Posts Tagged ‘Ballybunion’

Lurgan’s Wilson relishing ‘home’ Espirito Santo Trophy opportunity at Carton House

August 28, 2018

The Irish Ladies Team of Paula Grant, Olivia Mehaffey and Annabel Wilson in high spirits after their final practice round at the 2018 World Amateur Team Championship at Carton House Golf Resort,
Picture by Pat Cashman

Ireland will be hoping to make the most of home advantage this week when the World Amateur Team Championship gets underway at Carton House on Wednesday (August 29th).
Two years ago in Mexico, Ireland collected bronze with a team featuring Leona Maguire, Olivia Mehaffey and Annabel Wilson.
Maguire has since moved on to the professional ranks but Wilson (Lurgan) and Mehaffey (RCDL) are back in the Irish team and have been joined this time by GB&I Curtis Cup player Paula Grant (Lisburn).
“It was so nice playing two years ago. At that stage of my career, it was the highest level I had played at,” said Annabel.
“So it was a big goal for me to make the team here at Carton House. It’s very special to be playing at home. The Home Internationals were down at Ballybunion and it really does add something special.
“We also played the British Amateur up at Ardglass and it was lovely to see family out there watching because you want to hit good shots for them.”
Still not 18, Annabel has already racked up an impressive list of results including a win at the French U18 Championship in 2017. This season she has enjoyed top-15s at the Portuguese Amateur and the Faldo Series International Finals as well as progressing to the last 32 at the Ladies British Amateur Championship.
In the process, Wilson broke into the world’s top 100 [currently ranked 85th] and she managed all this whilst studying and completing exams.
She added; “I finished my AS exams in May and will start my A-Levels in September. I feel like I didn’t manage my time well and I was playing catch up throughout the whole year. It was tough on me.

“Next year I won’t be playing as many tournaments. I need to try and get my exam results so I can take up a place at UCLA in September 2019. It’s a huge opportunity and I really want to get there.”

This year there are a record number of entries (58) attempting to snatch the Espirito Santo Trophy away from South Korea who won by a record-equalling margin of 21 strokes two-years ago.
Each team is made up of two or three players, who each play 18 holes of stroke play over four days (Wed-Sat). In each round, the total of the two lowest scores from each team constitutes the team score for the round. The four-day (72-hole) total is the team’s score for the championship.
“We play with South Korea the first two rounds so they are obviously the best in the world so it’s incredible that we peg ourselves with them but again we’re very much focusing on our game,” said team captain Danielle McVeigh.
“It’s good to see where we’re at but they might win or they might not play well. If we just test ourselves against who we’re playing with, it might be no use either. It’s cool to see but let’s get on with it and hit our own shots.”
And Ireland’s leading player, Olivia Mehaffey, is refusing to put too much pressure on her team to succeed at home.
“I personally don’t have any expectations for this week. I just want to have a really good time, enjoy it,” said the 20-year-old from Banbridge who is ranked 23rd in the world.
“I think I tend to play better when I’m having a good time. I think it’s exciting that it’s in Ireland. I love playing in front of people and hopefully we get some good crowds in.
“In Mexico, we had no expectations. It was a big surprise to us to get a bronze medal. It would be lovely to do the same thing again but you know, hole by hole and day by day.”


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 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


McVeigh making match-play return for RCD Ladies in Senior Cup

May 9, 2015
Danielle McVeigh celebrates success in the Irish Women's Close Championship in 2011

Danielle McVeigh celebrates success in the Irish Women’s Close Championship back in 2011

Former professional, Danielle McVeigh, will make a return to inter-club action on Sunday when she plays for Royal County Down Ladies in the Ulster Senior Cup qualifiers at Clandeboye GC.
Danielle, who represented GB&I in the 2010 Curtis Cup, turned professional in 2011 but two years of battling without a breakthrough eventually took its toll and she called it a day at the end of 2013.
The 26-year-old put her clubs away, found work with Dublin based software firm Qualtrics and discovered that there was more to life than golf.
Now, with her enthusiasm renewed and her amateur status reinstated – she has been given a +2 handicap – Danielle is back playing and will be getting her first taste of match-play golf in almost six years when she lines out for RCD at Clandeboye on Sunday.
“RCD Ladies did O.K during the period I was playing for them,” said Danielle.
“We won Ulster a few times but never managed to go on and win an All-Ireland.
“We have a very strong team this year. I’m not seeded number one, which will be a first for me. It’s interesting for me but I can’t argue, Olivia Mehaffey is playing so well at the minute and it means I can fly in there under the radar.”
Olivia’s recent hat trick of success in Ireland, Scotland and Wales mirrors victories achieved by Danielle in her last year as an amateur in 2011.
“I won the Helen Holm and the Welsh Strokeplay back-to-back just like Olivia,” added Danielle.
“When she won in Wales I sent her a message – ‘There’s some great names on those trophies!’

“I have played with Olivia a good few times. She is doing brilliant and the results speak for themselves. She showed great potential and talent from a young age and now the results are starting to come. It’s reward for the hard work she is putting in.”

Danielle’s first serious competitive event of the season was a couple of weeks ago when she played in the 36-hole scratch-cup at Lahinch GC. She finished in mid-table, but was reasonably content with her performance.
“I really like it down there. It’s a great course and I also played Ballybunion the next day,” she added.
“I’m also planning to play in the Irish Stroke Play in a couple of weeks. To be honest, I’m only playing in places where I like to play golf.
“I still want to play well and it can get a bit frustrating when I do hit a bad one knowing how well I might have hit it in the past but it’s grand then when I come off the course – I can go to work. I’m not playing for ranking points or anything. I’m just out to enjoy myself this year.”
Royal Portrush are the reigning Ulster champions but face a difficult start against Royal Belfast in the quarter-finals. Lurgan, who face Bangor in Sunday’s preliminary round will be relying on youth to overcome their competitors.
The quarter-finals on Sunday will be followed by the semi-finals/final on Monday.

Irish Senior Cup – Ulster section
Sunday 10 May
8am – Bangor v Lurgan
8.50am Royal Portrush v Royal Belfast
9.40am Shandon Park v Belvoir Park
10.30am Clandeboye v Malone
1pm Bangor/Lurgan v RCD Ladies
Monday 11 May

Clandeboye find right recipe for Barton Shield success

September 19, 2013
Ivor McCandless (President, Golfing Union of Ireland) presenting Michael McAvoy (Captain, Clandeboye Golf Club) with the Barton Shield after their victory at the GUI All Ireland AIG sponsored Cups&; Shields Finals at Royal Tara Golf Club. In front (from left) Noel Rowland (Captain, Royal Tara Golf Club), Ian Boucher (Vice Captain, Clandeboye Golf Club) and Aidan Connaughton (Consumer Lines Director, AIG Europe). At back (from left) Graeme Laird, Alaistair Kerr, William Russell, Karl Eccles, Colm Murphy, Lee Crawford, Gerry Fyfe (President, Clandeboye Golf Club) and John Walker (Team Captain).

Ivor McCandless (President, Golfing Union of Ireland) presenting Michael McAvoy (Captain, Clandeboye Golf Club) with the Barton Shield after their victory at the GUI All Ireland AIG sponsored Cups&; Shields Finals at Royal Tara Golf Club. In front (from left) Noel Rowland (Captain, Royal Tara Golf Club), Ian Boucher (Vice Captain, Clandeboye Golf Club) and Aidan Connaughton (Consumer Lines Director, AIG Europe). At back (from left) Graeme Laird, Alaistair Kerr, William Russell, Karl Eccles, Colm Murphy, Lee Crawford, Gerry Fyfe (President, Clandeboye Golf Club) and John Walker (Team Captain).

Clandeboye lifted the Barton Shield in some style on Thursday at the AIG Cups and Shields in Royal Tara with Colm Murphy and William Russell putting in star performances for the Ulster provincial champions.
Up against County Sligo and five holes down early on, John Walker’s blend of youth and experience proved to be the difference as veteran Murphy and 18-year old Russell rallied to bring the prize to the Bangor outfit.
In the opening match, Graeme Laird and Lee Crawford were never ahead against Sligo’s Sean Flanagan and Declan Reidy.
Having gone two holes down early on, Laird and Crawford struggled to get anything going and were four down after 12. After a wayward approach to the last green, the Clandeboye pair gave Sligo an opportunity to win another hole, which Flanagan and Reidy did, to give Sligo a five hole advantage.
In the second match, Irish international Gary McDermott and his playing partner Steffan O’Hara raced into a two hole lead early on against Murphy and Russell, but by the time they stood on the 13th tee, the Clandeboye pair had turned things around in dramatic style, establishing a four hole lead, having won six of the previous eight holes.
Two more wins were claimed by the Ulster duo in the latter stages of the back nine, and as they watched Laird and Crawford lose their final hole, Murphy and Russell knew they had to avoid a final hole meltdown to claim victory.
Instead, the meltdown came from the Sligo duo. A drive to the rough on the left from McDermott, was followed by a pushed second by O’Hara who ended up pin high, some 35 yards from the green, with a pin cut just a few paces on.
A tough third shot lay ahead of McDermott who was unlucky to catch the bunker guarding the green. When O’Hara blasted out of the bunker and McDermott missed the subsequent putt – the hole was conceded to give Murphy and Russell a seven hole win and Clandeboye were crowned Barton Shield Champions for 2013.
Russell, a former under 15 boys champion and Irish boys international was delighted. “I’m really happy. You don’t win one of these every day. We played solid golf and pars win holes out there. Colm hits it straight, gets it down the middle. He’s always talking to me and keeps me calm.

“On the last hole I just said to myself to get into the routine and hit a good shot. It was a 4-iron. I just wanted to hit it up the green somewhere because I knew they were way left of the green. It was good to get it finished. The last couple of years we haven’t done very well. This year the top match seemed to bond and we seemed to feed off each other.

“John Walker, our captain said at the start, ‘eight matches, that’s all you have to win.’ It’s true. Last night we were talking and just said ‘we’ve seven matches down, why not make it eight?'”
This is Clandeboye’s first Barton Shield win since 2002 at Galway.
In the Junior Cup, Ballybunion lifted their first green pennant since 1979 with a team comprised entirely of teenagers.
Ulster champions Rossmore bowed out of the Pierce Purcell Shield at the hands of Spanish Point who have set up a final encounter with Claremorris.
The Senior Cup pits Rosapenna against Carton House in Friday’s semi final with Co Sligo taking on Cork in the other match while in the Jimmy Bruen Shield, Tandragee take on Athlone and Castlecomer meet Killorglin.

copy courtesy Alan Kelly
picture courtesy Pat Cashman

Grant finds college success closer to home

July 8, 2013
Irish Close Champion, Paula Grant Pic by Pat Cashman

Irish Close Champion, Paula Grant
Pic by Pat Cashman

THE US Collegiate golf system can rightly claim to be a breeding ground for some of the world’s top players but Lisburn golfer, Paula Grant, is proving that college success can be found closer to home.
The 19-year-old, who recently won the Irish Women’s Close Championship at Ballybunion, considered continuing her education in the US before opting to stay closer to home and study optometry at Coleraine University. It’s a decision she doesn’t regret for a minute
“I’m glad I stayed here.  I seriously thought about going to America but the golf scholarship programme at UUJ is great and it has certainly brought my game along,” said Paula.
The golf programme at UUJ is still in it’s infancy but is developing rapidly with Paula leading the way this year. The Close victory in Ballybunion followed early season success which included the ladies individual title at the Intervarsity Championship in March and the ladies title at the R&A Scholars event at St Andrews. She also finished second to England’s Meghan Maclaren in the Irish Women’s Open Amateur Strokeplay.
“University has been very good for my game. I have had a lot of time to practise, I’ve been working with Stephen Hamill down at Lisburn GC and I’m on the High Performance Panel with the ILGU which is also really helpful,” added Paula who is off to England this week to compete for Ireland in the Ladies European Team championships.

“It has been tough enough at times juggling the golf and study, but it’s really about learning how to manage your time well and find the right balance.”

Given her run of success, Paula has even started to think about the possibility of playing Curtis Cup and maybe even someday turning professional.
“I never had any intentions of becoming a professional, but I’m not so sure about that either now,” continued Paula.
“I always thought that I would love to get to the highest level as an amateur and that means playing in the Curtis Cup. I have always had 2016 in mind because it will be in Ireland and because of that, I never really thought 2014 would be an option.
“To make an impression on the selectors I need to do well in the European team Championships and then show up well at the European Individuals at the end of July. If I put in some good performances it could help me along the way. All I can do is keep playing and see what happens.”
* The UUJ golf programme has recently announced details of an INSPIRE, sports scholarship scheme aimed at portgraduate students for the 2013/2014 academic year.
The INSPIRE Programme is a widening access initiative that will engage international postgraduate students from within and beyond the EU in the development and delivery of widening access focused activities.
During their time studying at University of Ulster on a one year postgraduate course of their choice, successful applicants to the INSPIRE Programme will commit to delivering elements of the Ulster Sports Outreach, SHINE@ULSTER programme for 8-10 hours per week during term time.
As high level sports participants the Interns will also be expected to engage in sport specific outreach work and represent the University in their chosen sport.