NOT EVEN pre-wedding nerves could hinder Jeff Lynch as he retained the Philip O’Mahony Junior Scratch Cup at Callan GC at the weekend.
This year’s renewal was played in extremely high winds which, when coupled with the fastest greens that Callan has seen for many years, made for very difficult conditions. Jeff found the opening holes testing, double bogeying the first and second holes before suffering a further bogey on the fourth.
However, Jeff recovered around the turn and found himself involved in duel with his next door neighbour Murt O’Halloran as they entered the back nine. Both were level par throughout the back nine after Jeff led by a shot after the opening nine holes. Jeff moved two shots clear through 15 holes, then bogeyed the short but tricky 16th to allow Murt to close within a single shot once more.
After Murt and Jeff birdied the downwind par five 17th both knew they were in contention when they faced birdie putts on the 18th. Jeff had an impossible task from above the hole, which trickled ten feet past, while Murt had a 15-footer for birdie and a possible win which he narrowly missed.
Jeff held his nerve, sank the most important putt of the day, and set the target of 75 having completed the final 16 holes in level par. Murt’s 76 was good enough for second and he accepted defeat by his friend and neighbour very well but has vowed to come out winner in the future.
Jeff, who added the last two Junior Scratch Cups to the K Club Junior Scratch title he won in 2009, was delighted to retain the trophy as the late Phil O’Mahony had been a great friend, adding he was honoured to accept the trophy from Frank O’Mahony (Philip’s father).
David McNally from Borris was first nett with a 68 off nine while Brendan Morrin from Athy was second nett with a 72. The third gross winner was the very promising Luke Donnelly who, at just 14 years of age, is an outstanding prospect. Another future talent is Cathal Byrne, who finished fourth with an excellent 77, a score achieved with the help of an eagle on the 18th.
The presentation ceremony was well supported with prize winners and friends of Philip joining the O’Mahony family. Jeff’s acceptance speech was moving and a fitting tribute to Philip, while Captain Robert Woodcock and Hon President Murt Duggan both told humorous stories which evoked memories of Phil. Jeff was given best wishes on his impending marriage to his fiancee Ellie next month.
SCRATCH CUPS - A field of 211 golfers battled it out in the Junior and Intermediate Scratch Cups over the weekend.
Alan Byrne, a member in Kilkenny, played superbly off 12 to engineer a four shot victory. Alan, who had been a member in Callan for a number of years, used the knowledge he gained from the course to produce a 78 which was a great effort in the howling wind.
Like the Junior Scratch winner, Jeff Lynch, Alan double bogeyed the first. He played brilliantly around the turn, carding four birdies in his final 12 holes to beat long-time local member Richard Gypps into second. Richard also had two early doubles, but played solidly to keep the round together to beat Fintan Morrissey (Slievenamon) and John Grace (Gold Coast) on a countback.
Michael Walsh had the best nett score with a superb 66 off 18. Michael took a break from his catering for hungry golfers in the clubhouse and it paid off handsomely with some superb golf. William Leahy from Kilkenny was second nett with an excellent 70.
In his speech Alan was high in praise for the greens staff, saying how well the entire course and particularly the greens looked over the weekend. Competition secretary Paul Cashin was singled out for praise by Captain Robert Woodcock for his wonderful contribution to the weekend. Alan received the cup from Robert, while secretary Pauline O’Brien welcomed all to the club.
SINGLES - Andy Needham from Mullinahone won the qualifier on Wednesday to reach the final of the singles series, which will be held in Autumn. Andy had 40 points, a very solid effort in difficult conditions. Anthony Wall also qualified for the autumn finale with 39 points which was also a good score. Brian Doheny had the best gross score with 34 points while Niall O’Gorman from Kilkenny was the leading visitor.
The series continues today (Wednesday), with the early bird option proving very popular with visitors.
OPEN WEEK - Large numbers are expected at the course as Callan opens its doors for Open week. Today (Wednesday) there is an open men’s singles while tomorrow (Thursday) the ladies take centre stage. On Friday there is a champagne scramble, with Saturday’s men’s fourball followed by a four-person team event to finish off a hectic week on Sunday.
Caterer and bar manager Michael Walsh has a number of special offers for open week. There is an option of a goody bag to take on to the golf course followed by a main course and coffee on completion of round for E12.50. There is also an all-day breakfast for E7.50, with daily specials available all week.
There is availability most days. Bookings to the clubhouse, tel 056-7725136 or online at www.callangolfclub.com. RESULTS - Results, Sunday May 22nd Philip O’Mahony Junior Scratch Cup, May 22: 1 Jeff Lynch, 75pts (gross); 2 Murt O’Halloran, 76pts; 3 Luke Donnelly, 77pts; 4 Cathal Byrne, 77pts.
Nett: 1 David McNally, Borris; 2 Brendan Morrin, Athy.
Results, Intermediate Scratch Cup, May 22: 1 Alan Byrne, 78 pts (gross); 2 Richard Gypps, 82pts; 3 Fintan Morrissey, 82pts; 4 John Grace, 82pts.
Nett: 1 Michael Walsh, 66pts; 2 William Leahy, 70pts.
Results, 55 Club, May 20: 1 Mary Barry, 2 Ailish Carey, 3 Mary Grace, 4 Betty McGrath, 5 Bea O’Donovan.
Results, Wednesday Open Singles, May 18: 1 Andrew Needham (6), 40pts; 2 Anthony Wall (9), 39pts; gross Brian Doheny, 34pts; visitor Niall O’Gorman (Kilkenny).
Results, Ladies Butler Cup, May 17: 1 Eleanor Moore, 39pts; 2 Breda Bolger, 38pts (C/B); gross Breda Ryan, 26pts; 3 Annette Hogan, 38pts (C/B); 4 Kathleen Brett, 38pts. Best 36: Aoife Lanigan, 30pts.
SOCIAL GOLF - A nine hole social golf event for beginners will start tomorrow (Thursday) at 6pm for all who have recently joined or rejoined the club. The competition will be fun but it is an excellent opportunity to meet fellow members and arrange other golf games in the future. All members from all sections of the club are invited to help make it an enjoyable evening.
DIARY - Today (Wednesday): Men’s Springhill Hotel & Citroen Centre Open Singles. Thursday: Lavender Spa & Pennyfeather Restaurant Ladies Day. Friday: Modern Printers & Doheny Bins Four Person Champagne Scramble.
Saturday: Callan Co-OP & Unecol Men’s Fourball. Sunday: John Walsh & Halligan’s Garage Four Person Team event.
Monday: RGA, 11am to 1pm. Tuesday: Ladies Day.