National Matchplay Draw- Gents Profiles

An overview of the 64 players whose names will be going into the hat tonight in the Templemore Arms Hotel.

National Matchplay Draw- Gents Profiles image

1. John Walsh – Collins. Seeded #1, Ranked #1. Unbelievable start to the season winning at least three Scratch Cups in as many weeks. Knows the course well and will relish the fact that he is reigning champion. No player wants to draw him.

2. Ray Murphy – St Annes. Seeded #2. Won National Strokeplay at Lakeside in 2000 but has gone on to become one of the all-time greats since that win. Arguably the biggest name in the sport, has a fine start to the season and Lakeside is a course he has tasted success on in the past. Serious threat.

3. Liam O’Donovan, Seeded #3, two-time National Champion & first player to break the infamous 10-under par Lakeside course record approx 20 years ago, shooting -12. Won Munster Strokeplay at Lakeside in 2001 and has won the Scratch Cup in the past also. A very strong contender.

4. John Crangle Seeded #4, knocking on the door for a National Title for some time now, the Lakeside course is sure to suit his style of play and a player who thrives in Matchplay. Will start as one of the favourites and rightly so.

5. Gerry Coyne- Lough Owel. Qualifying from Westmeath is no mean feat and the Lough Owel man’s native course is long which should stand to him in Lakeside.

6. Sean Harkins– Ryston. Two time National Matchplay Champion, will have a long time knowledge of the Lakeside course. Fine start to the season and will be looking forward to any match he will be given.

7. Joe Ronan- McDonagh. The Kildare man had a great run in the 2013 National Matchplay getting to the semi-final and his own course in McDonagh is similar to Lakeside and he has a serious chance of doing well.

8. Jim Judge (Jnr) - Erin's Isle, This former Louth Inter-County man is a real sticky match player and did very well to qualify from a tough group in Dublin. He will give any opponent trouble.

9. Martin Carter – Collinstown. Making his debut and no better man to warrant a place at this year’s finals. He will relish the occasion of taking anyone on and he will certainly give it his all.

10. Anthony Galvin – Tullamore. Seasoned player within Offaly circles and will fancy his chances of doing well in Lakeside. Not a player to be underestimated in any fashion.

11. Ronan Loughnane – Lakeside. Back in 2012 he won the County Strokeplay at Lakeside and this clearly indicates how good he can be on his local patch. Qualified from seriously tough group and will fancy his chances against anyone. Write him off at your peril!

12. Michael Buckley – Collinstown. Has a lot of experience at this level, he will give anyone trouble and his own course once again is similar in length to Lakeside.

13. Thomas Hanley - Bruff, seasoned Limerick Inter-County player who has a great ability to score low and will know the course very well. Dangerous game for anyone.

14. William Fitzgerald – Ryston. Former Hillview player Willie John has enjoyed much success since his move to Ryston. Knows Lakeside very well and a fine player who will not be fazed by anyone.

15. Brian Barry - St. Anne's. Has enjoyed a fine start to the season and will fancy his chances of doing well at Lakeside. Another player who has come through the grades and to qualify out of Cork, you have to be playing well.

16. Damien Fleming – Deerpark. Winner back in 2011 and beaten in last year’s final. Lakeside is a course that will suit his style. Has been somewhat quiet this year so far but that was the same last year and he made the final. A serious player who will be classed as one of the favourites.

17. Sean Buckley – Erry. The Erry stalwart makes a welcome return to the Matchplay and he will certainly go about his business as he always does in a fine fashion. No pushover for anyone.

18. Christopher Gallagher – Lucan. A seriously good player and one of the players to rejuvenate Dublin at recent Inter-County tournaments. Played Lakeside back in 2005 for Dublin at the National Inter County and will be a very tough match for anyone. Expect a strong showing. 

19. Shane Murphy - Raffeen Creek. This young Cork player won't fear anyone and will fancy his chances very much. Learning his trade well having won the National Intermediate Strokeplay in the recent past.

20. Paul O'Brien – Lakeside. Another local man who loves the one-on-one Matchplay format. Beaten finalist in 2007 and on home soil should prove a tough match for anyone.

21. Jason Meehan – Athgarvan. When you qualify out of Kildare you have to be playing well and whilst a lot might not be known about this player in this side of the country, anyone who qualifies deserves the utmost respect.

22. Barry McQuillan – Seapoint. Whilst there was a small entry from Louth the competition for a place was fierce. Tough competitor who could do well.

23. Ian Dillon - St. Bridget's. This ever present Kildare Inter-County player is a prolific scorer and very dangerous for anyone in the draw and could see him going very well in Lakeside.

24. James Ryan - Tipperary Hills. Won the 2014 Lakeside Scratch Cup and is reigning Munster Strokeplay Champion. Determined player who has the ability & credentials to beat anyone in the draw. 

25. Ché Maher – Parteen. One of the young guns from Parteen who will thrive in this environment and will pose a threat to anyone if he finds his true form.

26. John O'Meara – Riverdale. This Nenagh man has years of knowledge of this course and is a dangerous match player and is a previous Scratch Cup winner. Tough match for whoever draws him. 

27. Kevin McCarthy – Rocklodge. In becoming the 2012 National Matchplay Champion at Claycastle this player will be ready if the conditions get tough at Lakeside. One to watch.

28. Bryan Delaney – E.S.B. Enjoying a fine start to the season, has always played Lakeside well and is a previous National Strokeplay Champion back in 2009 and is a regular Cork Inter-County player. Serious dark horse.

29. Chris Scannell – Collins. Previous Lakeside Scratch Cup winner, has a great record in the National Matchplay and was winner back in 2010. A serious contender and will be short odds and for very good reason.

30. George McGreal - Old County. Leinster Senior Strokeplay winner back in 2010 highlights how good he can be. If he brings his A game he could well go far.

31. Stephen Murray - Old County. A fantastic player when on form and knows the Lakeside course pretty well. A very solid player who gives nothing away. Could be very dangerous.

32. Martin Keohane – Bruff. His game has somewhat blossomed since his move to Bruff. Having a fine season so far this year and will prove very troublesome for any opponent.

33. Padraig Sarsfield – McBride. Played Lakeside a few years ago in an Irish Open qualifier and has started the season well so far. Could surprise a few people.

34. Ian Leech - St. Annes. A very fine player who again has come through the grades in recent times. Has been known to take out a few big names in the Inter Club and will fancy his chances of a scalp at Lakeside.

35. Pat Norton – Ryston. Somewhat unknown down this side of the country but those players are always potential banana skins. Qualified out of Kildare so he certainly knows how to win.

36. Cian Morrison – Douglas. Fine up and coming player who won't be fazed by the atmosphere and could do very well if he plays to his potential.

37. Jason O'Regan- Tralee. This Kerry Inter-County stalwart knows the course well going back as far as the Munster Juvenile Matchplay in 1990. Has always excelled at Lakeside and if he pitches to his usual high levels, he will be a serious opponent as he has a great record in Matchplay.

38. Donal Duggan - St. Annes. Runner-Up in the National Strokeplay in 2013, the Cork man evidently showed he can mix it with the best around. Tigerish performer who will relish a match with anyone.

39. Liam Myers - St. Annes. Has enjoyed a fine start to the season and is an ever present on the St Annes All Ireland Inter Club winning team in recent years. Has the potential to go far at Lakeside.

40. Dean Grannell - St. Patricks. Very underrated but exceptionally talented player who on his day will give anyone a serious problem. Could do very well if hits form.

41. Joseph McGrath (Jnr)–Erry. Another player who has enjoyed a fine start to the season and this could prove pivotal for Joe at Lakeside.

42. Michael Fennell – Lakeside. Makes his long overdue debut at Lakeside and could be known as the “quiet assassin of the championships”. Will be a serious danger on his home patch. 

43. Eoin Walsh – Collins. The Corkman reached the final back in 2012 which indicates that if Lakeside is to play anyway tough, he has the tools at his disposal to stand out from the rest of the players. He is a serious threat over the weekend.

44. Gerard Palmer – Tullamore. Another of the Offaly contingent to qualify and to come out of Offaly you need to be playing at your best.

45. Anthony Culhane - Tipperary Hills. The Tipp Inter-County player continues to rise in the rankings since his return to the game. Vast knowledge of the course and scoring ability will not harm his confidence in taking on the best.

46. Richard Bunyan – Listowel. May not be that well known outside of Kerry but to qualify from the Kingdom indicates that he is on top form. Has experience of Matchplay success as well having won the Kerry Junior Championship back in 2010.

47. Darren Reilly – Collinstown. Again his home course is similar to that of Lakeside and this should stand him in good stead as he grows into the Championship.

48. Kieran Earls – Parteen. Having a great start to the season and this Limerick Inter-County player is another with great knowledge of this course. One to watch!

49. Ger Hanrahan - Cill Na Móna. Will know the course exceptionally well as he has been a great supporter of the Lakeside Scratch Cup. Hopefully he will play to his true potential.

50. Aengus Coughlan – Erry. Beat some high profile names in Offaly to get his name in the draw. If he brings his Club form to Lakeside he will give a few players some serious headaches. Could be a surprise package.

51. Dom Scully – Laytown. Coming from such a great course like Laytown, it is quite obvious that he can play and whilst not maybe knowing the course all that well, we hope he does well.

52. Jason Larkin - Erin's Isle. Highly talented and to come out of the draw he had in Dublin is a high indicator that he is somewhat back to his best.

53. Shane Hoare - Larkspur Park. Good to see this Cashel man getting back to form. Years of playing this course will be of huge benefit and if he plays to his form from a few years ago he will be prove troublesome.

54. Junior Smith – R.G.S.C. Junior is a serious player with buckets of experience and the highly respected Dublin player will be a tough nut to crack.

55. Darren Keogh – Ryston. Kildare's Public Relations Officer on his day can mix it with anyone and he likes Lakeside and will relish taking on anyone here.

56. Eamon Gibney – Castletown. The 2014 Irish Open Champion is sure to show that same metal around this tough Lakeside course. He will love this course and he could do exceptionally well.

57. John Cahill - Fermoy, This former National Strokeplay Champion just two weeks ago came second in the Lakeside Scratch Cup, his first time playing in the event. This indicates where his game is and he will have a big impact at Lakeside.

58. Darren O'Reilly – C.P.M. Excellent when it comes to Matchplay and was champion back in 2003. If he performs to his maximum he will carry a major threat.

59. Mortimer Galvin – Listowel. The Listowel man raised many eyebrows with his display some years ago in Glenville, if he reaches that level again in his game, he can shock a few.

60. Charlie Morrissey - Raffeen Creek. His father played the Matchplay back in 1989 at Lakeside and now his son follows in his footsteps. Charlie a fine player in his own right and has youth on his side and being National Juvenile Strokeplay Champion he will fear nothing.

61. Paul Nolan - Erin's Isle. The ever steady Nolan would have played Lakeside before and will certainly if he reaches his true game, carry a big threat with him.

62. Paul Tobin - St. Patrick's. Wonderful player who can mix it with the best. He will be a serious danger to anyone he plays. He could do very well at Lakeside and has started the season well.

63. Ian Farrelly- Bellewstown. The European Strokeplay Champion knows the Lakeside course pretty well and has been playing well of late. A very tough opponent.

64. Darren O'Connell – Tullamore. The Offaly man has enjoyed success already this year and has played well at Lakeside just two weeks ago. If he gets his putter going in Lakeside he could well do some damage.

To follow: Ladies Profiles.