Shay’s Short Game: Five Irish on Vagliano teams

Meanwhile, Arthurs wins at Co Meath while Moynihan’s work with new coach pays off

The 2017 Vagliano Trophy and Junior Vagliano will include five Irish players at Golf Club Bogogno in Italy from June 29th to July 1st. The Irish Curtis Cup trio of Olivia Mehaffey, Leona Maguire and Maria Dunne will this year be joined by Annabel Wilson while Sara Byrne is selected for the Junior Vagliano Team.

The Vagliano Trophy began as a match between Britain & Ireland and France in 1931 and was played annually until 1939 and again after World War 11 in 1947 and 1949. It became a biennial event thereafter. Since 1959, the match has been played between B&I and a team representing the Continent of Europe. The Vagliano Trophy, given by French golfer Andre Vagliano, was last played at Malone Golf Club, Belfast, in 2015 in which the Continent of Europe emerged victorious for a fifth consecutive time.

The Junior Vagliano Trophy, an U16’s Girls match, is played alongside the main Trophy which saw Annabel Wilson (Lurgan) and Mairead Martin (Kanturk) make their debuts at Malone. Wilson has confirmed her place on the senior team for the 2017 matches while up and coming star Sara Byrne (Douglas) has added a B&I Cap to her first International call-up to the Irish Girls’ European .

Vagliano Trophy Team: Gemma Clews (England), India Clyburn (England), Maria Dunne (Ireland), Alice Hewson (England), Sophie Lamb (England), Leona Maguire (Ireland), Olivia Mehaffey (Ireland), Annabel Wilson (Ireland).


Junior Vagliano Trophy Team: Sara Byrne (Ireland), Annabell Fuller (England), Lily May Humphreys (England), Euphemie Rhodes (England), Ffion Tynan (Wales), Carys Worby (Wales). Captain: Claire Coughlan-Ryan (Ireland).

Arthurs best in PGA qualifier

Eoin Arthurs won the Galvin Green PGA Assistants’ Irish qualifying round after hitting the highs and the lows at Co Meath Golf Club. Arthurs, representing Co Dublin’s Kinsealy Grange Golf Academy, is in his first year of PGA training after making a decision to leave the amateur circuit behind.

The former East of Ireland Amateur Open champion won in difficult conditions at Trim where his one over par round of 74 proved enough to top the leaderboard by one shot ahead of Sergio Coyle from St Anne’s Golf Club and Michael McGeady (Seamus Duffy Golf Academy). Arthurs made five birdies but held on for victory despite making an eight at the par four 13th.

Now he will join 12 other qualifiers from Ireland at the £32,000 showpiece event being held at Coxmoor Golf club in Nottinghamshire from August 2nd-4th.

GUI retain Carey Cup

The GUI retained the trophy after 6-6 tie against MGA of New York in the Governor Hugh L Carey Challenge Cup at Galway Bay Golf Resort. Wins for Colm Campbell, Jonathan Yates and Conor O’Rourke secured a tie for Tony Goode’s side. Another half point was needed for overall victory and Trevor Randolph ensured that it eluded the Irish with a one-hole win against Kevin Le Blanc.

Le Blanc won the 17th to keep his match alive, having gone down when Randolph birdied 16. With both players putting for birdie at the last, Le Blanc’s effort from 15-feet just missed and Randolph was able to secure his point with a par.

Earlier, Darren Goldstein and Ethan Ng had won the first two matches to put MGA in position for victory. Conor O’Rourke won his third point of the week with another impressive display against Brian Komline, winning 3 and 2.

Naas clubmate Jonathan Yates produced the same result against Tyler Cline for his third win. Colm Campbell never trailed against Steward Hagestad, low amateur at The Masters. Campbell pitched in for eagle at the 14th, which was only good enough for a half when Hagestad rolled in a 15-footer. By that stage, Campbell was in control and he closed out a 4 and 3 win.

Grimmitt strikes late to take Seniors title

Nicholas Grimmitt from Wales won the Irish Seniors Amateur Open at Co Tipperary, carding rounds of 78, 74 and 71 for 223 and a one shot over Tramore’s John Mitchell.

Mitchell, who shot rounds of 72, 76 and 76 for 224, was denied a play-off place when his par putt lipped out at the last. Having carded the joint best round of the week – and only the second sub-par effort – Grimmitt took top honours.

The Welshman was four shots behind setting out and it was only on the back nine that he made his move. Having turned in 37, two over, but three birdies in his last five holes, Grimmitt stole a march on the field. His three-round total of 223, plus seven, proved best.

Mitchell, who was at the head of affairs from day one, could have forced a play-off with a closing par but his six-footer caught the lip and stayed out. The Tramore man began his final round joint leader with England’s Andrew Carman.

Grimmitt made four birdies on the back nine, beginning with a four at the 11th. He then made three in four holes from the 14th, which put him in the clear. Like Mitchell, he bogeyed 18, but his was not as costly.

When the home challenger failed to get up and down at his 72nd hole, the title was Grimmitt’s. Mitchell had to settle for second. England’s Douglas Cameron finished a shot further back in third. Next best of the Irish players was Joseph McWilliams from Naas, who was tied fourth following a final round 74.

Moynihan on course to secure Tour card

Mount Wolseley’s Gavin Moynihan all but secured his Challenge Tour card when he picked up €22,000 and jumped from 81st to eighth in the Road to Oman rankings following his runner-up finish in the Andalucia Costa del Sol Match Play 9.

The 22-year old from The Island went down by 2 and 1 to England’s Aaron Rai in the final. Forced to come through an 11-man play-off just to make the matchplay draw, Moynihan’s hard work with new coach Shane O’Grady of Black Bush Golf Club in Dunshaughlin paid off as he built on his recent PGA Europro Tour win at Close House.

A 3 and 1 winner over Scott Fernandez in round one, he had to go to the fourth tie hole, the 13th, to beat Pablo Martin in round two. He then beat the talented Swede Marcus Kinhult 2 and 1 in the quarter-finals and England’s Charlie Ford 3 and 1 in the semi-finals before going down fighting to an inspired Rai in the decider.

Murphy down the field in French Open

Kinsale’s John Murphy finished tied for 20th behind England’s Josh Hilleard in French International Amateur Open at Chantilly. Tied for fifth at halfway after rounds of 71 and 68, the Maynooth University student added rounds of 72 and 75 to finish on two-over par.

That left him eight strokes outside a play-off for the Coupe Murat which saw Hilleard (74 68 72 64) and France’s Pierre Pineau (73 74 68 66) tie on six-under par before the Englishman won with a par at the second tie hole (the 17th).

In the Welsh Open Strokeplay at The Vale Resort, Warrenpoint’s Jamie Fletcher was the best of the Irish in tied 26th on nine over par.

That was well behind runaway winner Gian-Marco Petrozzi of England, who closed with rounds of 70 and 74 to win by nine strokes from Jack Gaunt and by ten from Walker Cup hopeful Jack Davidson on 13 under par.