MONKSTOWN’S Sean Desmond won the Munster Students title in Tipperary last week, claiming his first championship title.
It was a steady three rounds for Desmond, holding onto an overnight lead as he headed into the final round.
It was a tale of two rounds on the opening day, the Monkstown member opened with a 75, but bounced back strongly in the afternoon with a three under par 69.
“We didn’t get to play a practice round due to the rain and we only walked it the day before so the first round was almost a practice round,” said Desmond, who celebrated his 21st birthday recently.
“I was a lot more aggressive in the second round, played quite well and felt very comfortable on the course even though it was playing really tricky.”
On level par, Desmond led the tournament by one shot after 36 holes, and it was his first time to sleep on a lead before the final round.
“I’ve been in the final group a few times before so that definitely helped, but going out as the leader was a new experience.
“I just tried to enjoy it and to take it shot by shot because I knew if I played solid it was going to be tough for the others to catch me.”
And it played out for Desmond as planned.
A birdie on the fourth put him into the red on -1 for the tournament, but he bogeyed the next hole to go back to level par.
Another bogey followed on the 10th but that was the last error and the Monkstown man parred his way back to the clubhouse to finish on +1 for the tournament.
Paul Conroy (Enniscorthy) took second place after a closing 72, two shots behind on +3 while Tom Dowdall (Woodbrook) took third place on +6.
Maynooth A, represented by Darragh Flynn, Aaron Ryan and Robert Abernethy won the team prize.
Gary Ward was the next best Cork player, he was tenth while Paul Tobin and Mark Healy both finished in the top twenty.
Desmond now adds his name to a famous list of winners on the Munster Youths Cup, and needless to say, he was delighted with the win.
“It feels great,” said Desmond.
“It really does. My game has been trending and I’ve been practicing pretty hard since college finished for the summer so it feels really really good.
“There are some great names on that trophy so it’s nice to join them.”
After a busy few weeks of golf in Ireland and Scotland, Desmond now has a few quiet weeks before the majors return with the South of Ireland in Lahinch in July.
Three Cork golfers were in action in Scotland last weekend at the St Andrew’s Links Trophy.
Play on the Jubilee and Old courses in St Andrews, the event has been a happy hunting ground for Irish golfers in recent years, with Kinsale’s John Murphy winning in 2018 after a dramatic sudden-death play-off.
Murphy was back in East Scotland last week but rounds of 73 and 73 meant that he missed the cut.
The was a much better start for Peter O’Keeffe and James Sugrue.
The Irish internationals both opened with 67’s (-5) in their opening rounds on the Jubilee Course.
Unfortunately, for O’Keeffe he went on to have a two over par 74 on the Old Course in the second round and missed the cut by one shot.
Sugrue kicked on in the second round, he had a great run of four birdies in the middle of his round in the home of golf.
It was part of a five bogies in six holes starting at the fifth.
Sugrue had three birdies on the back nine but bogies on the 15th and 17th before a closing par would see him sign for a four under par 68.
Although he was in 5th place, he was eight shots off the lead held by England’s Matty Lamb after a super 63 on Saturday.
Unfortunately, he drifted out of the top ten on Sunday when the top forty played 36 holes on the old course.
A 71 (-1) and a 75 (+3) meant that he would drop to 23rd in the final standings.