulster players were tied on 138, six under par.
“It was a good battle coming down the last few holes with Tiarnan and I just pipped him,” said Colm.
“I feel I have robbed Tiarnan a couple of times in Scratch Cups at this stage.”
Defending champion, Dundalk’s Caolan Rafferty, finished two shots further back in third.
The three internationals played together in the marquee group and were in contention after the opening round. Rafferty and McLarnon carded two under par 70s while Campbell was a shot further back.
Slieve Russell’s Seamus Cullen led after the opening round, signing for an excellent four under par 68 which included five birdies. Another Dundalk representative, Eoin Murphy, was in second place, one shot back after signing for a three under par round of 69.
Cullen was unable to keep the momentum going and dropped out of contention after a second round 76 while a lost ball off the 15th tee saw the end of Murphy’s challenge as he faded to a 77.
It was another Dundalk player, a former winner and course record holder Aaron Grant, who set the early clubhouse lead as he added a three under par 69 to his opening 73 for a two under par total of 142.
Cairndhu’s Ryan McKinstry, who started the second round at level par, got to six under with three to play but he then double-bogeyed 16 and bogeyed 17 to finish on three-under.
He held the clubhouse lead momentarily as the top three were in the group behind and were producing fireworks of their own with McLarnon eagling the par-five sixth to go to four under.
Back-to-back birdies on the ninth and 10th plus a birdie three on the 14th got him to seven under while Campbell was on six under at that point after five birdies of his own.
Not to be outdone, Rafferty had thrown in four successive birdies from the sixth but back to back double bogeys at the 11th and 12th ended his charge.
A bogey at 16 saw McLarnon drop back to six under while a birdie two at 17 got Campbell to six under and in the end it proved decisive as Campbell’s second round 67 was enough for him to pip McLarnon’s 68 on countback as they both tied on 138.

RESULTS
1 Colm Campbell Jr.  (+3) 138 (71/67)
2 Tiernan  McLarnon (+3) 138  (70/68)
3 Caolan Rafferty (+4)  140  (70/70)
4 Ryan McKinstry (+1) 141 (72/69)
Best Net:  Brendan Lawlor (2) (Ardee) 144  (73/71)

1st 18  Gross: Seamus Cullen  (0) (Slieve Russell  68
1st 18  Net:     Eoin Murphy (1) (Dundalk) 68

2nd  18  Gross:  Aaron Marshall (0) (Lisburn) 67
2nd  18  Net:     Gerard Dunne  (+2) (Co.Louth) 69

1st  Round CSS 73
2nd Round CSS 73

Thanks to Gerry McDermott

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Richard Kilpatrick back in winning form at Luttrellstown Pro-Am

September 17, 2017

Richard Kilpatrick (right) with Peter Lawrie, Director of Golf, Luttrellstown Castle

Richard Kilpatrick fired a five under par 67 to win the Luttrellstown Pro-Am.
The Banbridge professional finished two shots ahead of the in-form Simon Thornton (Simon Thornton Golf) and Michael McDermott (Grange GC).
This was a welcome return to the summit for Richard who last tasted victory back in July.
With a shot-gun start in operation he began his round at the par five 17th in ideal fashion, rolling in an eagle putt of just four feet. Richard added further birdies at the first and third, completing his opening 11 holes in four under par.
The 35-year-old stepped up the pace after the turn with a hat-trick of birdies at the 10th, 11th and 12th.
He then dropped a couple of shots at the 14th and 15th before finishing off his round with a closing par on the 16th.
Daniel Beattie (Deer Park) and amateur partners Michael Baumgart, Joe Clinton and Peter Behan collected the team prize on countback ahead of Robert Giles’ (Greenore GC) team.

Luttrellstown Pro-Am Leaderboard

Simon Thornton and Chris Carvill share first place at Clandeboye

September 12, 2017

Simon Thornton

Simon Thornton shared first place with Chris Carvill (Belvoir Park) at the final Summer Masters event of the season. Battling wet and windy weather at Clandeboye GC, the pair carded rounds of level par 72 with Adam Kerr (Co. Armagh GC) back in third place following a 76.
It didn’t appear to be Simon’s day when he lost a ball at Clandeboye’s opening hole to pencil in a double-bogey six and he then three-putted the short second but he holed an eight-foot birdie putt at the third to stop the rot.
Simon then missed the green at the fifth resulting in a bogey four but got the shot back with a chip and putt at the long sixth to turn in two-over-par 37.
A birdie two at the 14th, from six feet, and an eagle three at 15, from three feet, saw him reach one under for his round, but another dropped shot at the 17th left him on level par.
Chris had just nine pars on his card. A birdie three from seven feet at the third hole was sandwiched between bogey fives at the first and eighth. A three-stab cost him a stroke at the 10th but back-to-back birdies two and four at the 11th and 12th brought him back to level.
A lost ball at 13 cost him a double-bogey six, before another pair of birdies at the long 15 and par four 16 gave him a relegation 71 round.
Thornton and his amateur partners carded 84 points to win the team title.

Summer Masters at Clandeboye Leaderboard

PGA Summer Masters at Clandeboye
Professionals: 71 (Lvl) – S Thornton (Simon Thornton Golf), C Carvill (Belvoir Pk).
76 – A Kerr (Co Armagh).
78 – P Farrell (Laganview Golf Centre), A Peoples (Darren Clarke School).
Amateurs: Nett, 34 pts – A Verner 5 (Portstewart).
32 – J Templeton 11 (Donaghadee).
31 – V McCaffrey 11 (Massereene).
Gross: 27 pts – P Kelly +1 (Co Armagh).
Team: 84 pts – Pro S Thornton (Simon Thornton Golf) with amateurs A Connolly 6 (Blackwood), J Connolly 12 (Blackwood) & A Hope 9 (Clandeboye).

with thanks to T McGee

 

McGeady goes back-to-back with victory at Cairndhu Pro-Am

September 5, 2017

Michael McGeady, winner at Cairndhu

Michael McGeady made it back-to-back successes on the PGA in Ireland circuit with victory in the 36-hole Cairndhu Pro-Am.
Trailing by two shots as the final round got underway, Michael fired a three under par 67 to top the leaderboard on five under par at the Co. Antrim venue.
Overnight leader Colm Moriarty (Drive Golf Performance) and David Higgins (Waterville Links) finished in a tie for second on four under.
Michael opened his campaign with a ‘disappointing’ two under par 68. The 39-year-old had streaked out to six under par after 10 holes (he started his round at the 10th) but slipped up on the way home.
“To be honest I actually played better on the first day,” said Michael who won the recent Walled City of Derry/Foyle Pro-Am.
“After getting to six under I made two silly bogeys. I got one back with a birdie on the seventh (my 16th) but I made a seven at the par four eighth and wasted three shots there. You are sort of hitting it over the corner of out of bounds. I didn’t quite hit it that great.

“It’s disappointing to do that on the 17th hole of the day because you don’t have time to make it back up again. I played much better than the two under score I finished with.”

Moriarty led the way at the close of play on day one with a 66 (-4). Ted Higgins (www.tedhiggins.com) and Simon Thornton (Simon Thornton Golf) shared second on three under par with Michael back in a share of fourth, two shots off the pace.
“It sounds a bit like a repeat of the win up in Derry but on the second day I holed out really well,” continued Michael.
“I holed from five and six feet consistently to save par and make a few birdies. They are so important to keep a round going.”
Out in two under 32, Michael came home in one under 35 with birdies at 17 and 18 proving decisive in getting him over the line.
He continued: “I went for a lesson with Donal Scott in the middle of May and I noticed an improvement in my putting straight away.
“It left me for a while, but I just kept working on it and kept practicing. Hopefully, I am not jinxing myself now but I feel like I have discovered something in my putting which has helped me, especially to keep the scores going.”
The team event was won by Richard Kilpatrick (Banbridge) and his amateur partners, Paul Steinson, Stephen Watts and Hugh Logue with 175pts.

Cairndhu GC Pro-Am leaderboard

Dominant McGeady claims Walled City of Derry/Foyle Pro-Am title

August 29, 2017


Michael McGeady cruised to a five shot victory in the two-day Walled City of Derry/Foyle Pro-Am.
The 39-year-old dominated from the start and dropped just one shot over 36 holes of competition at City of Derry GC and Foyle Golf Centre.
David Higgins (Waterville Links) and Damien McGrane finished in second place on seven under par, with Steven Quinlan (Halpenny Golf) and Irish PGA Champ, Tim Rice (Limerick GC), a shot further back on six under.
McGeady laid the groundwork for this latest win with a stunning eight under par (62) opening round at City of Derry GC. A former junior member of the club, Michael put his local knowledge to good use, producing an eight birdie barrage in a round that included seven threes!
“That was my lowest round at City of Derry since they changed it to a par 70. I played very well. My iron play was exceptional,” said Michael.
“I holed out well but I didn’t hole anything of ridiculous length. Around 15 feet was the longest putt I holed and I also putted well from that five, six foot range.”
He finished day one with a three shot advantage over Rice and Ciaran Molloy (Ardee), both of whom had played their opening rounds at Foyle.
“My attitude going out on Sunday [for round two at Foyle] was to shoot as low a round as I could. I tried not to think about my score,” he added.

“A number of the players are capable of going low; shooting nine or 10 under. You just don’t know. I focused on hitting every shot as well as I could and tried to hole every putt and it seemed to work out quite well.”

He made an early mistake at Foyle, dropping a shot at the par three fifth, but righted the ship immediately with a bounce back birdie at the sixth. From there, he played some controlled golf, adding four more birdies to ease to success.
“I live a couple of 100 yards from Foyle Golf Centre so this is my home event and it is a nice one to win,” he said.
“There was a bit of added pressure because all the locals wanted you to do well and I was playing with a team of friends who were also hoping that I played well but thankfully, I just seemed to get on with it and played some good golf.”
Philip Farrell (Laganview Golf Centre) guided his amateur partners, Jason Donnell, Robert Mitchell and Ryan Rutherford to victory in the team event with 181 points over the two days.
The Ladies team prize was won by Ciaran Molloy (Ardee) and amateur partners, Rachel Chambers, Cheryl Chambers and Deborah Doherty with 172 points.

The Walled City of Derry/Foyle Pro-Am leaderboard

Higgins drives to victory at Down Syndrome Kilkeel Pro-Am

August 26, 2017

David Higgins

David Higgins carded a two under par round of 70 to win the Down Syndrome Kilkeel Pro-Am.
The Waterville Links man plotted his way around the tight, tree-lined lay-out in Co. Down to finish one shot ahead of Damien McGrane and Mark Whelan (Castlewarden Golf & CC).
“It’s a great driving course. If you are slightly off on the right or the left you can’t get to the green. That suits me, that’s my style of golf. I love that and the result showed it. I played some good golf and won,” said David.
“The form of late has been a bit up and down. I felt that I was playing well but not holing enough putts. I’ll kick on from here and I’m determined to finish the season strongly.”

Damien McGrane, Kilkeel GC capt Declan Fitzpatrick and Mark Whelan

The 44-year-old played the opening nine holes at Kilkeel in two under 35 with birdies coming at the fourth and fifth. His only dropped shot of the round came at the 16th when he found the greenside bunker and failed to get up and down. However, he bounced back with a birdie at the last to come home in level par 35 and set the clubhouse target.
He continued; “I felt that if I did get that birdie I might have enough to win. It was one of those days when you felt that two under was going to be a good score. You had to stay patient.”
Damien McGrane and his amateur partners of Kevin Cummins, Tom Muldoon and Catherine Cummins won the team event with 95 points.

Down Syndrome Kilkeel Pro-Am scoreboard

Spa Golf Club to host PGA in the North of Ireland Championship presented by GolfNow

August 23, 2017

(Lt- Right) John Brannigan (Captain Spa GC), Phil Posnett (PGA in the North of Ireland), Gary Wardlow (Professional Spa GC) and Andrew Holywood (Marketing Director, GolfNow)


The PGA in the North of Ireland Championship has found a new home for 2017 – Spa Golf Club – and a new sponsor in the shape of GolfNow.
The tournament is scheduled for October 11th and 12th with Damian Mooney (D Mooney Golf) set to defend the title he won last year at Downpatrick.
Damian will be closely challenged by top professionals such as Simon Thornton (S Thornton Golf), Phil Collins and host club professional Gary Wardlow.
Some of the up and coming professionals, the likes of Chris Carvill (Belvoir) and David Leathem (American Golf) will, of course, be looking to make their mark in the Northern Branch’s flagship event.
The format will be a team four-man pro-am on day one with the professionals carrying their scores forward to the final round on day two, making a 36 hole tournament.
PGA in the North of Ireland Chairman, Ricky Whitford (Knock) said: “We in the PGA in the North of Ireland are delighted to welcome GolfNow to our tournament, we are always grateful for the support of companies who work in golf and it is great to see them putting something back into the game. Good luck to all who play and it will be our pleasure to entertain some of GolfNow’s guests on the pro-am day.

“Many thanks must go to host Professional Gary Wardlow and the Captain, Council and Members of Spa Golf Club for their support. We are looking forward to playing this top class venue.”

Andrew Hollywood, Marketing Director GolfNow noted: “We are delighted to be working with the PGA in the North of Ireland to deliver our first GolfNow sponsored Pro-Am tournament. At GolfNow our main objective is to grow the game of golf and working with the PGA to set up a fun, and challenging, tournament helps us achieve this.
“It’s fantastic to be able to invest in the local game and we hope the tournament will inspire golfers to get out and get active. Spa Golf Club is a great venue and to see some of the best professionals in the country compete will be an inspiration to many a golfer.”
Spa Captain John Brannigan added; “I am delighted to welcome the Professional Golfers Association to Spa Golf Club and wish to thank them for selecting our course for this important and prestigious tournament.
“Spa will provide a great challenge to players who are the cream of our game in this country and I know they in turn will provide a wonderful spectacle over the two days.
“At Spa we believe we have a challenging course and amenities that are second to none. This is a wonderful opportunity for Spa to showcase what we have on offer here in the heart of Co Down.”

Campbell comes through – again – as Ireland claim record breaking Home International success

August 19, 2017

Ulster members of the victorious record winning Irish Home International Golf team arrive at Dublin Airport. (l-r) John Ross Galbraith (Whitehead), John White (Team Manager, Co Armagh) Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint) and Colin Fairweather (Knock). Picture by Pat Cashman.

Ireland celebrated another success at the Home Internationals and made history by winning their fourth successive title.
No Irish team has gone this deep before. A tie with England on the final day at Moortown ensured that Tony Goode’s team collected the Raymond Trophy yet again, writing their names in the record books as the first Irish side to retain the title for the third year running.
Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint), John Ross Galbraith (Whitehead) and Robin Dawson (Tramore) have the distinction of playing on all four winning teams.
Campbell has become Ireland’s anchorman and having delivered the decisive point in 2016, Colm found himself in the same position again.
This time the situation looked bleak. Having lost the first four holes, Campbell went five down at the sixth against Jake Burnage.
“All I was thinking at that stage was making sure not to get a dog licence,” said Campbell. Having clawed back two holes before the turn, there was hope.
In fact, he won three holes on the bounce – 9, 10 and 11 – to turn the match around. By now, things were getting tight for Ireland after a mixed afternoon.
A three-point haul from the foursomes gave Ireland an edge but England battled back in the singles.
Matthew Jordan rescued a half against Paul McBride at the top of the order while Daniel Brown, Will Whiteoak, Josh Hilleard and Bradley Moore put more red on the board.
Conor O’Rourke, Caolan Rafferty and Colin Fairweather secured valuable points for Ireland to keep the four-in-a-row dream alive. When Alex Gleeson halved with Todd Clements, it meant that the outcome of the Campbell’s match would determine everything.
All square playing 17, Campbell knew that his side needed at least a half.
“I hit probably the best shot of my life,” said Campbell, describing his six iron approach from 192 yards.
Three foot from the pin, his birdie was all but secure and when Burnage failed to save par from the bunker, Campbell went ahead.
That meant Ireland could not be beaten. More to the point, it meant that Ireland would be crowned champions.
“It was another special week with the lads,” said Campbell.
“I know it came down to my match but everybody played their part. It really was a great team effort.”

Copy courtesy of GUI

NI Open – Robin flourishes in Sunday Shootout at Galgorm Castle

August 14, 2017

Robin Sciot-Siegrist winner of the 2017 NI Open

The fans were promised thrills and spills and the final day of the Galgorm Resort & Spa Northern Ireland Open presented by Modest! Golf delivered in style.
Shoot-out Sunday at Galgorm Castle produced tension and excitement with a flurry of eagles, birdies, and a remarkable albatross from Portugal’s Ricardo Santos.
In the end, Frenchman Robin Sciot-Siegrist survived five rounds of six-hole stroke play matches to lift the NI Open trophy.
The 23-year-old, in his first full season on the Challenge Tour, beat Italian Alessandro Tadini by two shots to collect the 28,888 euro first prize.
It’s great. It’s my first full year as a pro so I am so happy because I’ve been working really hard this winter and holding this trophy, I don’t know how to describe it, it’s just pure joy,” he said.
It’s unbelievable how many people are here this week – everything is full, the grandstands, it’s incredible how these crowds come out in Northern Ireland.”
Organisers and sponsors of this year’s event took something of a gamble by opting to ditch the traditional 72-hole stroke play format but it made for a highly entertaining final day, one that was embraced by the vast majority of the players.
Home hope, Cormac Sharvin, bowed out in the opening round, beaten by Santos but not surprisingly, Sciot-Siegrist was something of a convert.
The format is great. Six holes, you have to be really in it from the very beginning, you don’t have a chance to make any mistakes, and it’s great to change the format from what we usually play and I really enjoyed it,” he said.

I played something similar in La Cala in Spain and would like to see more of this type of format. I really like the match play style. I’ve played a lot of this type of golf and enjoy one on one, playing another guy instead of the course. I hope it will happen again in the future.”

Robin with Modest!Golf directors Mark McDonnell and Niall Horan.
Photos by Matt Mackey / Press Eye.

After three rounds of strokeplay, the top 24 made it through to the matchplay stages on Sunday. Having qualified in mid-table, Robin made hard work of coming through yesterday’s early rounds and looked certain to lose out in the final against German Christian Braeunig.
He led by one playing the last hole before his German opponent chipped in for eagle, leaving the eventual winner with a nerve-jangling birdie putt to force an extra hole.
He duly holed it and, on the short play-off hole, put his tee shot to six foot for a birdie putt he would make; Braeunig’s tee shot was even closer but his putt lipped out and Sciot-Siegrist advanced.
He played some of his best golf in the final against Tadini who had beaten Daan Huizing, Matthias Schwab and Bradley Neil to reach the final two.
Sciot-Siegrist had makeable birdie putts on five of the six holes, converting three of them, including on the final hole, for a deserved victory.
I played seven tournaments on the Challenge Tour last year and this is my first full season, so I knew what the level was,” added Robin, whose mother hails from Dublin.
My goal has always been to win and I’m very happy I achieved that. It was obviously a very difficult win but enjoyable.”
Braeunig beat Neil for a career-best finish of third with Nemecz fifth, Ross Kellett sixth, Schwab seventh and Ricardo Santos – who came from behind in his second round match to win courtesy of an outrageous albatross on the final hole – completing the top eight.

NI Open – Cormac Sharvin carries home hopes into Shootout Sunday

August 13, 2017

 

Matthias Schwab

The stage is set for an action-packed final day at the Galgorm Resort & Spa Northern Ireland Open presented by Modest! Golf.
Following three rounds of stroke play and two cuts, the field of 156 has been reduced to 24 players for today’s Shootout Sunday.
In this new format, competitors will engage in a series of head-to-head knock-out stroke play matches, with the player with the lowest total score over six holes progressing through the rounds.
A special shootout hole, a shortened version of the 18th, will be used should a playoff be required after any of the games.
Cormac Sharvin will carry home hopes into Sunday after booking his place in today’s finale with a fine five-under-par 66 that saw him move up 21 places on the leaderboard.
The Ardglass golfer will meet Portugal’s Ricardo Santos in round one this morning for the chance to face Chile’s Nico Geyger.
“I know Ricardo very well – I played a lot of Algarve golf with him in the winter,” said Cormac.
“He’s a really nice guy and he is obviously very experienced – he has played a lot of years on the European Tour.

“It will be a tough game but I think, If I can keep playing the way that I am playing – if I play well for six holes – I think I can beat him.”

Cormac was the only Irish golfer to make the third round cut which fell at five under par. Tournament ambassador Michael Hoey carded a third round one under par 70 to miss out as did Damien McGrane, Simon Thornton, Kevin Phelan and Neil O’Briain.
The 24-year-old Sharvin was weighing up his tactics ahead of his opening tee-shot today at 8.30am.
“It’s hard to know with this format. All you can do is play well and hope that it’s good enough,” he added.
“You are essentially playing your opponent but it is stroke play as well. It’s a weird format but obviously, if you are two or three shots ahead playing the last you will play it as a three-shotter.
“The beauty of this format is that you can shoot four over for six holes and still potentially make it through.
“All you can do is take it one shot at a time. You have to play smart because six holes isn’t very much so you have to take your chances.”
Sharvin at least had the luxury of booking his place in today’s field with some room to spare. A five-man playoff for the final two spots was required to determine the top 24
Austrian Matthias Schwab topped the three round leaderboard on 11 under par but Wil Besseling, Steven Brown, Julian Kunzenbacher, Max Orrin and Manuel Trappel all tied on five under par after 54 holes and had to go down the 18th again.
Orrin’s birdie on the first extra hole took him into Shootout Sunday, with Brown dropping out with a bogey; the other three all parred before Trappel birdied at the second time of asking and took the final place in the top 24.