Monkstown golfer Donal McDonnell lands his first senior scratch cup 

Monkstown golfer Donal McDonnell lands his first senior scratch cup 
Donal McDonnell Jnr won the Fota Island Senior Scratch Cup on Sunday. Picture: Niall O'Shea 

DONAL McDONNELL and Fionn Hickey were the big winners over the weekend, they both picked up silverware in the form of senior scratch cups.

Fota Island held their annual showpiece on Sunday, again in association with Top Golfer. There was a full timesheet for the event on the Deerpark course, and the three-time Irish Open venue proved itself yet again as nobody could break par.

Although the course was in great condition, it did play all of its 6,927 yards. Donal McDonnell from Monkstown was the winner after four players tied on 73.

McDonnell took the title ahead of John O’Brien (Castlemartyr), Kieran Kennedy (Thurles) and David Howard (Fota Island).

The Monkstown golfer is a regular on Monkstown’s successful Senior Cup team and has a provincial winners medal, Donal is also Junior Officer in Monkstown.

This was his first senior scratch cup title and needless to say he was delighted with his win.

Although he was four over par at the turn, McDonnell put together a great back nine. He shot two under for the second nine, and finished 3,3,4 which was crucial in terms of his placing for the countback.

Although the top four were tied, John O’Brien took second place, Kennedy was third and David Howard was fourth.

Howard had a busy weekend, on Saturday the four handicapper shot a 75 in Muskerry in the Ford Junior Scratch Trophy qualifier, and on Sunday he beat his handicap by two when he shot the 73.

Anyone looking to play Fota this week can take advantage of their Masters Week specials, full details are available from the pro shop.

On Saturday Fionn Hickey claimed his second scratch cup when he won the East Cork Senior Scratch Cup.

The 16-year-old came away with the title after beating Kinsale’s Mark Healy on the countback. A birdie on Hickey’s final hole (15th) proved crucial in the end after both golfers shot a 70 (+1).

Fermoy’s Dean O’Riordan took third place with a 71.

The first nett prize went to Bandon’s Michael O’Neill with a 68, while East Cork’s Kieran O’Brien was second nett with 69.

The scratch cup was sponsored by McGuirks and was the first of a few events that will mark the club’s 50th anniversary.

James Sugrue finished up the best of the Cork golfers at the West of Ireland in Co Sligo on Friday. Sugrue carded a disappointing 78 in his final round having gone under par on Friday and Saturday.

Mel Deasy (Lee Valley) was also inside the top twenty in his first championship. The 16 year old from Ballincollig won the qualifier last week to earn a place in the championship, and two opening rounds of 73 had him in a good position after 36 holes.

He matched par on Saturday, recording his first eagle on the 5th at the famous course, and on Sunday he closed with a very positive 73.

The solid scores means that Deasy has dropped two shots over the course of the tournament.

He started the qualifier playing off a handicap of 1, and because he beat the CSS on all five days he’ll now tee it up from his new handicap of +1.

Crucially, that improvement should see him gain entry into the Munster Strokeplay which takes place in Cork in three weeks time.

The only other Cork golfer to play all four rounds was Greg O’Mahony from Fota Island. Greg made the cut (top 50) right on the mark of +10 after the third round.

He will be disappointed with his final round however, a double on the par five 3rd hole was followed by a card-wrecking 10 on the seventh hole.

He recovered on the back nine, coming home in level par. Gary Ward missed out on the final round by one shot, but Cathal Butler and Peter O’Keeffe missed out by a few shots following a disappointing few days.

Next up on the schedule is the Boyle Sports Lee Valley Senior Scratch Cup which takes place after Easter.

Another bumper field is planned for the 54 hole event with several Irish internationals confirmed. Holder Gary O’Flaherty will be looking to add another title to his growing list.

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