Cork Golf: Muskerry's Barry Keane wins Bruen Youths trophy in style

Dean Browne and Fionn Hickey finished in second and third respectively
Cork Golf: Muskerry's Barry Keane wins Bruen Youths trophy in style

Bruen Youths winner Barry Keane pictured with his dad Denis. Picture: Niall O'Shea

MUSKERRY’S Barry Keane won the Bruen Youths, adding his name to the list of winners on the famous trophy.

Keane, 16, had a great start; birdies on the second and third set the tone and he had another birdie on the seventh to get to three-under at the turn. Another birdie followed on the 10th and while two bogies followed on the closing holes, Keane had done enough to claim the win.

Blarney’s Dean Browne took second place, he was only one shot behind after shooting a one-under-par 70. Holder Fionn Hickey put up a good defence of his title, he shot a level par 71 for third place.

The qualifier for the Muskerry Junior Scratch Trophy took place last weekend and attracted the usual high level of interest. The top 64 golfers from the two days of qualifying now go forward to the matchplay stage which takes place next week.

Barry Keane receiving the Bruen Youths cup from David Bruen. Also included are Muskerry Captain Conor O'Connell and sponsor Richie Cahill. Picture: Niall O'Shea
Barry Keane receiving the Bruen Youths cup from David Bruen. Also included are Muskerry Captain Conor O'Connell and sponsor Richie Cahill. Picture: Niall O'Shea

Muskerry have a new sponsor on board for 2021, Ryans SuperValu are the title sponsor and this continues their strong interest in local amateur golf. John Paul Ryan will face Robert Kiely at 7.30am on Friday September 17, marking the first of 63 matches that will take place over three days.

The eventual winner will need to survive six rounds of matchplay over the challenging course in Muskerry.

Playing two rounds a day, the challenge will be mental as well as physical. 2020 winner Sean Duggan is not in the field as his handicap is too low, but previous winners Jerry Manley, Liam Harte, and John McSweeney have qualified.

While a few previous winners have gone on to win a second time, the chances are high that there will be a new name on the trophy when the competition is finished. Muskerry has been hosting the unique matchplay competition since 1970.

Cork’s Pat Lyons produced a great second round in Rosslare last week to claim the Leinster Seniors title with a one-under total for his 36 holes. His three-under-par 69 included seven birdies including one on the last which helped him to a better final 36. That meant that he claimed the win from Jody Fanagan who also finished on -1. Fota Island’s Sean Alley also continued his good form with a third-place finish.

SENIORS OPEN

The last event on the Seniors schedule is the Irish Seniors Open and that should also decide the Seniors Order of Merit. 

Karl Bornemann, John O’Brien, Kieran McCarthy, and Paty Lyons hold the top four places on the OOM so there will be a strong Cork interest in the final event. 

Bornemann won the Irish Seniors Close, O’Brien won in Munster and while McCarthy hasn’t won so far this season, his impressive form would indicate that he’s capable of picking up a win in Donegal next month.

Karl Bornemann and John O’Brien were on Irish duty in Slovakia last week for the European Seniors Team Championships. Both Cork golfers contributed to Ireland’s second-place standing after the two rounds of the strokeplay qualifiers. After that, Ireland won again, Sweden, but lost to France in a surprise semi-final. That set Ireland up for a bronze medal match against England, with Ireland coming out on top to claim third place.

Ian Bohane created a bit of history in Lee Valley last weekend; he shot a new course record. Bohane was playing in the 36-hole club championship. Bohane was nine under par after 15, thanks to nine birdies and six pars when he crossed over the road to play the last three.

The closing stretch in Lee Valley is challenging and most golfers would happily play to their handicap but Ian wasn’t finished. After pars on the 18th and 17th he added another birdie on the closing par four, and recorded a course record 64. Tiarnan McLarnon was the previous course record holder when he shot a 65 in the 2019 Lee Valley Senior Scratch Cup.

RETURN

The first Monday of September saw a regular event return to Cork Golf Club, the Eileen Murphy Foursomes. Qualifiers from every club in Munster were invited to take part in the stableford competition, named in honour of one of Cork’s most influential lady golfers.

Eileen Murphy was a longstanding stalwart of ladies golf. Her interest was in progressing the game when few ladies had the opportunity to play and even less to be members of a club. She was known for her strict adherence to the rules and etiquette of the game, and she encouraged young girls to play and helped them by playing with them and smoothing their path to becoming members of club. Eileen was Lady Captain of Cork in 1932 and Lady President for five years from 1968 to 1973.

After that, she became involved in regional administration serving the southern district in every role and, indeed, becoming very involved in the early running of the ILGU. The winners on the day were Doneraile.

Frances Cremin Power and Grace O’Driscoll produced the best score of the day from the 33 pairs. They came in with a score of 43 three points to beat Bandon’s Mona Cleary and Anne Cullinane by one point. Tipperary took third place, beating Ballybunion on the countback.

Cork will host the Munster Strokeplay early next month and there has been a record entry for the 72- hole event. Shorter days mean the event will have a limited field of 66 and with entries exceeding 170 the projected cut was expected to be around +2.5.

After the original draw, Ian O’Rourke, Gary O’Flaherty, Mel Deasy, and Eoghan Cassidy are all high up on the reserve list. Normally they could all expect to make the start list, but with a smaller field they will be hoping for a few withdrawals. The event will be played on October 2 and 3.

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