2019 National Matchplay Facts & Figures
By John Manning
- Having reached the quarter-finals three times in the past, Paul Nolan (Ierne) had his best outing to date in the National Gents Matchplay Championship by reaching the last four in Rocklodge.
- 2016 National Matchplay Champion Shane Murphy reached the last eight of the event for the fourth successive year and was a beaten semi-finalist for the second year in a row.
- It was the fifth Cork v. Kerry final in history. All of them have taken place in the last sixteen years. Kerry leads 3-2.
- Damien Fleming has been involved in three of those five Kerry v. Cork deciders, winning two and losing one. He has a 100% record in semi-finals.
- Damien also becomes the 10th multiple winner in the history of the championship, moving to two titles alongside TJ O’Riordan, Joe Fitzgerald, David Hayden, Sean Downes and Mark Millar on the Roll of Honour.
- Only Ray Murphy, John Walsh and Sean Downes have won more national individual gent’s championships (Matchplay and Strokeplay) than Damien who sits beside Kevin Rogers, Joe Doyle, Gus Carolan, Joe Fitzgerald, David Hayden, Sean Harkins, Liam O’Donovan and Mark Millar on that particular list.
- Damien Fleming is the seventh reigning National Strokeplay Champion to win the National Matchplay the following year. Darren Collins, Sean Downes, David Hayden, Kevin McDonnell and Ray Murphy (twice) are the previous players to achieve that feat.
- Bryan Delaney contested his third final. Having lost the 2015 decider to John Walsh at Lakeside, Bryan becomes the ninth multiple runner-up in National Gents Matchplay history, joining Ray Matthews, Mick Forrest, John O'Leary, Sean Downes and Darren Collins as two-time losing finalists.
- Bryan Delaney is the fifth defending champion in history and the first since Chris Scannell in 2010 to lose the final the following year (John Walsh, Sean Downes and John O’Leary are the others).
- Bryan Delaney’s fifth semi-final since 2012 gives him a record of W3 L2.
- The National Gent’s Matchplay final was decided in sudden death for the first time since 1985.
- The seven winners of the National Gent’s Matchplay championship at Rocklodge have represented Munster clubs. The first four were from Cork; the three most recent champions were from outside Cork.
- Four time National Ladies Matchplay champion Margaret Hogan reached the Semi-Final for the 21st time – second only to Geraldine Ward’s 23. Margaret’s record in the last four stands at W11 L10.
- Breda White appeared in the National Ladies Matchplay Semi-Finals for the sixth time. Her record is W2 L4.
- Mary Murray is the first player to win the National Ladies Matchplay Championship over her home course since Mildred Murray at Shandon in 1981.
- Mary also becomes the first winner of the National Ladies Matchplay championship from Cork since Norma O'Brien at Lakewood in 1991.
- A Cork v. Kildare pairing in the National Ladies Matchplay final for the first time since 1973 when Clare Keating beat Mary Snell at Bagenalstown.
- Chrissie Byrne’s fifth runners-up slot sees her reach the same mark as Teresa McGuigan who lost five finals between 1961 and 1977.
- Chrissie has lost the final in each of the last three years, which sees the Ryston player join Margaret Hogan (1982-84) on that unwanted landmark.
- Chrissie Byrne was involved in her 14th National Ladies Matchplay semi-final of which she has won 10.
- In the 11 National Ladies and Gents Matchplays held at Rocklodge, Teresa McGuigan (Shandon) in 1966 remains the only winner to represent a Leinster club.
- Mary Murray is the first member of Rocklodge to win a national championship over her home course since Eileen Dilworth took the National Strokeplay at Rocklodge in 1967.
- Breda White has now twice ended the title aspirations of a National Ladies Matchplay champion who was seeking a four-in-row. Clare Keating lost in the 1978 quarter-finals (at the 37th) to Breda in Dunlops when the Woodvale legend was seeking the four-timer. In 2019 at Rocklodge, Breda was a 1up Quarter-Final victor over Portmarnock’s Geraldine Ward, the Matchplay winner for the last three years.
- 2014 National Ladies Junior Strokeplay Champion Sarah O’Neill’s victory in the National Ladies Matchplay Nett Cup evokes memories of fellow Collins player Pat McCarthy’s 1991 win in the short-lived National Ladies Intermediate Matchplay championship.
- Sarah O’Neill’s parents also won national Pitch and Putt championships – mother Mary Looney (RIP) the National Ladies O-55 Intermediate Strokeplay in 2005 and father Finbarr Looney the Junior Gents equivalent in 2012.
- Finalists in the respective separate events at Rocklodge, Patsy O’Donovan (Collins) and Mary Murray (Rocklodge) actually played each other in the Munster Intermediate Matchplay decider at Bruff in 2017. Victory went to Mary on that occasion. Patsy beat Mary when they contested the 2009 Munster Matchplay Semi-Final at Castleisland.
- Former Dublin Ladies Junior Strokeplay and Matchplay Champion Christine Mulvey (Glenville) became the first player from the capital to contest the National Ladies Matchplay Nett Cup Semi-Finals.
- 2016 Munster Ladies Junior Strokeplay Champion Margaret O’Donovan (Bruff) was eliminated in the National Ladies Matchplay Nett Cup Semi-Finals, the same stage that the 2015 National Ladies Junior Strokeplay bronze medalist exited the 2019 Munster Ladies Matchplay Championship.
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