NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS AND EVENTS AT DOUGLAS
(By John Manning)
Douglas’s first ever national championship was on September 12, 1971. The host club provided two of the three National Ladies Strokeplay champions. Kit O’Donovan (Douglas) shot 107 in senior to win by eight from May Buckley (St. Anne’s). Angela Roche (Rocklodge) won the intermediate championship on 113, one ahead of Catherine Curley (Poulaphouca). Vicky Cole (Douglas) took the junior crown on 125, three clear of another Poulaphouca player, Siobhan Hickey.
The National Men’s Matchplay finals came to Douglas in June 1973. Padraig Hogan (Catholic Institute) defeated Andy Dempsey (Irish Ropes) by 7&6 in the June 4 final.
The then Major Extra Size Team Event was played in Douglas on 14 September 1975. Again, there was considerable success for the locals. Douglas III (Michael Murray, Ellis Ryan, John McGuane and Declan Murray) carded +22 for a famous victory. Second was another local quartet, Douglas I (Liam O’Brien, Liam Barry, Pat Roche and Jerry Murphy). They shot +1.
The Ladies Strokeplay returned to Douglas on 11 September 1977. Margaret Hogan, then playing out of the Clara club, won her first national title. Margaret’s 104 finished a shot clear of Mildred Doyle (Shandon) in senior. Joan Fogarty (Hillview) took the intermediate championship ahead of Diana Ginnane (St. Anne’s). Marie O’Sullivan (Majestic) and Mary Pearson (St. Anne’s) were the principal protagonists in junior with victory ultimately going to the Mallow player.
On 14 September 1980, a low handicap Shandon foursome (Sean Harkins, Joe McLoughlin, Mark and Michael Collins) won the Carrolls Club Tournament final at Douglas. Glenside were second with St. Anne’s third.
The mid-eighties were the era of John O’Leary (Dunlops). The tall blond Cork player was contesting his third National Matchplay final in a row when he faced David Poole (Campions) in the decider at Douglas on 3 June 1985. His record was 1-1, the loss having come the previous year at Glenville. A magnificent 36 holes couldn’t separate two admirable exponents and they headed down the first sudden death hole. Cork hopes were dashed and David Poole was crowned a worthy champion.
Norma O’Brien shot 97 to win the 1992 National Ladies Strokeplay Championship at Douglas, three clear of Jean Cooney (Bissell). Alison Corrigan (Portmarnock) scored 117 to take the intermediate championship by one from Crosshaven’s Maureen Murphy. The junior championship went to a play-off after a tie on 128. Bridget Shelley (Lakeside) beat May Tobin (Castlelack).
Fast greens and tricky chipping made for difficult scoring conditions in the final of the 2002 National Mixed Foursomes at Douglas. Former All Ireland Matchplay champion Eleanor Walsh teamed-up with her Fermoy club-mate Joe Flood to win by a single shot from the Kilbeggan husband and wife pairing John and Kathleen Carton. Eleanor and Joe carded a total of 5 up for the 36 holes versus par. Best Gross went to Kildare’s Darren Keogh and Margaret Byrne.
Another National Ladies Strokeplay at Douglas on July 10th as Douglas became the most used venue for the championship in history. Chrissie Byrne scored 152 in boiling hot conditions to win by two over Ger Ward (second on tiebreaker) and Tracey McGrath. Marian Byrne was fourth. Esther Martin (Ryston) fired 181 to take the Intermediate by three from Cunnigar’s Donna Cockwell. It was a Crosshaven 1-2 in the Junior with Martha Harrington’s 191 a stroke clear of Catriona Ahern.
Douglas co-hosted the National Scramble with Ballinlough on 8/9 May. Cunnigar (Terence Moroney, Chris Wall, Daniel Keohane) scored 161 to win by four from Deerpark (Paul Cronin, Gerry O'Sullivan, Paul Vermiglio).
A fabulous final round of 42 on 24 July clinched an eight stroke win for Anthony O’Loughlin (Claycastle) in the Gents National Strokeplay championship at Douglas. Loughlinstown’s John Ross Crangle finished runner-up on 140. John Walsh, Ray Murphy and Anthony Malone all tied on 142 – Walsh and Murphy getting third and fourth respectively on the tiebreaker.
The previous day, Shane Murphy (Pfizer) won the intermediate championship with 148, four better than Daniel Long (St. Anne’s). 156 clinched the junior championship for Colin O'Sullivan (Douglas) with Kevin Murphy (Pfizer) second on 158.
On 12 May 2013, Ferbane (Denis Carter, Thomas Murphy & Eileen Guerin) won the P.J. Bell Mixed Team Event at Douglas on 65, beating Douglas/Ballinlough (Ger Hanrahan, Brian Downey & Alf Hanrahan) on the countback.
On 27 April 2014, Cunnigar (Paddy Noonan, Jacinta O'Mahony & Lorraine Troy) won the P.J. Bell National Mixed Team Event at Douglas with 64.33. Douglas/Ballinlough (Ger Hanrahan, Brian Downey & Alf Hanrahan) placed second with 65.
Tomorrow: We preview the Gents B and Ladies Championships this weekend.
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