Cork Golf: John Waldron lifts Muskerry Scratch Cup while Brian Kelleher delivers in Ballybunnion

Waldron needed a dramatic playoff to hold off Lee Valley's Galway
Cork Golf: John Waldron lifts Muskerry Scratch Cup while Brian Kelleher delivers in Ballybunnion

Sean Cronin (Muskerry) presents the Muskerry Scratch Cup to John Waldron (Muskerry), also included are Michael O'Connor (Brewin Dolphin) and Marie Allen (President Muskerry GC).

JOHN WALDRON captured the Muskerry Scratch on Sunday, winning it in dramatic fashion in a play-off that ended on the famous sixth green.

A large field has entered the prestigious event which was back on the calendar for the first time in three years.

After 36 holes there was a tie for the lead with Waldron and Lee Valley’s Jason Galway’s tied on 145 (+3).

Not only were they tied on the overall, they both shot rounds of 73, 72 to finish on three over. From there it was onto the par-three sixth hole, the signature hole in Muskerry.

The hole was playing tough, from the back tees into an easterly wind. With the flag hanging off the right edge of the green, both players hit solid approach shots to the heart of the green, 60 feet from the hole.

Following the birdie putts, both players had tricky four-foot putts remaining.

Waldron went first and held his with solid stroke to the back of the hole. Galway’s attempt to match the par of Waldron lipped out on the low side and Waldron was the champion.

Waldron was a Muskerry stalwart for many years and he was part of the Muskerry Barton Shield team that won national honours in 2014, but he played very little golf the three years following.

He got back into golf in a big way in past few years and on Sunday he bagged one of the biggest prizes in Muskerry.

Galway was bitterly disappointed with the loss but the second-placed finish should spur him on for the Lee Valley Scratch Cup this weekend.

Muskerry’s Stephen Riordan, a double Fred Daly winner came in third two behind the leaders and Fermoy’s Eoghan McCarthy was fourth. Muskerry’s Tony Gardiner and Brian Lane were next best. Padraig O’Connor, Ronan Twomey, Dave O’Donovan and David Dowling made up the top ten.

Brian Lane was central to the successful staging of the event and he was delighted with the turnout.

It was the second year that sponsor Brewin Dolphin were the main sponsor and their support was appreciated by the organisers.

Attention now turns to Lee Valley, and the return of their scratch cup this weekend. 71 competitors will play 36 holes on Saturday, with the top 33 going forward to Sunday’s final round.

Like Muskerry this is the first time that the event will be held since 2019 and there’s plenty of interest with an impressive field taking part.

Brian Kelleher won the Ballybunion Scratch Cup on Saturday. He shot rounds of 70 and 75 around the Old Course to win the title by six shots.

The Cork Golf Club member is also a member in Ballybunion and he put his experience of the testing links track to good effect to navigate a safe second-round score.

A new trophy was commissioned this year in honour of Tommy Corridan, the famous Ballybunion golfer who passed away in 2020.

There was no joy for Cork golfers at the Flogas Irish Amateur Open at the Island Golf Club last week.

Jack Murphy was the best of the Cork finishers. The Douglas teenager made the cut for the second time at the Irish Open and finished in the top thirty.

2021 champion Peter O’Keeffe has been working hard to find some consistent form in the first half of the season, and although he made safely through the cut his chances of winning after the opening two rounds were slim.

A final round 73 was among the highlights for O’Keeffe in a challenging week but the 2021 double Irish champion will already have his sights set on the next event in a busy summer schedule.

BOOST

Mallow Golf Club had a super response to the James Sugrue fundraising classic, bringing in over €25,000 from the three-day event.

Initially scheduled for last year, the covid delayed classic took place last weekend and instead of the one day originally planned the event ran over three days.

There was a great atmosphere in the club on Saturday evening for the presentation. While the man himself was away in Austria playing on the Alps Tour, his mother Margaret was there to present the prizes and to thank Mallow Golf Club and all the supporters for a great event. The winners of first prize were a team from Doneraile lead by Patricia Vaughn O’Mahony scoring an incredible score of 60 points to lead the field of 134 teams.

Nora O’Connor won first prize in the raffle, a wedge donated by James.

Dowling Security and Walsh Engineering were the main sponsors with many other local businesses supporting the event by contributing teams, prizes and hole sponsorship.

In all there were 140 tee box signs, demonstrating the effort that went into the planning of the classic, and the local and national support for the club and Sugrue.

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