John Manning looks at the significance behind last Sunday’s play in Larkspur Park.
- Kieran Earls is the first player representing a Limerick club to win the National Gents’ Matchplay championship since Pat Hogan (Catholic Institute) won at Douglas in 1973.
- The 2020 Mens final was the first between players representing clubs in Limerick (for Pitch and Putt jurisdictional purposes) and Kildare since the 1973 decider at Douglas between Pat Hogan (Catholic Institute) and Andy Dempsey (Irish Ropes).
- The 2020 National Gents’ Matchplay final was the first since 2000 (Mark Millar v. Pacelli Darcy) not to involve at least one player from Cork.
- Kieran was the first player representing a Limerick club to contest the National Gents’ Matchplay championship final since Pacelli Darcy in millennium year. His winning margin in the 2020 National Gents’ Matchplay championship final is the biggest since Damien Fleming’s 9&8 victory in 2011.
- Ian Dillon is the fourth player from Kildare to be a National Gents’ Matchplay Championship Runner-Up, following Andy Dempsey (1973), Cathal Dunne (1994) and Eddie Carey (1997).
- Six-time champion Ray Murphy (St. Annes) has now contested 13 National Gents’ Matchplay semi-finals. His record is: W9; L4.
- Stephen O’Reilly is the first player from Hillview to contest a National Gents’ Matchplay semi-final since Pat Wall in 1962 at Ierne.
- Martha O’Brien (Lakeside) is the second player in history representing a Co. Tipperary club to win the National Ladies Matchplay championship. She is the sixteenth player in history to win both the National Ladies Matchplay championship and National Ladies Strokeplay championship.
- Her win meant that for the 14th time in history the reigning National Ladies Strokeplay champion won the National Ladies Matchplay championship the following year. Martha has also now contested two National Ladies Matchplay championship semi-finals. Her record is W1; L1.
- Martha became National Ladies Matchplay Champion for the first time after her maiden win in the National Ladies Strokeplay championship last year. The last player to win her first two National Ladies championships by that route was Marie Mallin who captured the 1986 Strokeplay at Royal Meath and then won the 1987 Matchplay at Ierne.
- She is also the 7th former National Girls’ Strokeplay champion to go on to win the National Ladies Matchplay championship.
- Breda White has now contested 9 National Ladies Matchplay semi-finals. Her record is W3; L6.
- Breda played in her first National Ladies Matchplay semi-final in 1979. That 41 year span between first and most recent appearance at that stage is second only to Margaret Hogan (1974-2019).
- Breda also becomes the 13th multiple losing finalist in National Ladies Matchplay Championship history. The gap of 32 years (1988-2020) between her first and most recent runner-up performance trumps Margaret Hogan’s 26 years (1978-2004).
- Shula McCarthy is the first player from Hillview to contest a National Ladies Matchplay semi-final since Brid Ryan at Fermoy in 2006.
- Maree O’Toole played in her second National Ladies Matchplay championship semi-final 37 years after her first – that was at Ierne in 1983.
- Tipperary supplied all four semi-finalists in the National Ladies Matchplay Nett Cup – that’s a first in the recently introduced event. Dublin supplied all four semi-finalists in the main championship at Glenville back in 1994 – Ger Ward, Barbara Farrell, Marian Marks and the late Peggy Campbell (RIP). The last four in the Gents Championship at Lakeside in 2015 were all from Cork – John Walsh, Bryan Delaney, John Cahill and Eoin Walsh.
- Three of the 2020 main ladies championship semi-finalists were from Tipperary. That’s a first for the Premier County. 1994 apart, the last time three ladies semi-finalists were from the same county was in 1993 at Hillview – Ger Ward, Sheelagh Elmes and Barbara Farrell
- Kieran Earls is the first Gents National Matchplay Champion (in Pitch & Putt history) to be crowned on a Sunday. Final has always been played on June Bank Holiday Monday or Whit Monday up to 1973.
- Last Ladies champion before Martha to be crowned on a Sunday was Geraldine Ward - on July 25th 1993.
- The 2020 ladies final was the 12th National Ladies Matchplay Championship decider to be contested by two players from the same county and the first time the two finalists were from Tipperary.
- Margaret Hennessy is the second player from Tipperary to win the All Ireland Ladies Matchplay Nett Cup.
- Lorraine Creed made the All Ireland Ladies Matchplay Nett Cup finals a year after she was an integral part of the winning team in the Munster Ladies Social Competition at Hillview in 2019.
- Elaine Quinn is the first player in history to reach two All-Ireland Ladies Matchplay Nett Cup semi-finals.
- Veronica Anglim qualified for the All Ireland Ladies Matchplay Nett Cup semi-finals on the same Larkspur Park course where she was 2019 Munster Junior Matchplay runner-up.
- Martha O’Brien (1st Round), Breda White (semi-finalist), Shula McCarthy (2nd Round) and Maree O’Toole (1st Round), all played in the National Ladies Matchplay championship on the last occasion it was played at Larkspur Park (in 2010) – performance then in parentheses.
- Ian Dillon (1st Round) and Ray Murphy (2nd Round) both played in the National Gents’ Matchplay on the last occasion it was played at Larkspur Park (in 2010) – performance then in parentheses.
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