SEVERAL Cork golfers were in action last week at the under-age inter-provincials in Mount Woolsey.
The series of matches was originally scheduled for earlier in the summer but the delayed start to the season forced their postponement and a new two day format was used to complete the annual matches over the weekend.
It was the first representative honours for many of the players selected and 12 Cork golfers were called up to the four representative teams.
It was the first time that the Girls U18 team played with the Boys teams, a new format that followed the successful Mens and Womens inter-provincials held in Belfast in August.
Four Cork golfers were involved with the Munster Under 18 Boys team, and they came very close to winning the title.
Morgan Cain and Charlie Flavin from Cork teamed up for a winning foursomes point over Ulster in the semi-final. Mel Deasy and Zak Collins lost their foursomes match but recovered in the afternoon singles.
Deasy won and Collins halved giving Munster a slender win which got them into the final.
All four golfers contributed to the Munster total in the final but they lost out by one point to Connacht who claimed the title.
Michelle Sharkey from Monkstown provided the only win for the Munster U18 Girls in their semi-final against Ulster. Sharkey also won her foursomes match in the 3rd & 4th place play-off and she halved her singles match.
That gave here 2½ points from her four matches and left her as the top-performing Munster player.
Munster had a good start in the Under 16 semi-final, featuring three Cork golfers on the team. Cork duo Paddy Quill and Christopher Buckley won their foursomes match, but Kinsale’s Eoghan Cassidy lost out in their win over Leinster.
Like the U18s, a win was just beyond the reach of the Under 16’s in their final against Ulster. Quill and Buckley both lost the singles while Cassidy was picked for foursomes duty and also lost.
There were four locals involved in the U14 team which was managed by Lee Valley’s Phil Cooney.
They lost out in their semi-final match against Leinster by two points. Fota Island’s John Doyle won his match and Sean Reddy got a half while Cian McDonnell and Barry O’Connell lost out in their foursomes match.
In their Sunday match they had a good win against Connacht. Doyle and McDonnell won their singles match and Reddy won the foursomes while O’Connell lost out on the 18th.
There was disappointment for Jack Murphy and James Walsh last week when the planned Ireland v England international was cancelled at the last minute.
The match was due to be held in Douglas Golf Club and the two home members were looking forward to representing Ireland in their home course. What’s more, due to the late cancellation both golfers also missed out on the chance to represent Munster at the inter-provincials in Mount Woolsey.
It’s hoped that the match will be refixed for early next year with the same selections competing.
There are just two junior golf events left at Munster level this year and both are taking place during the mid term break.
Muskerry will host the Munster Boys U14 on the 26th while the Munster Boys Under 18 takes place on Nenagh over the 27th to 29th. Jack Murphy will also have an interest in the Connacht U16 in Athlone that week.
He’s currently 2nd in the Order of Merit and will be looking for a good finish to leapfrog Tipperary’s Donncha Cleary.
That will mark the last chance for silverware for 2021.
There was no joy for Cork golfers at the Irish Mid-Am which was held in Thurles over the weekend.
Two-time winner Gary O’Flaherty was in good form on Saturday shooting rounds of 71 and 73 to finish in the top five on level par.
A closing 73 on Sunday meant he couldn’t close in winner Paul O’Hanlon and he finished in 4th place.
East Cork’s Jason Law finished in 15th place while Olan Barrett was 27th.
The final major of the year gets underway tomorrow. Kinsale’s Gary Ward will be first off as the European Club hosts the Flogas Irish Amateur Open.
The Wicklow venue will provide a tough test for the biggest event individual event on the calendar.
Peter O’Keeffe is one of the favourites going into the event.
He’s won two majors so far this year, and he now has the chance to add the Irish Open to the Irish Close title he won in August.
Very few have managed to do the domestic double and he has the chance to join Jimmy Bruen and Padraig Harrington as the only golfer who have won the Open and Close in the same year.
He has an Open and Close win already, he won the Irish Amateur Open in Royal County Down four years ago.
Peter is also currently on top of the Bridgestone Order of Merit, although he’ll need a good result to maintain that position with over a dozen golfers in reach of the leader.
O’Keeffe isn’t the only Douglas golfer involved this weekend, teenagers Mel Deasy and Jack Murphy are also in the field. Monkstown have Sean Desmond and Donal McDonnell competing while Cathal Butler and Gary Ward from Kinsale complete the Cork line up.
There is also a strong international presence this year, all golfers will play in the opening 36 holes with the top 50 going through to Sunday’s final round.
The last event on the national calendar takes place the following week. Co Donegal will host the Irish Seniors Open and there are number of Cork golfers travelling to the event.
Order of Merit winner Pat Lyons will be hoping to add to his recent win at the Leinster Seniors while John O’Brien is also on the hunt for his second title of the season.