1964 final instalment

The O'Riordans from Rocklodge

1964 final instalment image

 

2007 Pitch and Putt Hall of Famer,T.J. O’Riordan won back to back National Matchplay titles in 1964 (at Ierne) and in 1965 (at Rocklodge). T.J. also clinched the 1956 Irish Amateur Pitch and Putt Union National Matchplay championship in the pre-P.P.U.I. days of the 1950s.

He was also three times a National Strokeplay runner-up (in 1962, '64 and '65). In addition to finishing runner-up to his brother Michael in 1964, T.J. twice finished second nationally to Portmarnock’s Kevin Rogers, at Rocklodge in 1962 (148 to 145) and at Hammond Lane in 1965, when the pair contested a play-off after a tie on 156.

A winner of eight Cork County League titles with Rocklodge between 1961 and 1978, T.J. dabbled in golf at West Waterford Golf Club. He remains a fine Pitch and Putt player to this day, still regularly contending and winning in club competitions around Rocklodge.

Twice an Inter-County winner with Cork, T.J. was crowned Munster Strokeplay champion in 1961 and 1966 (having also held that title under I.A.P.P.U. rules in 1957). The first player to achieve a three-in-a-row in the Cork Matchplay, T.J. is also a past Cork Strokeplay kingpin. He claimed the latter title at Rocklodge in 1965 with a phenomenal 88 for 36 holes and at Carrigaline in 1968 with 98 to 99 for future National President Paddy Harkins.

The Inter-County wins arrived at Collins in 1964 (Cork’s first) and on T.J.’s home Rocklodge turf ten years later. T.J. won the first Munster Strokeplay played under P.P.U.I. rules – at Douglas in 1961 with 99, to 101 for Denis Murphy (Ballincollig). That trophy was regained with a tally of 95 at Carrigaline five years later.

O‘Riordan defeated Michael O‘Flynn in a 72-hole Cork Matchplay final at Highfield in 1965 and retained his title by beating Pat O’Brien (Woodvale) in the 1966 decider at Rocklodge. The three-timer was complete a year later at Carrigaline when the Rocklodge maestro beat Carrigaline’s John Foster.

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A tireless worker for charity through Pitch and Putt benefit competitions, T.J. is a former member of Cork County Board (acting as Press Officer). Invited to raise funds for Cork’s Lavanagh Centre in 1978, he organised his first charity Open in 1979 and is still running it, and raising massive amounts of money, through his annual Enable Ireland Open and Scratch Cup.  

 

 

                                                                                                                                 T.J’s  charity Enable Ireland 2022

A keen greenkeeper, T.J. lovingly tended the Rocklodge course and prepared it for many championships.

Winner over fellow Corkman Pat O’Brien (Woodvale) in the 1965 National Matchplay final at Rocklodge (having enjoyed another win over Seamus Rogers in the last four), T.J. was a three-time Cork Matchplay runner-up, losing deciders to Highfield prodigy David Guiney at Rocklodgein 1962, long-time friend and rival Michael Forrest at Highfieldin 1970 and to the then Irish Matchplay champion Joe Doyle (Carrigaline) in 1971 at St. Anne’s.

MICHAEL O‘RIORDAN

Michael O’Riordan was crowned Cork Strokeplay champion in 1964 at Collins, when he carded a stupendous 87 to win by three from Ballincollig’s Tim Murphy.

That qualified the Rocklodge man for the National Strokeplay championship final 1964 County League winner with Rocklodge alongside T.J., Michael was drawn to play with Con Carroll (Glenville)

The Rocklodge course was in excellent order, but there having been no rain for well over a week ground conditions were very hard. After 36 holes, Michael O'Riordan  and Seamus Wall (Hillview) tied for the lead with a score of 102, Next came Michael Crowley (Rocklodge) on 103, T. J. O'Riordan (Rocklodge) with 104, Seamus Rogers (Portmarnock) and Liam Irwin (Glenville), both on 106.

With only four strokes separating the six players it was still wide open. Over the last 18 holes Michael O'Riordan really proved that his Cork county stroke win was no flash in the pan when he went around in a brilliant 51, which included a five at the 10th, for a 54-hole total of 153. With nine holes to play he was seven strokes ahead of the field and it looked odds on he would not get caught. So it proved. Michael O‘Riordan was National Strokeplay champion. One month later, he was a national Inter-County winner, on his maiden appearance in the Cork colours.

Meanwhile, a terrific struggle was taking place for second place between Wall, Crowley and T. J. O'Riordan. Wall fell away over the last nine holes to finish with a 57 and a total of 159. Next to finish was T. J. O'Riordan with a 53 for a total of 157. Crowley came to the last hole needing a three for second place but, not finding the green with his pitch, he played his chip too strong and missed his five foot putt for a three leaving T. J. O'Biordan second to his brother with a better last 18 holes.

National Matchplay runner-up Seamus Rogers (Portmarnock) finished fifth with a total of 1604

The 10th hole, which was usually a relatively easy hole with a good pitch, was the downfall of many players. A total of 172 shots were played to the green throughout the champioonship and only nine twos were recorded. A record number of 57 fours, 29 fives, seven sixes, three sevens and even an eight went down on cards throughout the 54 holes.

At the presentation of the prizes,Mr.Ernest O'Brien Hogan (Hillview), Vice-President of the Central Council, congratulated the winners and complimented the Rocklodge committee on the excellent condition of the course. He said it was a great honour for any club to have, as members, two Irish champions (let alone two brothers) in the one year.

Michael was denied the opportunity to defend his National Strokeplaytitle in 1965 – no automatic qualification in those days!  He didn’t qualify for the final via the 1965 Cork Strokeplay championship – having shot 101 in an event won by brother T.J. with a superb 88, three shots better than Highfield’s Jim Coffey.