Dundalk Golf Club.
The evergreen Michael Stewart showed that age is no barrier when he emerged from the 316 strong field as the outright leader after Round One of Pat Davis’s Captain’s Prize.
In shooting a nett 64, the 14 handicapper shot a gross 78 which matched his age and showed that there is still plenty of competitive steel among the club’s veterans.
He produced a near flawless round which included a birdie three on the index six par four 15th. He had nothing worse than bogey on his card as he parred ten of the other 17 holes.
Stewart will be in the final group next Sunday afternoon along with Michael Browne (23) and Conor Hackett (12) who both shot 65 nett, but there will be a pack full of quality chasing them down over the final 18 holes.
Eddie Rogers (4) and Billy Cairns (6) lie just three shots off the lead after shooting nett 67s with Rogers going around in an impressive one under par gross while Alan McDermott (4), who finished second in last week’s President’s Prize, is a shot further back on his own in sixth place after a nett 68.
There are three father and son combinations in the top 30 which should lead to interesting family dynamics over the next week. Eddie Rogers’ son Brendan (17) is on 71, the same score as Michael Browne’s son Mark (11), while Alan McDermott’s father Ollie (15) lies 16th after shooting a 70 nett.
The recent Scratch Saturday event produced home winners in the Junior, Intermediate and Minor Scratch Cups and, with Captain Pat Davis having won the Minor Cup, it is somewhat appropriate that the Junior winner Christy Ward (6) is inside the top 10 after a 69, while the Intermediate winner Paul O’Callaghan (10) is a shot further back.
Congratulations to our Senior Panel on retaining the Leinster Barton Shield on Saturday and setting up a return trip to the All-Ireland finals which are in Westport in September.
It was a mixed week for Caolan Rafferty. It started with him being named among the 14 golfers from which the 10 players to represent Britain and Ireland in this year’s Walker Cup will be selected and attending a panel practice session at this year’s venue in Royal Liverpool. On his return to Ireland he headed immediately to Lahinch to defend his South of Ireland title but, after winning his first round match on the 19th, he was beaten in the second round on the 20th by Enniscorthy’s Jason Rackard who had six single putts over the final six holes of their contest. However, the week ended on a high with the Club’s Senior Panel retaining the provincial Barton Shield title.
It was a good week for Josh Mackin who helped Leinster to the Boys U18 Inter-Provincial title in Athlone winning three points from the five matches he participated in before he too played his part in the Barton Shield success.
John P Daly (14) with 42pts was the overall winner of the Wednesday Open Stableford Singles sponsored by Deluxe Bathroom and Tiling while Senior Panel member Brendan Lawlor (1) shot 36pts to record the best gross of the day.
July 27 & 28 – Pat Davis’s Captain’s Prize – First Round Leaderboard: 64 – Michael Stewart (14). 65 – Michael Browne (23), Conor Hackett (12). 67 – Eddie Rogers (4), Billy Cairns (6). 68 –Alan McDermott (4). 69 – Ruairi Gogarty (6), Seán Taaffe (19), Fergal Sexton (8), Christy Ward (6), Sean Gallagher (19), Malcolm Drake (15), Colin Roche (5), Brian Crombie (22). 70 - Paul O’Callaghan (10), Oliver McDermott (15), David Murden (9), Tom Lanigan (22). 71 – Shane Thornton (14), Éamonn Laverty (14), Brendan Rogers (17), Dermot Murphy (5), Richard Copas (15), Tommy Renaghan (15), Mark Browne (11). 72 – Anthony Tuite (14), Turlough King (10), Seamus Bailey (11), Anthony O’Donoghue (13), Conor Byrne (21). CSS Saturday: 72. CSS Sunday: 72.
July 24 - Open Stableford Singles sponsored by Deluxe Bathroom and Tiling – Overall: John P Daly (14) 42pts. Category One (0-13): William McMullan (12, Ballyclare) 41pts, Aaron Hoey (11) 39pts. Category Two (14-19): Patrick Dunne (19) 38/19/14pts, Frank O’Hagan (19) 38/19/12pts. Category Three (20+): John Englishby (23) 40pts, Gerard Cluskey (22) 36/18pts. Best Gross: Brendan Lawlor (1) 36pts. Juvenile: Conall Mullins (28) 37/21pts. CSS: 72/36pts.