90 GENTS are competing in Sunday’s National Seniors Gents Strokeplay Championships in Old County. Communications & Press Officer Jason O’Connor previews the action in the three grades in advance of tee-off at the South Dublin venue on Sunday morning.
35 players will compete for the title with three of the last four winners of the grade teeing off in the 2015 staging. They are 2011 winner Joseph O’Riordan of Bruff, the winner of the 2012 event, Finbarr Looney of Collins along with 2013 winner, Erry’s Fergus Handy. Handy tees-off in the second three-ball of the day alongside the host club’s sole competitor in this grade, Malcolm Kellett and Lakeside’s Liam Leahy.
O’Riordan tees-off alongside Terry O’Shaughnessy of Lucan and Navan’s Barry O’Leary while Looney’s players on the day will be John Collins of Cement and Prosperous’ Noel McCormack. The Navan club themselves have four players competing on Sunday namely John Hughes, Gerry Allen and Paul Leddy alongside the aforementioned O’Leary. Lucan and Riverdale both have three competitors each on Sunday in this grade with Ted Flynn and Patrick Blake joining O’Shaughnessy in representing the Dublin club while John Whelan, Seamus Gleeson and Peter Dunning representing the Tipperary club.
One interesting feature of this section is the presence of Dutch native and Glenville member Ed Janssen in the field. He will be travelling from the Lowlands to tee-off in the final group alongside Dunning.
A total of 25 players will compete in this grade with three former winners looking to add another title to their previous success. Two of those are actually paired with each other as Albert Mithen of Loughlinstown was the winner of this event 10 years ago in Shandon and he tees-off alongside another former winner in Kilbeggan’s John Carton, the 2013 victor. Brian Fagan of Riverdale completes this three-ball while John’s Kilbeggan club-mate, John Feery, tees-off in the first three-ball alongside Fermoy’s Michael Cahill and Brian Maguire of Navan.
Last year’s winner from Gaeil Colmcille, William McNally of Stackallen, tees off last of the competitors alongside Loughlinstown’s Richard Harkin while Old County’s sole representative Liam Comerford teeing-off with Glenville’s Emmet Donnelly and St Bridgets’ Christy Hannon, this year’s Kildare Intermediate Strokeplay winner. The second group to tee-off on Sunday comprises ESB’s John Moloney, Castletown’s Tony Browne and Athgarvan’s John Redmond with another ESB player, Benny McCarthy, out in the next group alongside Lakeside’s Joe O’Connor and Cunnigar’s Paddy Noonan. There are two other three-balls in the combinations of firstly, Erins Isle’s Anthony Carroll, Navan’s Tony Lalloway and Tullamore’s John Fleming and secondly Collins’ Nicholas Byrne, Glenville’s Phillip Campbell and Cement’s Anthony Everitt.
The grade has two two-balls the first of which features Raffeen Creek’s Richard Jordan and Bellewstown’s Richard Brennan.
Much like its equivalent in the Ladies on Saturday, the Senior grade is small but it will no doubt be fiercely fought for amongst the 20 competing. Wally Sheridan of Bellewstown in the defending champion and he will tee-off in the third last group alongside ESB’s John O’Gorman and William Buckley Snr of Erry. Old County’s representative in this grade tees off in the next group as Kevin Bermingham will have multiple National winner Sean Harkins and ESB’s John O’Gorman for company.
The first group contains a former two time winner of this event in Seapoint’s Pat Greene who was victorious in both 2006 and 2008. He tees off alongside Glenville’s Michael Keenan and Bruff’s Patsy Farrell looking for a third title after finishing second to Sheridan in 2014. The second group also features a former winner in St Bridgets’ Frank Ryan as he will play with Erins Isle’s Charlie Egan and Riverdale’s Sean Minogue. 2013 winner Anthony Malone of Lucan is out in the next grouping with Hillview’s Noel Joyce and Patsy Reamsbottom from Ferbane. A winner of the Seniors prize in a good share of International events is next as Bruff’s Pacelli Darcy tees-off alongside two Dublin players, Loughlinstown’s Patrick Kelly and Glenville’s Joseph Flanagan.
The final group of the day will be a two-ball as Lucan’s John Price and Glenville’s Frank Connolly complete the field for this grade. Whether some harbour ambitions of getting back here next year for the main Gents Strokeplay is anyone’s guess but those from all three grades that do managing to make the cut for next summer will get first-hand experience of what they will face come 2016!
We wish all competitors in the six events this weekend the very best of luck. Updates will be available on the PPUI website throughout both days of competition.
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