JOHN ‘Blondie’ Carroll led Ireland to a dramatic win in the Home Internationals Golf Tournament.
Carroll, the Glasheen native and former Cork Celtic soccer star, was the non-playing captain for Ireland and his charges were favourites going into the final day. Ireland faced England and despite being 4-1 down after the morning foursomes, Ireland rebounded in the afternoon singles.
This was Ireland’s first win since 2017 when they completed a historic four in a row. Peter O’Keeffe was a debutant in that 2017 team and he was also part of the winning 2021 side, adding to a very impressive year for the Douglas member.
Ireland earned a draw against England meaning the won the Raymond Trophy with two wins and a half. The match was finely balanced this afternoon, and although Ireland came out on the right side of a dramatic finish, Blondie was confident his team could still do enough to win the title.
“I honestly wasn’t nervous all day,” said Carroll after the win. “Even when we lost the foursomes this morning I still had hope in the boys. It was a disappointing morning, but we saw Scotland beat England 8-2 in singles yesterday and that gave us hope. We knew we could come back and the boys were absolutely brilliant this afternoon.”
The was the final event in Carroll’s stint as Irish captain and he was looking forward to celebrating with his team.
“It’s a nice way for me to get out,” Carroll said. “I’m teetotal, but the boys will have a few pints and rightly so because they deserved it. They’ve been fabulous today and all week. They’ve done Ireland proud.”
After a gap of a year, the Home Internationals returned to the schedule and was played in Hankley Common in England.