Cork Golf: Mollies land the William Dwyer Cup at last

The event is believed to be the oldest inter-society competition in Ireland and dates back to 1942. 
Cork Golf: Mollies land the William Dwyer Cup at last

The Mollies Golf Society pictured after winning the William Dwyer Inter-Society Cup at Cork Golf Club. Picture: Niall O'Shea

MOLLIES Golf Society have finally won the William Dwyer Inter-society Cup, the Douglas-based group have been entering the event for over 20 years and finished on top by a one-shot margin as the event returned for the first time in three years.

Despite several good placings they never managed to claim first place but this year they won by a single point beating Mahon’s Senior Circle. Mollies finished with a score of 194 strokes where their best three cards were counted in the foursomes competition.

The 2019 holders Senior Circle had two teams in the final and they took second and third place with scores of 195 and 197. The other finalists were The Lada, Bluffers, ESB Marina, Midleton CBS and Blackrock Inn.

The winning team had some great scores, Tony McCarthy and Denis Barry led the way with a 58 and they were followed by Pat Cotter and Paul Browne who carded a 66. Philip Kavanagh and Peter Walsh came in with a 70 while Aidan Farren and Harry Mooney had a 72.

The top three cards gave a total of 194 and that was enough for a slender one-shot margin over the field. Accepting the cup on behalf of the winners, Tony McCarthy was delighted with the win for the Mollies.

We’re been trying for years to win and I'm glad that we came up trumps this time. 

"The course was fantastic and what can I say about Finbarr and Paddy, for years and years they’ve been keeping it going. Hopefully, we’ll be back to win again next year.”

This year the qualifiers attracted close to 20 societies and Mahon staged the two qualifiers last month where a total of eight teams qualified for the final.

The event is believed to be the oldest inter-society competition in Ireland and dates back to 1942. William Dwyer, the founder of Sunbeam put up the trophy to add a competitive element to the growing golf society sector at the time.

Competition was intense among Cork businesses and groups with many of Cork’s old companies recorded on the trophy. Names like Ford, Dunlop and Verolme Dockyard, the Munster & Leinster Bank, IFI and the Woollen Traders are no longer trading in Cork but they were all winners of the competition.

Other winners include Cork Gardaí, Wilton Traders, Southern Command, and ESB in Marina and Wilton, GSK and Bowen Group.

The names of all the winners are also included on the trophy with is nearly four feet tall as a result of additional bases being added over the years to accommodate all the names of the teams and golfers.

Following the 2022 staging another layer will need to be added to the trophy to capture the names of the eight winning golfers from this year.

It’s interesting that William Dwyer‘s name is also on the other most famous golf trophy in Cork, the Cork Scratch Cup which will celebrate 100 years in 2023.

This is now played as part of the Munster Strokeplay which is hosted by Cork Golf Club. William Dwyer has a long legacy in Cork that stretches beyond golf.

Ted Dwyer presented the William Dwyer Inter-Society Cup to Tony McCarthy and Pat Kavanagh from The Mollies Golf Society. Picture: Niall O'Shea
Ted Dwyer presented the William Dwyer Inter-Society Cup to Tony McCarthy and Pat Kavanagh from The Mollies Golf Society. Picture: Niall O'Shea

As we as being the main benefactor behind the building of the famous clubhouse in Cork, he was also responsible for the building of Blackpool church in 1945.

Cork Golf Club was the venue for the final and it was fitting that William Dwyer’s home club should host it on the 80th anniversary of the first competition.

Ted Dwyer, grandnephew of William Dwyer was on hand to present a trophy and he proudly mentioned that his name was also on the famous trophy having winners with the Insurance Institute a number of years ago. He congratulated the winners and also thanked Finbarr O’Callaghan and Paddy Brazill for the commitment to staging the competition which goes back over many years.

Finbarr O’Callaghan was delighted to get the competition back this year after a covid enforced gap of two years. Finbarr has been running the competition since the early 90s.

Paddy Brazill was also on hand to manage the scoring and check the cards, he has also been involved with the event for many years. The original administrator for the tournament was JJ Hennessey who was a teacher from Dillons Cross, and after JJ the event was looked after by William McAuliffe from Sunbeam for several more years.

The event was one of very few to be staged through the war years in the forties, and while Covid prevented it being held in 2020 and 2021, there were many who were delighted to see the event back in 2022.

Society golf has suffered over the last few years with many casual golfers now choosing to join golf clubs. Although overall number of society golfers have dropped there are many strong societies based on businesses and sports clubs.

The 2023 staging of the William Dwyer Trophy will take place in May or June depending on course availability and entries will open in early 2023.

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