THERE was plenty of good news for Cork golfers last week as Sean Deasy picked up a national title and John O’Brien won a seniors provincial title.
As well as that John Murphy and James Sugrue both put in good performances on the Challenge Tour when the K Club hosted an event last weekend. Last week’s results came hot on the heels of Mairead Martin’s win in the Leinster Women’s Championship the previous week.
Sean Deasy has a great final round at the Irish Boys U16 in Lucan. He was three off the lead after the opening round but a second-round 68 kept him into the mix going into the final day on Friday but he was still three off the lead. The teenager impressed on the back-nine dropping four birdies in his final eight holes.
That was enough to defeat Royal Belfast’s Finlay Eager by three, and Deasy finished on an impressive score of -7. Deasy’s clubmate Jack Murphy finished in third on -3. Fota Island’s John Doyle secured a top ten spot +4 and Sean Reddy (Douglas) finished in the top 20.
Eager started the day three clear, but a brilliant closing stretch from Deasy that included birdies on 11, 14, 16 and 17 saw him win the title.
“I’m delighted to have three under-par rounds. I played solidly the whole week, thankfully. It was all about trying to get a few shots back on Finlay throughout the day. It felt like a match play situation today.”
The win moves Deasy into the top 10 in the U16 Order of Merit while Jack Murphy is in second place after his wins in Leinster and Munster. All eyes will be on the Connacht U16 which takes place at Carrick on Shannon later this month.
John O’Brien of Castlemartyr Golf Club increased his lead at the top of the Seniors Order of Merit following his win at the Connacht Senior Men’s Amateur Open Championship at Oughterard. An opening round of 66 (-6) proved decisive as O’Brien gave himself some breathing room with a 2-shot lead heading into the final round.
After posting a final round of 75, O’Brien shared his relief after winning by one shot: “I was glad to get over the line in the end after making a few wrong decisions on the back nine of the final round.”
The 36-hole event was played in fine conditions in Oughterard Golf Club last week. The conditions were perfect for the competitors in the North County Galway club, which resulted in a fantastic display of golf over the two-day event.
The Castlemartyr golfer gave a glowing review of the venue: “It was a fabulous course with fantastic greens that suited me here this week.”
Neville Steedman of the European Club was the main threat to O’Brien as a playoff looked on the horizon until an unfortunate bogey on the 17th hole. A final round of 74 gave him a share of second place alongside Steve Graham (East Sussex National Golf & Country Club) and Christopher O’Connor (Corrstown).
John Murphy secured his biggest cheque of the season when he took third place at the Irish Challenge at the K Club. The Challenge Tour was back in Ireland, and the Palmer South course in the K Club provided a perfect setting for the event.
Murphy took full advantage of the home event, he shot an opening 66 to lie just two off the lead after the first day. Murphy had another bright start on Friday and was four under through 10 for the day before his only bogey. He wasn’t finished and added two more birdies to comfortably make the cut on -11.
That left him just two off the lead and he was in the final group on Saturday. There was plenty of home support in the K Club on Saturday and while Murphy shot a two over par 74 in the tough weather conditions, he didn’t lose any ground and remained in third place.
Scoring was easier on Sunday thanks to better weather and the Kinsale golfer closed with a 70 to finish on -11. That was good enough for third place, tying his previous best Challenge Tour finish, and securing his largest CT cheque of €17,500.
More importantly, the high finish has moved him into the top 50 in the Order of Merit. With four events scheduled for August Murphy enters the busy part of the season in good form. He’s off to Finland this week for the first of the four events.
James Sugrue was also in action in the K Club last week and the Mallow man finished in the top 30 in his first home start in over a year. He too is headed for Finland and will be targeting another good finish.