International King’s Cup – Day One report – Ireland on course to retain trophy

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Afternoon – Ireland look well placed to retain the International King’s Cup after a dominant afternoon greensomes session at Lough Erne Resort.
The Ryder Cup style tournament which honours golf’s greatest ambassador, Mr Arnold Palmer, features 16-man teams of amateur golfers from both Ireland and the USA going head to head over the Sir Nick Faldo designed course in Co. Fermanagh.
Under King’s Cup rules, players receive two points for a hole won, one point each for a hole halved and nothing for a lost hole. Leading by eight points after the morning fourballs, Ireland then won five greensomes ties to extend their lead to 30 points ahead of Thursday’s singles.
The display was epitomised by the Dunmurry Springs GC pairing of Darren Carey and Paul Sweeney who, beaten 24-12 by David Adams and Jacob Pavlk in the morning, responded to see off the same pair 21-15 in the afternoon.
“We were never down in the tie, played solid golf and dovetailed nicely,” said Kildare native Carey.
Ireland picked up points on their opponents in the top four ties with Darren McKeever and Declan McKeever, Kevin Commins and Tom Muldoon and Vincent Owens and Martin Peters all winning.
The run of victories was finally brought to a halt by the Parker, Colorado duo of Carl Ellis and Andy Titterton who beat the Co Galway pairing of Alan Moran and Colm Feeney 20-16.
“We just ground it out,” said Ellis, a 52-year-old who plays his golf at Pinery Country Club.

“Andy and I have played a lot of best ball competitions and that experience certainly helped today.”

The USA picked up two further greensomes wins via Bill Orne and Michael White and Andy Kieffer and Phil Smith but late in the day, Westport GC duo Liam Friel and John Collins completed a 25-11 victory over Michael DiFrancesco and Gary Morris to put Ireland in the box seat.
With a total of 1152 points on offer, the first team to reach 577 points will win the title.
The teams will play singles this morning starting at 9am.

Totals – Ireland 303 USA 273
Afternoon Greensomes
American names first
David Adams & Jacob Pavlk 15 Darren Carey & Paul Sweeney 21
Dennis Bassham & Patrick Olsen 17 Darren McKeever & Declan McKeever 19
Mike Farber & Marvin Warner 14 Kevin Commins & Tom Muldoon 22
Joseph Costello & Matt McDevitt 19 Vincent Owens & Martin Peters 21
Carl Ellis & Andy Titterton 20 Alan Moran & Colm Feeney 16
Bill Orne & Michael White 19 Kieran O’Brien & Niall Clince 17
Michael DiFrancesco & Gary Morris 11 Liam Friel & John Collins 25

picture by John McVitty, Enniskillen, Co.Fermanagh, N.Ireland-07771987378
Morning – There’s little to choose between the USA and Ireland after the opening series of fourball betterball matches on day one of the International King’s Cup at Lough Erne Resort.
The sides split the eight morning matches four apiece but the unique scoring system employed by tournament organisers saw Ireland emerge with an eight point lead.
Under King’s Cup rules, players receive two points for a hole won, one point each for a hole halved and nothing for a lost hole.
Ireland finished the morning session on 148 points, with the pairing of Kevin Commins (Cloverhill GC) and Tom Muldoon (Ardee GC) leading the way. The experienced campaigners amassed 26 points against Mike Farber and Marvin Warner.
“We were solid right from the start. I think we finished with a three under better ball total,” said Tom.
Team USA got off to a blistering start with David Adams and Jacob Pavlk easing to a 12 point win over Darren Carey (Dunmurry Springs) and Paul Sweeney (Dunmurry Springs).
Pavlk produced one of the shots of the day at the par five fourth hole firing a 222 yard four iron into 20 feet before rolling in the putt for an eagle.
“We played well, both of us struck the ball well this morning,” said 38-year-old Adams a Mortgage Broker from Brandon, Mississippi.

“The trick was always having two guys in the hole with putts to win the hole.”

The USA went further ahead when Washington state duo Dennis Bassham and Patrick Olsen beat Kesh brother Darren and Declan McKeever (Donegal GC) 20-16. However, Commins and Muldoon stopped the rot and Ireland then enjoyed a period of dominance.
Vincent Owens (Donegal GC) and Martin Peters (Omagh GC) grabbed 19 points, Alan Moran (Tuam GC) and Colm Feeney (Galway GC) ended the morning with 21 points and then the Craddockstown duo of Kieran O’Brien and Niall Clince followed up with a 20 point haul.
“It was tough out there. We were two under for the back nine. That shows you the type of golf needed to get a result,” said O’Brien.
“It has been a fantastic event so far, there was even a bit of nerves there on the first tee this morning.”
The final two morning ties went the way of Team USA by just two points to narrow the gap to eight as the players grabbed some lunch before getting back on the course.
The teams will play eight greensomes matches this afternoon before a final day of singles matches on Thursday.
With a total of 1152 points on offer, the first team to reach 577 points will win the title.

Day One
Morning Fourballs
American names first
David Adams & Jacob Pavlk 24 Darren Carey & Paul Sweeney 12
Dennis Bassham & Patrick Olsen 20 Darren McKeever & Declan McKeever 16
Mike Farber & Marvin Warner 10 Kevin Commins & Tom Muldoon 26
Joesph Costello & Matt McDevitt 17 Vincent Owens & Martin Peters 19
Carl Ellis & Andy Titterton 15 Alan Moran & Colm Feeney 21
Bill Orne & Michael White 16 Kieran O’Brien & Niall Clince 20
Michael DiFrancesco & Gary Morris 19 Liam Friel & John Collins 17
Andy Kieffer & Phil Smith 19 James McAllister & Patsy O’Donnell 17
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