ALL Pitch & Putt journeys in the southern province this weekend lead to Lakeside in Templemore as the Tipperary course hosts both Saturday and Sunday’s play in the Munster Strokeplay. Communications & Press Officer Jason O’Connor mulls over the respective fields in the six events this weekend.
There are 34 entries this weekend with the Junior comprising the biggest entry with 16. A lot of local eyes will be on Elaine Quinn after her historic success in the first ever Ladies Nett Matchplay in Tullamore two weeks ago not to mention another win in the Munster Mixed Foursomes south of Templemore in Hillview, Clonmel last month. She plays with Nuala McNamara of Collins in a two ball with the other two ball consisting of Nuala’s club-mate Phil Downey and Cunnigar’s Stella Kinsella.
Over half the field is from the Lakeside and Cunnigar clubs with Josie McCormack, Sive Shelley and Lily O’Brien representing the hosts with Kathleen Foran, Ann Raher and Mary Daly representing the Dungarvan club. Margaret Courtney was the winner of the Tipperary Strokeplay at the grade in Tipperary Hills last week though as Tralee’s Lisa O’Connor was a recent Semi-Final in the National Ladies Nett Matchplay. Fermoy’s Michelle Flynn was third in the Cork Junior Strokeplay as Hillview duo Veronica Anglim and Lorraine Creed along with Bruff’s Margaret O’Donovan make up the other entries for the grade.
The Intermediate grade has 12 entries including the two players went out for an extra nine holes in ESB last year to eventually decide the outcome in Hillview’s Pauline Lucey along with Francis Ryan from the host club. Pauline would be the player to win out and after winning a prize at the recent Munster Mixed Foursomes will feel confident about another tilt at the title. Mary Quinn from the host club recently made the Quarter-Finals of the National Ladies Scratch Matchplay and will welcome playing on her home course as will Bridget Shelley. Margaret Forde of Riverdale was the winner of the Junior event last year Cork Intermediate Strokeplay winner Ailish Sexton from Fermoy heads a total of seven entries from the Rebel County.
They include Collins trio Patsy O’Donovan, Vera McCarthy and Sarah O’Neill along with another Fermoy player in Nicole Burke, Rocklodge’s Paula Nolan and St Stephens’ Mairead Manning. The Senior grade is a ‘Super Six’ battle for the title. Eleanor Walsh bids for a third straight title after reaching the Semi-Finals of the National Matchplay two weeks ago. Breda White will challenge hard though having won the Tipperary Strokeplay on her native Tipperary Hills last week as Lakeside’s Martha O’Brien will welcome home advantage no end.
Last year’s Intermediate Matchplay winner in the province Mary Murray (Rocklodge), Fermoy’s Sarah Byrne (Gross Prize winner in the Munster Mixed Foursomes) and Collins’ Linda Murphy make up the other three competitors in the field meanwhile.
In a change from last year in ESB, the Intermediates will be the men in action on Saturday morning this year as a 36 strong field sees some notable names. National Strokeplay Runner-Up at this level last year Jimmy Quinn of Fermoy led after the first 36 holes last year but will hope for better this time as he plays alongside St Annes’ Ian Leech and Bishopstown’s Niall Kelliher.
It’s another Bishopstown player in Aidan Forsythe that has the form coming in however after his win in the Cork Intermediate Strokeplay at the weekend as he tees-off alongside fellow Corkonians Benny McCarthy of ESB and Rocklodge’s Martin O’Sullivan in the ‘Shotgun Start’. Tipperary Hills’ Paul Malone is the other County Strokeplay winner from last weekend involved on Saturday as there are a few other players who placed in the prizes in their counties at the weekend. Bruff’s John Farrell (second in Limerick) plays alongside Malone and Paul Shoer Jnr from the host club as the runner-up in Tipperary, Michael Kirby of Larkspur Park, plays with Bruff’s Joseph O’Riordan and Brian O’Flynn of Tipperary Hills.
Fermoy’s Gavin Dawson was third in the Cork Strokeplay last week as he plays with in an all Cork three-ball with Collins’ Karl O’Keeffe and Gerard Hogan of St Stephens. The two finalists from last year’s Munster Junior Matchplay Final in Charleville’s Dominic Kavanagh and Hillview’s Adrian Anglim are taking part this weekend as well with Kavanagh playing alongside Riverdale’s Patsy Farrell and Kieran Fitzpatrick of Deerpark. Anglim plays with Tralee’s Padraig Hobbart and Riverdale’s Dean Courtney meanwhile. The other local interest in Lakeside will centre of Ronan Loughnane who plays with Emmet Fitzgerald of Ardnacrusha and Michael Brennan of Tipperary Hills.
The Juniors play on Sunday in the same ‘Shotgun Start’ as the Seniors with 18 players bidding for the title. Local hopes rest with both Liam Leahy and Mark Cahill. Leahy plays with Seamus Gleeson of Riverdale and Ardnacrusha’s Brian Dillon as Cahill plays with two Cork players in Mark Roche of Bishopstown and Dave Towler of St Stephens. The grade has an interesting distinction in have all four County Strokeplay winners taking part on Sunday. Two of them play in the same three ball as Parteen’s Brian Mason (Limerick) and Larkspur Park’s Sean O’Neill (Tipperary) play with Bruff’s PJ Ryan. Cork winner Dylan Seymour plays with Hillview’s Sean O’Connor and Ardnacrusha’s Kevin Bermingham as Listowel’s Fergus Keane plays with fellow Kerryman Sean Ashe of the Gleneagle and Michael O’Dwyer of Larkspur Park. The other three ball consists of Tralee’s David Hobbert (third last year in ESB) with Collins’ Daire Mulvenny and Hillview’s Sean Cronin his playing partners on Sunday.
27 players will take part in the Senior competition and it marks an interesting return for Bryan Delaney to Lakeside in one sense. Having missed out on winning a National and Munster Matchplay success at the Templemore venue in recent years he returns to Lakeside as both National Matchplay and Munster Strokeplay holder after needing 68 holes to eventually win around his old turf in ESB! A Cork Strokeplay win last Sunday will only make him more confident as his Irish team-mate for the following weekend in Urduna, Bruff’s Tommy Hanley and Hillview’s Paul Sweeney will be his playing partners Sunday as the other three Irish team representatives from the province will play in Lakeside.
John Cahill was third in that amazing playoff involving not only Delaney but also Frank Dineen last year as the Fermoy man plays with Bruff’s Pacelli Darcy and Douglas’ Denis O’Sullivan on Sunday. James Cleary of Hillview (second in the Tipperary Strokeplay last week) will tee-off alongside Deerpark’s Damien Fleming and Fermoy’s Daniel Keohane as two players who played each other in a National Matchplay Semi-Final in Tullamore are paired in a three-ball. Runner-Up in that event Ray Murphy will play alongside Deerpark’s John McGrath again as a former winner of this event in Jason O’Regan of Tralee makes up the three ball.
John Walsh will hope to get back into the winners podium again with a player who knocked out the National Strokeplay Champion at the Matchplay in Tullamore, Larkspur Park’s Christopher Hickey and Munster Mixed Foursomes winner Mick Fennell from the host club his playing partners. Along with Fennell, Paul O’Brien and Brian Cahill represent Lakeside this weekend. O’Brien plays with National Matchplay Quarter-Finalist Declan Freeman of Fermoy and Parteen’s Kieran Earls as Cahill tees off with Bruff’s James Ryan and Eoin Keating of Douglas. World Strokeplay Champion Liam O’Donovan features at the weekend as well with Fermoy’s Peter O’Donovan (third last year in the Intermediate event) and Tralee’s Jason Cregan his playing partners.
The field is completed by Cork trio Barry Morrissey of Raffeen Creek, Majestic’s Trevor O’Donovan and Liam Myers of St Annes. Lakeside has been a kind course to John Walsh the last time major events have been held here but recent form would suggest a different winner this weekend around one of the PPUI’s most iconic tracks.
Best wishes to all competitors in the 12 events in both provinces this weekend. Updates will be available on the PPUI website throughout the weekend when we have them.
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