National Gents Strokeplay Build-Up: Day Two

A look at the Intermediate field for Killineer

National Gents Strokeplay Build-Up: Day Two image

John Manning takes a look at the field taking part in the Intermediate event in Killineer in this preview


Tribute to the trio’s longevity as accomplished players is the presence in the intermediate line-up of three past champions from the last century – John Looney, Ger Kehoe and Michael Herlihy.


Cork County Board Secretary John Looney (Collins) won at Portmarnock back in 1987. John will be accompanied in the final group on Saturday by Ger Kehoe, who triumphed at Ferrybank  three years later. Ger's ESB clubmate Michael Herlihy took the title at Collins in 1995 and was runner-up at St. Stephen’s last year (in the covid-delayed 2020 Championship).


Other Cork players to look out for are 1979 County Junior Strokeplay champion Jim Aherne (Collins), 2011 County Junior Matchplay and Strokeplay kingpin Bryan Murphy (Raffeen Creek) along with 2019 National Scotch Foursomes runner-up and two-time Cork Junior Strokeplay winner Ian Leech (St. Annes).


2010 Leinster Gents Strokeplay champion David Hayden II (Lucan) headed the Dublin qualifiers at Lucan. A Leinster Inter-Club winner with Lucan in 2006, Dave is joined by fellow Dubliners like Albert Mithen (Loughlinstown), the 2005 National Over 55s champion, reigning County Matchplay champion David Lee (Lucan) and 2000 County Junior Strokeplay champ Gerry Ward (Lucan).


2021 Dublin Strokeplay champion Chris Cawley (Loughlinstown) is in the Killineer field as is his 2019 counterpart Robert Berney (Old County).


Eric Doyle (Lucan) captured the 2014 Dublin Junior Strokeplay while Tom McMorrow (Lucan) has been a Leinster Inter-County winner with the Dubs and their club-mate Fergal Power has twice been Dublin Junior Strokeplay runner-up.


Leading Kildare qualifier John Kennedy (McDonagh) placed third in the 2018 Leinster Strokeplay Championship. Cathal O'Toole (Athgarvan) has represented Kildare at juvenile level while former All Ireland O55 Gents Junior Grade Strokeplay champion Aidan Whelan (McDonagh) has helped Kildare to provincial Inter-County honours.


Meath Inter-County player Gerry Thompson (Castletown) impressively topped the leaderboard at the Meath qualifiers ahead of Stephen Knight (Royal Meath) who was Best Nett winner in this championship at St. Stephens for 2020.


Willo McNally (Stackallen) is a former National Over 55 Gents Intermediate Strokeplay winner while Paddy Kelly (Trim) has been a prolific winner at 2022 Opens and Scratch Cups. Paddy’s club-mate John Troy is another player with Inter-County experience.


Proud Offaly man John Fleming (Tullamore) was third in the National Strokeplay (senior grade) at Tullamore back in 2003 while he took second place in the 2018 National Over 55 Gents Intermediate Strokeplay. Erry’s John Meehan claimed fourth spot in the 2003 All Junior Strokeplay Championship while Willy Clear (Tullamore) was a third place finisher at the 2018 Leinster Junior Strokeplay championship.


Michael Brennan (Tipperary Hills) was twice a prize winner in the National Mixed Team Event (2013 and 2015).


A Leinster Junior Inter-County winner in 2014 with Wexford, Mark Kirwan is joined by his St. Patrick’s colleague Sean Cullen, who captured Best Nett in the 2021 National Strokeplay championship at Stackallen.


Declan Matthews (Seapoint) was a Carrolls Club Tournament runner-up in 1993 while Gel Martin (Killineer) has seen much Inter-County success with Louth. John O’Shea played on the Cunnigar team that claimed the 2005 National Team Event at Hillview.


Leading qualifier in The Kingdom, Bobby McCarron (Listowel) was a Juvenile Inter-County winner with Kerry and a former Munster U16 Matchplay Plate winner. Ger Casey (Deerpark) finished fourth in this championship at Tralee thirteen years ago. Keith O’Brien (Tralee) and Killian O’Gorman (Listowel) both made the play-off at Navan last year. Roger Guthrie (Tralee) was a prize winner at the 2022 Munster Scotch Foursomes while James Fleming (Deerpark) made the 2018 play-off at Glenville and is a past Munster Inter-County winner with Kerry.

Michael Dinnegan (Lough Owel) was a third place finisher in the 2022 Leinster Junior Strokeplay. David Kiernan (Lough Owel) has been a provincial Inter-County winner with Westmeath while Lee Stynes (Lough Owel) is another Westmeath Inter-County player. This year’s Leinster Scotch Foursomes saw Mark Newman (Rochfortbridge) on the prize podium while Irish international John Carton (Kilbeggan) was All Ireland Over 55 Intermediate Grade Strokeplay champion in 2013.

Emmet Fitzgerald (Ardnacrusha) has featured on successful Ard Scoil Rís and Limerick teams. Dom Kavanagh (Bruff) was crowned Munster Junior Matchplay champion in 2017 having defeated Bryan Mason (Bruff) in the semi-finals. Experienced campaigner Billy O'Donovan (Bruff) was runner-up in the Carrolls Club Tournament final 25 years ago and has seen much success in team events since.

Tomorrow: We preview the Junior event in Ringcommons.