Cian O'Callaghan's pitch & putt game has come on leaps and bounds

Cian O'Callaghan's pitch & putt game has come on leaps and bounds

Cian O’Callaghan with the Junior National Championship pitch & putt medal and trophy which he won last September.

CIAN O'CALLAGHAN is fast becoming an up-and coming star in the game of Pitch and Putt and not only in his native Cork, but all over the country.

Cian, who resides on the Southside of the city at Lehenagmore, Togher, with his parents Paul and Lorraine, brother Patrick and sister Jessica is only a recent convert to the game.

Cian took up the game socially with his cousin Luke O’Donnell five years ago, when Luke’s father Gerald bought Cian O’Callaghan membership to the Bishopstown Pitch and Putt club as a birthday gift. 

He didn’t make much use of that present that year only using it to play during the summer holidays.

Cian also played basketball with the Blue Demons club, however, when the Covid pandemic hit, and all indoor sports were shut down, it was then he turned to Pitch and Putt. 

The twenty year-old soon found out he had a real talent for the game and with a lot of hard work and dedication over the last two years he is really making a lot of inroads in the sport, moving from the junior ranks to the intermediate ranks in the space of 12 months.

The O’Callaghan family Paul, Patrick, Cian, Jessica and Lorraine at the Maldron Hotel recently. pitch & putt
The O’Callaghan family Paul, Patrick, Cian, Jessica and Lorraine at the Maldron Hotel recently. pitch & putt

“I still find it hard to believe that I have come a long way in Pitch and Putt in such a short time, but when lockdown came my cousin Luke and myself went to the Bishopstown club everyday,” Cian said.

“It was really only to pass the time while we were in lockdown because when my father would ask me would I like to go for a game in the Garyduff course I always found a way to get out of it.

“I played in my first competition in August 2020 at the Collins Barracks Pitch and Putt club and it was a real eye-opener for me as I struggled a bit because I was so nervous.

“A couple of weeks later I played in the very first Gary Crowley Memorial event at my own club in Bishopstown. 

"I went on to win the tournament and I must say it was a great honor for me to receive the trophy from John Crowley, as he is always someone that I think very highly of.

“I then played in ten Scratch Cup competitions and had to travel all over the Munster region, so it took time for me to find my feet.” 

The big breakthrough for Cian came on the 11th of September at the Stack Allen Pitch and Putt club in Country Meath, when he qualified for the Junior All-Ireland Scrachplay competition. 

He had to play three rounds in that morning and after the first round he finished with a score of one under. 

He faired better in the second round finishing four under. 

After the third round he qualified for the final with a final score of one under.

He then started the final playing Jack Carr, who was four shots ahead of him at nine under par. 

Cian O’Callaghan under the watchful eye of him mentor Barry Morrissey at the Junior National pitch & putt Championship in Co Meath last September.
Cian O’Callaghan under the watchful eye of him mentor Barry Morrissey at the Junior National pitch & putt Championship in Co Meath last September.

However, whoever wrote the script certainly didn’t tell Carr as O’Callaghan blitzed his last five holes with four birdies and an hole in one to be crowned Irish Junior Champion.

“I worked really hard on my game and want to thank Barry Morrissey, John Fitzgerald, Peter O’Donovan and Tim O’Connor for all the help they keep giving me, especially Barry, who has certainly taken me under his wing and I find him a wonderful mentor.

“I won the National Junior Scratch Cup in September in County Meath and really surprised myself in the final as I putted very well on the day.

“I was then moved up to intermediate level after my national success and I qualified for the Cork Intermediate Open Scratch Cup at Bishopstown.

"This was a head-to-head competition and I beat Adrian Kavanagh and Eric O’Shea, both from Rocklodge in the first two rounds. 

"I then beat Joe O’Mahony from my own club in the semi final. 

"In the final I played Ian Leech from the St Anne's club and won on a two and one scoreline.

“To win two big tournaments in such a short space of time it’s quite unbelievable to be honest, so when people give out about the pandemic I smile and tell them, only for that time in my life I would have never found what it now my new obsession Pitch and Putt.

“I have also been lucky to be picked as the John Buckley Youth Sports Star Award winner for September and we enjoyed the overall awards event which was held at the Maldron Hotel Shandon recently.

“ My aim now is continue with Pitch and Putt as my main sport and play some local basketball with Cork Celts where my father Paul is the chairman,” O’Callaghan added.

Cian O’Callaghan with the Cork Intermediate Open Scratch Cup which he won last October at Bishopstown Pitch and Putt Club.
Cian O’Callaghan with the Cork Intermediate Open Scratch Cup which he won last October at Bishopstown Pitch and Putt Club.

I sure the name Cian O’Callaghan is a name we will hear a lot more of in the coming years as he is only starting off his amazing career.

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