THE recent Leinster Strokeplay Championships proved to be very successful for Offaly competitors as two titles and two runners-up spots were claimed.
Last Sunday saw Royal Meath and Seapoint host the respective Ladies and Gents Strokeplays in glorious sunshine. In Royal Meath the action teed-off at 9am and gave rise to an exciting 9-hole playoff between two clubmates from Seapoint, Christina Carroll and Patricia Brennan.
The playoff, officiated by Offaly stalwart Tom Egan, saw Christina finish the stronger on this occasion securing a great win on a score of 9 over par for the regulation 36 holes.
It was then the turn of the Inters to shine and shine they did in the form of Erry’s Geraldine Ryan and Tullamore’s Denise Pyke. Both displayed great play over the 36 holes and Ger just edging out the victor with rounds of 3 and 1 over respectively with Denise finishing one shot further back on 5 over par. It was a great day for Geraldine who has been a very popular and supportive player of the game around the midlands and who is well known for her humour on and off the course, she proved a popular winner in Clonee!
The attention then focused in on the Senior Ladies section in which the top ten scores qualified for a final 18-hole playoff. After 18 holes Dublin’s Geraldine Ward led the way on 8 under par and she was closely followed by Kildare’s Chrissie Byrne on 6 under par. One further shot back was Dublin’s Kay Mooney on 5 under par and Erry’s Tracey McGrath stood on 4 under par with Tullamore’s Margaret Hogan on level par. The playoff proved a tight affair with only one shot separating the top three positions.
Geraldine Ward did enough by shooting a 1 under par to take the title from Tracey McGrath who shot a 4 under par final round to finish on 8 under par just one ahead of Chrissie Byrne who also scored a final round of 1 under par. Congratulations to all Offaly Ladies who did us proud at Royal Meath, especially to Geraldine, Denise and Tracey.
The Gents Championships were held at the seaside course of Seapoint in Termonfeckin, Co Louth, and saw the players enjoy a rare clear and less windy day than normal on the coastal location. In the Junior section Tullamore’s Gary Pyke made a great comeback from an unfortunate first round 6 over par to finish 8 shots better in his second round with 2 under par. However Gary did not find himself in contention on the day as the scoring was very impressive by eventual winner Richard Lambe of Cement (Louth) who made the most of his local knowledge by shooting a 9 under par 36 hole aggregate score.
In the Inter grade Offaly hopes lay on Tullamore’s Sean Galvin and Ferbane’s Brian Doyle. Sean and Brian played steady shooting 1 under par and 5 under par totals but they found themselves out of the race with Dublin’s Sean Gorey shooting 11 under par to win the title by 2 shots from fellow Dubliner Charlie Egan.
With such impressive scoring in the Junior and Inter grades there was no questioning the high expectations as the Senior Gents took to the course. After 36 holes Dublin’s Chris Gallagher led the way on 15 under par one ahead of Louth’s Sean Goggins and Louth native Mark Miller.
However, the playoff proved to be a very exciting affair with the chasing pack putting pressure on the leaders from the first hole. Dublin’s Derek Courtney added a very impressive third round of 8 under par to his 12 under par to lay on 20 under par but he was soon overtaken by our very own William Buckley Jnr. who shot a final round 10 under par to finish on a 21 under par total. William set the clubhouse lead with only four players remaining on the course. Sean Goggins proved strong enough to finish on 7 under par to also finish on 21 under par.
A 9-hole playoff ensued between the two players, but this could not even separate the two and they then went to a sudden death playoff which went as far as the 15th hole where William finished the championship in true style with a hole-in-one.
William retained the Leinster Strokeplay title which he last won in 2007 in Castletown Co Meath. Congratulations to William on a spectacular performance and to all the Offaly competitors who took part in Seapoint. Other scores from the championship following 36 holes (par 108) were as follows: Ger Palmer 107, Larry Maher Jnr. 107, Mark Hogan 106, Graham Newman 105, Patsy Reams 105, Darren O’Connell 104, Mick Hogan 103 and Joseph McGrath Jnr. 101.
Dates for your diary: The annual Offaly Masters takes place on Sunday, July 17 and it is once again proudly sponsored by Niall Martin, Martin’s Golf Athlone. The event will be played in a Scratch Cup format and it is open to all registered PPUI members. Play commences at 9am and the last card is at 2pm with the playoff to commence around 5pm. All are very welcome!
The Offaly Inter-County Team Trials have reached the final two stages and full lists of standing can be found in your local clubhouse or on www.offalypitchandputt.ie The final two trials for both Gents and Ladies take place on Wednesday, July 13 and Wednesday, July 20 at Tullamore.
Important: The Offaly Matchplay Championships which were due to take place in Ferbane from Monday, July 11 to Wednesday, July 13, have now been rescheduled to take place in August. Further details and draws can be found in your local clubhouse.
ERRY PITCH & PUTT
THERE was a mixed competition recently and the winners were Billy Buckley Snr and Mark Keegan. The nett was won by Eamon Kidney and Helen Wynne.
The first nett winner in a recent scramble was John Joe Wynne’s team, comprising John Joe, Jackie Rabbitte and Michael Keegan. Second were Edward Fleming, Seanie Buckley and Billy Buckley. 1st Gross Mark Newman, Jason Kane and Steven Cowen. 2nd Gross Billy Buckley, Ronan Newman and Darren Newman.
Congratulations to William Buckley Jnr on winner the Leinster Strokeplay at Seapoint last Sunday.