O'Flaherty is eying a fourth Lee Valley Scratch Cup title

O'Flaherty is eying a fourth Lee Valley Scratch Cup title
Gary O'Flaherty in action in Lee Valley at the Boylesports Senior Scratch Cup last year.Picture: Niall O'Shea

GARY O’Flaherty is a fan of Lee Valley, and it’s easy to see why.

The Cork Golf Club stalwart has racked up four wins at the Ovens venue, including three scratch cup titles. The Boylesports Lee Valley Senior Scratch Cup returns in two weeks time and excitement is building for the challenging 54 hole event.

With two consecutive wins, O’Flaherty is on for a historic hat-trick and will be the man to beat. Outside of his natural skill, Gary maintains that the secret to his success in Lee Valley is quite simple.

“It just seems to fit my eye, horses for courses as they say.”

But Gary adds that it’s not just the course that makes the scratch cup a special event. “It’s from the minute you arrive at Lee Valley, you’re made to feel welcome, nothing is an issue,” explained Gary.

“You’re looked after like your one of their own members.

“The Keohane family especially, as well as the members, really put a lot of effort into ensuring the tournament is a success.

“The golf course is always presented in superb condition, no matter what weather we have had in the lead-up.

“Peggy and everyone in the bar and restaurant cater for all our needs, and you’re never waiting very long, which makes a huge difference compared to other events in the calendar.

“I wish them all well again this year, and hopefully, I’ll be lifting the cup again.”

While O’Flaherty is probably favourite on past form, a strong field means that he won’t have it all his own way.

Current Irish internationals James Sugrue, Rob Brazill and Tiernan McLarnon will be looking to win their first Lee Valley while a host of other internationals and interprovincial players will also be hoping to take the title from O’Flaherty.

2016 winner Colm Campbell will also make a return to Lee Valley, he missed out last year due to a long term injury and is looking forward to another competitive outing in Cork.

Tournament Director Vincent Drinan is in his tenth year of running the event and he reports strong interest from the top amateurs with golfers travelling from all over the country.

The closing date for entries is today, so this is a last call for anyone interested in playing.

Two rounds take place on Saturday, April 27, with the top 30 golfers going through to Sunday’s final round.

Boylesports are back on board as main sponsors after a great event in 2018, and Peter Tuite from Boylesports is delighted to be returning to Cork for the 2019 staging.

“The Lee Valley Scratch Cup is a fantastic event run by a great people in a beautiful surroundings, I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the staff and members of Lee Valley last year,” said Peter.

“They have created a special atmosphere in the club that should be cherished.”

Peter is looking forward to attending the event and watching some of the top players in action.

“I’m really looking forward to it, Vince has mentioned some the entrants and it’s all quality. Many of the top players who competed in the West will be challenging at Lee Valley but for me, it’s not just about the established guys.

“Mel Deasy made his Lee Valley SSC debut last year at 15 years of age, his career has been on a steep upward curve since, he was leading qualifier in the West recently so hopefully another exciting prospect will be unearthed in this year’s event.”

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