The prestigious Kilkenny event that helped Padraig Harrington’s fledgling career take flight is set for a big 50th celebration.
The top amateurs in the country, North and South, will tee off at Kilkenny golf club on Saturday, June 21 in the 50th playing of the Senior Scratch Cup.
Harrington won what is regarded as one of Ireland’s leading amateur events in 1992. Later he turned professional and he has since won three Majors.
The event was first staged in 1964 when it produced a home winner in popular city businessman, Tommy Duggan.
The field of players this year will be very select. Handicaps are maxed at two and the entry will be restricted to 63 players.
The prize fund has been swelled to nearly €2,000. The winner will receiver €700, which puts the Kilkenny Senior Scratch Cup right up there with the best in the country.
Kilkenny Captain Denis Brophy said quite an amount of planning and preparatory work by the Senior Scratch Cup committee has gone into the upgrading of the event in this special year.
The plan was to make the ’Cup extra special for all participants, he added at the press launch. The closing date for entries is Thursday, June 12.
Top amateurs coming
He thanked David Buggy of David Buggy Motors, the main Kia dealers in Kilkenny, for their generous title sponsorship of the event. He also thanked Mark Dunne of the Newpark Hotel, Smithwick’s Brewery and Modern Printers for their valuable support.
Already many of the top amateurs in the country, including Jeff Hopkins (Royal Dublin), John Green, Geoff Lenehan, Stephen Walsh and James Fox (all Portmarnock), Alan Thomas (Dungarvan), Richard Bridges (Stackstown), Mark Shanahan (Castlemartyr), Shane McGlynn (Carton House), Stephen Healy, (Claremorris) and Richard O’Donovan (Lucan) have expressed an interest in taking part.
Already confirmed are Kilkenny’s Eddie Power and 2012 winners Michael Buggy, brother of the sponsor, Richard Walsh and Paul O’Hara.
The Kilkenny Scratch Cup has a long and rich history. Many notable Irish amateurs were past winners, including J.B. Carr, Liam Higgins, John O’Leary, Pat Mulcare, Pauric O’Rourke, Liam McNamara, Mark Gannon, Damien McGrane, Padraig Harrington and Ronan Flood (Padraig’s caddy).
Quite a number went on to enjoy success in the professional ranks.
Mr Brophy welcomed everyone to attend on the day and to give visitors a warm Kilkenny welcome.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to see some of Ireland’s best amateurs playing,” he said.
There will be a shotgun start at 8.30am. The second round commencing at 1.45pm.