Rogers shines to clinch Professional’s Prize at Dundalk Golf Club
Eddie Rogers produced a near flawless round in tough conditions to win Leslie Walker’s Professional Prize.
The popular four handicapper had only one blank on his way to carding a round of 39pts which included five three-point holes and three birdies.
It was enough to pip long-time leader Martin Cairns (17) who had set an early target of 38pts while Josh Mackin, who will shortly be heading to the USA on a golf scholarship, took the gross prize with an excellent score of 39pts which was enough to see him drop to an all-time low of plus two.
A total of 276 golfers teed it up over the two days and the scoring reflected the test provided by a long white course with slick greens.
They were the type of tough conditions that club stalwart Rogers has always embraced and after parring the first he birdied the second when, after a big drive, he left a sand wedge inches from the flag, which was tucked in behind the front right bunker, for a tap-in birdie and three points.
Pars at the third and the fifth and a two-point bogey at the index one fourth added another six points to bring his total to 11pts after five holes.
He then hit a purple patch over the next three holes as he picked up nine points with a birdie on the sixth, a three-point par on the index three seventh and another tap-in birdie on the eighth when another fairway-splitting drive was followed by a precision wedge to within inches of the flag.
Another two points from a par at the ninth gave him 22 points for his outward journey and in a position to strike for victory. Three more pars, included a three-pointer at the index two 11th, yielded another seven points to leave him on 29pts with six holes to go.
At that stage it was just a matter of getting home safely but disaster struck on the index 16 par three 13th. Rogers’ tee shot found a greenside bunker but he totally misread his par putt to leave himself a slippery putt for bogey which he missed to record his first blank of the day.
However, he drew on his many years of experience and regained his composure quickly to rattle off four two-point pars and a two-point bogey on the index four 16th. That 10-point haul brought him to 39pts and was enough to secure the 2020 Professional’s Prize.
Edmund Sheridan (14) shot 37pts to take the Veteran’s Prize on countback while Tom Dunne (10), Martin Byrne (13) and John McErlean (22) took the category prizes with Juvenile Captain Padraig Grennan (16) claiming the juvenile prize with a tremendous score of 42pts.
Despite the difficult conditions the competition managed to produce a hole-in-one when John Morrison recorded the first ace of his career as his tee shot with a six hybrid found the hole.
It was a good weekend for Dundalk in inter-club competitions as both the Barton Cup and Jimmy Bruen Shield teams advanced at the expense of Laytown & Bettystown and Bellewstown respectively.
On Saturday, in the Barton Cup, Dundalk faced Laytown & Bettystown for the third time in over a week and came away with a third win over the Co Meath club despite playing three of the matches away from home and facing a Laytown team packed full of experience with two scratch players and a plus one handicapper in their line-up.
The foundation for the victory was laid in Dundalk with two wins on home soil. In the top match Peter Rogers and Bobby McCarthy won 4&3 after three successive birdies on the seventh, eighth and ninths by McCarthy gave them a firm grip of their match.
Behind them Andrew Keenan and Conor Conroy had a one-hole lead playing the 18th and got the half they needed for the win when Keenan sank a six foot clutch putt on the final green.
Up in Laytown & Bettystown, Shane Hession and John Mulligan lost 3&2 after losing three holes in a row from the 12th when their opponents drained three successive long putts while Clem Walsh and Kevin Redmond also lost by the same margin.
But Mark Gorham and his 15-year-old partner Chris Clarke showed great character to hang in after seeing their opponents rattle in four birdies on the first four holes and were only one down after witnessing that onslaught. Clarke played exceptional golf and delivered four birdies of his own as he and Gorham secured a memorable 2&1 victory to send Dundalk into the next round where they will face Ardee.
On Sunday, in the Jimmy Bruen Shield, Joseph Laverty and Michael Staunton got things off to a flying start in the first of the home matches with a comprehensive 7&6 win while behind them Ciaran Sheridan and Emmet Savage McCabe won 6&5.
Over in Bellewstown, victory was secured when Eugene Hanratty and Conor Murphy won 3&2 to secure the winning point. The other two away matches were called in with Neil Mulooly and Chris Clarke all square while Damian English and Adrian Thornton were 1up.
Pat O’Hanlon (18) won Wednesday’s Open Singles with 41pts just pipping teenager Zak Alderdice (4) by a point with Kyle Rafferty (4) a shot further back on 39pts. There was consolation for Alderdice as he also recorded the day’s best gross round with 36pts Jack Arthur (8), Gerry Oakes (16) and Brendan Tinnelly (25) won the category prizes while Cillian Halpenny (16) took the juvenile prize.
Saturday, July 25 and Sunday, July 26 – Leslie Walker’s Professional’s Prize – Singles Stableford – Overall Winner: Eddie Rogers (4) 39pts, Second Place: Martin Cairns (17) 38/21pts. Gross Winner: Josh Mackin (+1) 39pts. Veteran’s Prize: Edmund Sheridan (14) 37/21/12/7pts. Cat 1 (<11): Tom Dunne (10) 38/20/14pts, Conor Murphy (7) 38/20pts, Vincent Conlon (9) 38pts. Cat 2 (12-17): Martin Byrne (13) 37/19pts, Patrick Dunne (16) 37pts, Michael Mc Dermott (16) 36/18/11pts. Cat 3 (18+): John McErlean(22) 37/21pts, Seamus Kelly (18) 37/20pts, Hugh Reilly (22) 37pts. Juvenile Winner: Padraig Grennan (16) 42pts. Hole in One: John Morrison (13th). CSS: Saturday – 35pts, Sunday – 35pts.
Wednesday, July 29 – Open Singles Stableford – Overall: Pat O’Hanlon (18) 41pts, Zak Alderdice (4) 40pts, Kyle Rafferty (4) 39/21pts. Cat 1 (< 12): Jack Arthur (8) 39pts. Cat 2 (13-20) Gerry Oakes (16) 38pts. Cat 3 (21+): Brendan Tinnelly (25) 36pts. Gross Recognition: Zak Alderdice (4) 36pts. Juvenile: Cillian Halpenny (16) 40pts. CSS: 72/36pts.