Lawlor finishes second in Sweden as fellow Dundalk members gear up for big outing
With just two weeks to go to the Leinster finals of the Senior Cup at Mount Juliet members of Dundalk’s Senior Cup panel have been staking their claims for places in the quarter-final against The Island on Saturday week.
Three of the team found themselves in high-level competition over the past week with Caolan Rafferty in action at the Irish Close in The European Club, Eoin Murphy playing for Ireland in the Boys Home Internationals at Royal Dornock in Scotland and Brendan Lawlor featuring in the latest round of the European Disabled Golfers Association Tour in Sweden.
Lawlor, who has already won three times on tour this year, produced another super performance to finish second at the Golfstar course in Lindo, just two shots behind home hero Johan Kammerstad who shot a two round total of 145 for victory.
Lawlor shot a 75 in his opening round, which five birdies, and although conditions were trickier on the second day with a swirling wind and difficult pins, he produced five birdies on his way to a two over par 72 and second place.
Lawlor was actually three under after nine but found water on 10 and bogeyed the hole and then doubled bogeyed the 12th to give Kammerstad the breathing space he needed to close out the victory.
However, his performance in Sweden has moved Lawlor up to third in the EDGA rankings and he remains on target for a top five finish.
Eoin Murphy was part of the Ireland Boys teams that went very close to denying an England a three in-a-row at the Home Internationals in Royal Dornoch last week.
In Ireland’s opening match against Wales Murphy had an impressive 4&3 win over Connor Owen as Ireland romped to a 10-5 victory. Murphy took control from the start by winning the first two holes and although he lost the seventh he restored his two hole advantage on the 12th with a birdie three. He went three up with a par at the 14th before another birdie three at the 15th saw him close the match out.
Murphy had played in the morning foursomes with Max Kennedy of royal Dublin but they were only Irish pairing to lose as they went down 5&4 to Connor Owen and Rueben Bather in a match that saw the Welsh pair win comfortably despite failing to birdie any of the 14 holes played.
Murphy’s next involvement was in the singles against Scotland on Day Two and he picked up half-point in Ireland’s 10.5 to 4.5 win over the hosts. Murphy birdied the first to go one up but then lost three holes in a row from the fourth to go two down. He won the seventh but lost the 10th to find himself two down with eight to play. Wins at 11 and 15 saw him get the match back to all square and he parred 16 to go one up with two to play. However, he doubled bogeyed the par four 17th and the pair then halved the 18th in birdies as they shared the point.
That set up a final day showdown with defending champions England and the match was delicately poised at 3-2 after England narrowly won the morning foursomes. Murphy faced Harry Goodard who had won his previous two singles matches and the pair were involved in a ding dong battle that went all the way to the final hole.
One down after the first, Murphy got back to all square after three and birdied eight to go one up. He then had an eagle three at the 529 yard par five ninth to turn two up but lost the next two holes to return to all square. It was nip and tuck as that as Murphy won 12, lot 13, won 14, lost 15 and then won 16 to go one up with two to play.
However, a double bogey six saw him lose 17 to return to all square and then a bogey five on the final hole saw Goddard claim what proved to be valuable point in England’s 8-7 win over Ireland.
Caolan Rafferty suffered a similar fate over the final two holes of his second round tie with Eoin Leonard at the Irish Close in The European Club.
Having qualified in third place on level par, Rafferty got the matchplay phase off to a good start with a 3&1 win over Owen Crooks of Bushfoot and then met Eoin Leonard, a student at Yale University in the USA who plays out of Killiney and Wentworth.
It was tight match but Rafferty won the 16th to go one up only to lose the 17th and 18th and bow out of the Championships. Leonard showed it was no flash in the pan by reaching the final where he lost to 2&1 to Balbriggan’s Robbie Cannon.
There was further disappointment for Rafferty later in the week when the Irish selectors picked Robin Dawson, John Murphy and Colm Purcell for Ireland’s Eisenhower Cup team even though Rafferty has now moved to 62 in the world amateur golf rankings.