Belvoir Parks’ Chris Carvill takes top honours at Whitehead UGA event

November 10, 2017

Chris Carvill

Chris Carvill clocked up another impressive PGA Northern Branch victory at Whitehead GC.
The Belvoir Park professional posted 39 points (67) on his way to success in the Ping Ulster Golfers’ Alliance event.
Chris made steady progress through the opening third of his round, collecting a birdie at the par-five third.
He dropped a shot at the seventh when he found the trees off the tee but got back on track with a 20-foot birdie putt at the eighth to turn in 34 (-1).
The Belvoir man added four pars at 10,11,12 and 13 before grabbing his third birdie of the day at the 14th from close range. He parred the 15th and collected another birdie at the 16th but slipped back following a three-putt bogey at the 17th.
He wrapped up his round in style, firing a five iron into eight feet at the last and rolling in the putt to finish one shot ahead of Gary Wardlow (Spa GC).
Eddie Dorman, a Dungannon 15 handicapper, took the amateurs’ top nett prize with 38 points while the gross award went to Balmoral’s Liam Jennings who carded 29 points.
Next outing for the professionals will be on the Valley Course at Royal Portrush, next Tuesday, when the second round in the Links’ Trophy will be played.

Ping PGA Ulster Golfers’ Alliance Tournament at Whitehead – leaderboard

Professionals: 67 (-3) – C Carvill (Belvoir Pk).
68 – G Wardlow (Spa).
71 – V Teague (Loughgall), P Farrell (Laganview DR).
72 – B McElhinney (North West).
74 – G Graham (Groomsport DR).
Amateurs: Nett, 39 pts – E Dorman 15 (Dungannon).
Gross: 29 pts – L Jennings 3 (Balmoral).
Category 1 (8&Under): 38 pts – W Havelon 6 (Greencastle).
Category 2 (9-13): 36 pts – N Gallagher 11 (Hilton Templepatrick)
Category 3 (14 & Over): 37 pts – A Beattie 14 (Mourne).
Team: 90 pts – Pro V Teague (Loughgall) with P Girvan 9 (Killymoon), E Dorman 15 (Dungannon) & D Duffin 16 (Dungannon).

Info courtesy of Tony McGee

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Mooney finishes in style to claim Clandeboye UGA victory

November 2, 2017

Damien Mooney

Damian Mooney battled a balky putter on his way to success at the PGA Ulster Golfers’ Alliance event at Clandeboye.
Mooney’s ability to shake off mistakes was very evident on a day when he three-putted four times as he posted 37 points to finish one point ahead of Blackwood’s Stuart Bleakley.
The winner three-putted the first and third holes for bogey fives before he steadied the ship at the sixth with a drive and five iron to set up a birdie four.
Unfortunately, the putting woes crept back in at the ninth with another three-putt as he turned in 16pts.
A steady par followed at the 10th but after a further three-putt bogey on the 11th, Damian responded with an inspired run of golf that saw him play the closing seven holes in four under par.
He chipped and putted for birdie four on 12 and added a birdie three at the next after a sand-wedge approach to a foot. The par five 15th presented another opportunity and he reduced that to four blows with a drive, three-wood, a chip and putt, to pencil in a further birdie.
Now back to level par, Mooney polished off his round with a par-birdie-par finish, again steering a sand-wedge to one foot for birdie three on 17 as he came home with 21 points.
Donaghadee’s Craig Lyle, and amateur partners A Verner (Portstewart), J Ross (Donaghadee) and D Cooke (Donaghadee) claimed the team award.
The nett prize for amateurs was collected by Blackwood’s Jim Connelly who posted 38 pts.
The gross prize went to Clandeboys 4 handicapper Ian Smyth who carded 33 pts.

Ulster Golfers’ Alliance at Clandeboye – Pro Leaderboard

Relieved Caldwell earns 2018 Challenge Tour spot

October 26, 2017

The highlight of Jonny Caldwell’s PGA Europro Tour season was winning the Cobra Puma Golf Championship at Machynys Peninsula Golf Club

Clandeboye’s Jonathan Caldwell will be playing on the Challenge Tour next season after claiming the fifth and final card on offer via the PGA Europro Tour Order of Merit.
The 33-year-old finished 15th in the last event of the season, the PGA EuroPro Tour Sky Sports Tour Championship at Amendoeria Golf Resort in Portugal.
“I am absolutely delighted after just missing out last year by slipping out of the top five at the Tour Championship,” said Caldwell who represented GB&I alongside Rory McIlroy at the Walker Cup in 2007 at Royal County Down.
“I’m delighted to get the job just about done. I tried to focus on my golf because there were so many guys in contention, all I could do was focus on myself. The support for me has been fantastic, I’ve had a solid year and I feel I’m ready to take it a step further onto the Challenge Tour.”
Ballymena’s Dermot McElroy finished fifth in Portugal which was good enough for eighth place on the Order of Merit. Niall Kearney ended the tournament in a tie for third, finishing the season 11th in the rankings.
The tournament was won by Englishman Adam Chapman who fired a final round 71 to win by three shots. The winning cheque of £22,540 saw Chapman jump from 54th in the rankings into third place and secured him a place in Challenge Tour next season.

Rookie pro Grant bags PGA in North of Ireland Championship at Spa GC

October 15, 2017

Heather Edgar (Lady Captain Spa GC), Nicky Grant (Blackwood GC) Winner, Phil Posnett (PGA) and Gary Wardlow (Spa GC)

Former Irish amateur international, Nicky Grant, made a winning start to his professional career at the PGA North of Ireland Championship, supported by Golf Now.
Grant, now a PGA trainee at Blackwood Golf Centre, carded rounds of 36 and 38 points at Spa Golf Club to edge out Belvoir Park’s Chris Carvill by a point.
The tournament adopted a mixed format this year. The opening round was held as a team pro-am with the professionals carrying their individual scores forward into the pro-only second round.
Chris opened the event with a fine 38pts (-2) in difficult conditions. Heavy overnight rain had left the Ballynahinch venue very soggy underfoot and it took some sterling work from the greens staff and volunteers to keep play moving.

It didn’t seem to hamper Chris who was the only player in the field to break par. A drive and four iron onto the edge of the first green set up an opening birdie four but he three-putted the par three second to drop a shot.
After a five wood off the tee, a chip and putt gave Carvill a birdie three at the fourth hole and he added another birdie at the seventh when he holed from seven feet. Out in two-under-34 he increased his advantage with birdies at 11 and 13 courtesy of two excellent wedge shots.
However, he finished badly, dropping a shot at the 17th when he flew the green and, after driving into trees, he closed with a bogey five at the last for a back nine of regulation 36 and a round of 70 (38 pts)
Grant ended day one in second place following a level par 36 points with Nathan Kernaghan (Massereene GC) and Ciaran Molloy (Mayobridge GC) tied for third on 35 points (73).
Clandeboye’s Mark McCrory took the men’s top award in the pro-am on 39 pts, two ahead of former Ulster rugby player Andy Ward and David McCullough, both local members.
The gross prize was won by Scottish visitor Frazer Carr (Crail Golf Society), who plays off a plus-three handicap and returned 37 points.
Spa member Attracta Byrne was best in the women’s nett section with 33 points while Massereene assistant pro, Nathan Kernaghan, and Spa members Stephen Loftus, Philip Canaghan and David McCardle won the team event with an impressive 90 points.

PGA professionals Michael Bannon and Peter Hanna hosted a clinic ahead of the action at Spa GC

Overhead conditions improved overnight and Grant was quickly out of the blocks in round two, drawing level with Carvill at the turn. He wedged to 15 feet for birdie three at the fourth hole and on the next green rolled home a tramline 50-footer for another birdie three. He followed that with a two-putt birdie four from eight feet on the seventh to be out in three-under-33 to Carvill’s one under 35.
Chris dropped shot at 10 to put Grant ahead for the first time but the Belvoir man then birdied 12 and matched Nicky’s birdie at 13 to get back on level terms. With five holes remaining it was Grant who took charge, rattling off solid pars at 14, 15, 16 and 17 while Chris dropped a shot 14 and then double-bogeyed the par three 17th to fall three points behind his rival.
It gave Grant the luxury of knowing that a bogey would be good enough for victory but he wobbled down the last carding a double bogey six, after firing a three iron approach into trees. It gave Chris the chance to force a play-off with a birdie but his putt from 20 feet stayed above ground much to the relief of the new champion.
Brian McElhinney (North West GC) finished in third with a combined total of 69 points with Ciaran Molloy (Mayobridge GC) fourth with 68 points.

PGA in the North of Ireland Championship Leaderboard

Killymoon steps into the limelight with Revive Active Fourball victory

October 10, 2017

Vonnie Noonan (President, ILGU) presenting the trophy and pennant to Catherine Irwin and Diane McIvor (Joint Team Captains) after Killymoon’s Ladies victory in the 2017 Revive Active All Ireland Fourball Final at Royal Tara Golf Club
Picture by Pat Cashman

Killymoon beat Ballybunion 3-2 at Royal Tara GC to win the Revive Active Fourball National Final.
“It’s a great honour for our small club to win this event,” said Catherine Irwin, team captain of Killymoon.
“It is our first win and I am so proud of this team for putting our Cookstown club on the map!”
Killymoon edged past Lucan 3-2 in the semi-finals and expected another tough encounter against their Kerry opponents in the final.
Carmel Hagan and captain Irwin – leading from the front – wrapped up the first point for the Co Tyrone club on the 15th.
In the top match, the Ballybunion pairing of Mary Sheehy and Louise Griffin looked to be closing in on victory playing the 18th but Diane McIvor and Avril Marshall fought back to win the last and then take the point on the 20th.
With two matches already finalised, Killymoon needed just one more point to claim victory.
Ballybunion’s Cartiona Corrigan and Pudge O’Reilly claimed a 3&1 win to keep their hopes alive but Kathryn Kerr and Colleen Conway would not be denied with 23-handicapper Conway, sealing the deal with a birdie on the last.

REVIVE ACTIVE FOURBALL NATIONAL FINAL RESULTS
Revive Active Fourball Final
Ballybunion (2) Killymoon (3) (Ballybunion names first): Mary Sheehy & Louise Griffin lost to Diane McIvor & Avril Marshall 20th; Susan Gilmore & Janice O’Connell lost to Carmel Hagan & Catherine Irwin 4&3; Margaret McAuliffe & Lorraine Canty beat Heather Campbell & Donna Mulholland 2&1; Patricia Joyce & Mary O’Donoghue lost to Kathryn Kerr & Colleen Conway by 2 holes; Catriona Corrigan & Pudge O’Reilly beat Anne MacMahon & Kate Lennon 3&1
Revive Active Fourball semi-finals
Killymoon (3) Lucan (2) (Killymoon names first): Diane McIvor & Avril Marshall lost to Kate Whyte & Anne Seymour 4&3; Carmel Hagan & Catherine Irwin beat Ada Bowler & Una Murphy 1 hole; Heather Campbell & Donna Mulholland beat Molly Dowling & Paula Fay 1 hole; Kathryn Kerr & Colleen Conway beat Patricia Kelly & Sandra McCaffrey 2 holes; Anne MacMahon & Anne McCrea lost to Yvonne Barry & Cathy McEvoy 3&2
Portumna (1.5) Ballybunion (3.5) (Portumna names first): Suzanne Corcoran & Mary McElroy beat Mary Sheehy & Louise Griffin 3&2; Claire Callanan & Brid Kelly lost to Susan Gilmore & Janice O’Connell 3&2; Sinead Lohan & Carmel Cunningham halved with Margaret McAuliffe & Lorraine Canty (called-in); Anita Carey & Bernie Kilmartin lost to Patricia Joyce & Mary O’Donoghue 7&6; Anne Fahy & Mary Madden lost to Cartiona Corrigan & Pudge O’Reilly 2&1

Info courtesy of ILGU

 

Chambers secures PGA Tankard victory at Castlerock

October 5, 2017

Gary Chambers (Centre) with his Killymoon team members Catherine Irwin and Patrick Brown

Killymoon professional Gary Chambers climbed the winner’s rostrum for the first time this season when he won the pro’s section of the PGA Tankard Ulster finals at Castlerock.
Chambers posted a one-under-par 72 to be one shot clear of joint second placed Neil Graham (Portstewart) and Ricky Whitford (Knock).
Gary started his round at the 10th with an opening birdie following a wedge to 15 feet and then birdied the par five 11th. He gave a shot back at the short 14, where he found a greenside bunker off the tee, and at the long 17th where he drove right into trouble, hacked out into a bunker and finally three-putted for six.
That gave Chambers an opening nine of regulation 37 before he covered the first nine holes is one-under 35.
Eight pars and a birdie four at the third hole, where he got down in two from 35 feet after a drive and eight iron to the green, was his steady run home.
The men’s amateur nett award went to Ivan Kerr (Dungannon) who carded 38 points off a 13 handicap, while the gross award was collected by Co. Armagh’s Shea Smyth.
Gwyneth Cordner, a Spa 20 handicapper, won the women’s nett prize on 36 points while Violet McBride (Belvoir Park) posted 27 points to win the gross section.
The team prize was taken by Royal Portrush players, assistant professional Thomas Minshall along with amateurs Patrick McCann (8) and female Terry Leitch (19). One score at each hole counts and the winners carded 45 points.

The PGA Tankard in the North of Ireland Leaderboard

With thanks to Tony McGee

McGeady finishes PGA season on a high with victory in Connemara

September 29, 2017


Michael McGeady closed out the PGA in Ireland competition season in style with victory in the Connemara Pro-Am.
The 39-year-old fired a six under par 66 at Connemara GC to win by two shots at the event which was cut from 36-18 holes because of bad weather.
Strong winds on day one forced PGA officials to abandon play midway through the afternoon, scrapping any scores already returned.
That was particularly harsh on Damien McGrane who had signed for a superb level par 72 in the morning wave to grab the early lead.
“I really struggled in the conditions on day one, it was some of the worst weather I have ever tried to play in,” said Michael.
“It was very unfortunate for Damien [McGrane]. His level par round was an incredible effort, he must have played some golf.
“That’s the luck of the draw. Conditions were perfect on day two. We had a wee bit of wind at the start of the round but it dropped away as we turned to come home.”
Starting his round at the 10th, Michael played his opening nine holes in three under par 34 with a bogey at the 11th cancelled out by birdies at the 13th, 14th, 15th and 17th.
Turning for home he added three further birdies at the fourth, fifth and seventh to top the leaderboard on six under.
“It was a solid round of golf and while it could have been a few better, I also had to hole a few par putts to keep things going,” he added.

“I think the key was that I drove the ball very well and I played a lot from the fairway.”

Victory in Connemara was Michael’s seventh win of the season and fourth since August.
“I had PGA exams to deal with earlier in the season and I think I was probably concentrating more on those than my golf. I wasn’t focused on golf, I wasn’t hitting balls and I was trying to do a bit of coaching as well,” he said.
“For the last three months, with my exams out of the way, I was able to focus on my schedule, maybe play a practice round if I could fit it in and it freed things up. I was able to enjoy it and I felt really good about things over the last couple of months.”
Damien McGrane, Mark O’Mahony (Titleist Fitting Centre) and Cian McNamara (Monkstown GC) finished tied for second on four under par. Cian and amateur partners Martin Walsh, Jamie O’Mahony and Eddie O’Sullivan won the team prize.

Connemara GC Pro-Am leaderboard

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

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