FERMOY'S Dean O’Riordan emerged on top in Mallow Senior Scratch Cup, won the first 54 hole event to add his name to the cup.
O’Riordan has been playing really well all summer and on Sunday he got his win.
It was a wire to wire victory for O’Riordan, a five under par 67 on Saturday morning gave him a one shot lead over Lee Valley’s James Murray.
By Saturday evening the Fermoy man had a five hole lead thanks to a four under par 68 in the afternoon. He was the only golfer to shoot two rounds in the 60’s. He had an impressive field chasing him including Roscommon’s Thomas Higgins and 2019 winner Ben Murray.
Rain fell heavily on Sunday morning and the final round proved to be a mental and a physical battle as players managed wet hands and wet clubs in the rain. By the 10th the rain had cleared but O’Riordan had dropped two shots.
The field was also struggling and his lead was two with Thomas Higgins being the closest challenger. A birdie by Higgins on the 15th cut the lead to one but O’Riordan hung on and a great tee shot to 12 feet on the 18th guaranteed the win.
Dean was delighted with his win, and local knowledge had a bearing on his performance.
“Mallow was in super condition as it always is. It's a course I like to play and as it’s just over the road it's something I do a bit throughout the year. Two years ago I went ok there but one or two bad holes took a good finish off the table for me.”
“Weather wise it was wet for the first 6 holes and cleared up nicely for the rest of the day. Being 5 ahead I thought I had a comfortable lead but I started with a bogey and Tom birdied 1 and 2 and parred the 3rd, I bogeyed the 3rd, and Tom closed the lead to one teeing off 4, so it was a fight all the way in from there to hold the lead.”
O’Riordan prevailed and scooped his biggest win so far.
After the win Dean was quick to thank his coach Michael Collins who has been working with him for the last few years.
“My game has come on hugely since I started to work with him and my game definitely wouldn’t be as good without the help and the time that he has given me.”
2021 is definitely a year to remember for O’Riordan, as well as the Mallow win, he also had a hole in one in the South of Ireland Championship in Lahinch in July.
With a full timesheet and a waiting list, the Mallow Scratch Cup was another great success. This was the third staging of the scratch cup since Brian Attridge, Conor Dowling and James Sugrue restarted the event in 2019. With only a limited number of scratch cups taking place this year, the organisers took the opportunity to hold a 54 hole competition which meant it qualified for WAGR points. The event was again sponsored by Hegarty Building & Civil Engineering Contractors.
The Mallow Senior Scratch Cup was renamed this year in memory of Dan Butler. Dan passed away from cancer earlier this year, and it was very fitting that the senior scratch cup was named after him given his interest in senior golf.
Dan was a past Captain and President of Mallow Golf Club and scratch cup organiser Conor Dowling was delighted that Dan was honoured.
“He caddied for me in by first junior cup match, he was a lover of the game. He picked the Mallow Senior Cup teams for years and always watched and caddied in the senior scratch cups over the years.”
Dan was diagnosed with an aggressive form of liver cancer late last year and despite undergoing chemotherapy, the 70 year old decided to two kilometres a day to keep fit.
News of his plans soon spread and it turned into a fundraiser. With the help of Peter and Denise McKenna, €20,000 was raised for the Mercy Cancer appeal. Sadly Dan passed away in June but his memory will live on in the Dan Butler Senior Scratch Cup.
Attention now turns to Douglas where the club is hosting a 36 scratch cup for women and men. A total of 80 golfers will tee it up in one of the final events of the year. The men will play 36 holes from the tees on the new black course.
The par 70 course see’s new tee boxes in play on the 10th and the 13th while the 3rd and 18th have been reduced to par fours. The course was in play for the Munster Under 16 Boys Championship and just two golfers broke par.
This is the first women’s scratch cup to be played in Cork in several years and the ladies will also play 36 holes on the red course.
John Murphy continued his good form with a 12th place finish in Germany last week. Murphy along with James Sugrue were in action in the Big Green Egg Challenge. Both had a disappointing opening rounds of four over.
Sugrue couldn’t better his opening round and missed the cut but a second round 68 meant the Murphy was through to the weekend. A 70 on Saturday got him back to level par and Murphy saved the best for last.
A final round 65 including seven birdies saw Murphy jump 30 places in the leaderboard to finish in a tie for 12th. That also meant that he picked up a cheque for €3,500 which should cover his costs for the week. Murphy and his caddie Shane O’Connell travelled to France on Sunday, they were getting a early start to their preparation for the Hopps Open de Provence which starts today.
Murphy is currently in top 85 in the Challenge Tour rankings and another good result this week would be a real boost in gaining a tour card for next year. After this week Murphy is planning to head to the US for the Korn Ferry qualifying school.
The secondary PGA Tour is on a par with the European Tour and a tour card in the US would guarantee John a full schedule next year. Getting a Korn Ferry card will be tough though, with three qualifying stages taking place over five weeks.
While Murphy is in France, James Sugrue travelled from Germany to Holland. He has secured a start in the European Tour’s Dutch Open in Cromvoirt. This is a great opportunity for Sugrue to build up some momentum and secure another few invites as the season.
After the Ryder Cup there are three events in Spain, the Portugal Masters and then the season ending DP World Tour Championships in Dubai.