A LONG but ultimately successful trip to Chile for an Irish Pitch & Putt contingent happened over the St Patrick’s Day weekend as they contributed to a European victory in the first ever intercontinental style tournament vs. South America (the Fernando Morgano Trophy). The concurrent Chilean Open was won by current Irish Senior Mens Strokeplay Champion Mark Millar from the Cement club in Co. Louth.
Millar won with a 54 hole total of level par at the punishing and demanding Puerto Velero course in the South American country as Ireland locked out the Top Four positions in the Singles event. Former Irish Open winner and member of Ireland’s 2016 World Cup winning team Eamon Gibney was the only player to shoot an under par round in the event with a one under par 53 as fellow team member and current Irish Matchplay holder John Ross Crangle from Loughlinstown in Dublin was third. Former European Strokeplay winner Ian Farrelly from Bellewstown, Co Meath was fourth meanwhile.
All four contributed to the Morgado Trophy win alongside Dublin native Alan Hanlon of the Collinstown in Westmeath club who won two of his four matches in the event. Both Irish Individual Champions in Millar and Crangle won their four matches as Farrelly won three out of a possible four points. Millar was co-captain for the 24½ to 9½ European win over South America alongside Catalan Manuel Amor.
Irish contribution towards the European success bodes well for the European Team Championship in Urduna in the Basque Country in June as Ireland will seek to add to the World Cup title they won in Andorra two years ago. The six person team event for which a 54 hole trial is due to be held to decide the Irish representatives amongst the Top 30 in the Mens rankings alongside the Top 10 in the Ladies rankings.
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