Shay’s Short Game: Jim Carvill wins Irish Seniors Close Championship

Suzanne Corcoran takes the women’s championship, three-in-a-row for Leinster

Carvill adds seniors title to CV

Jim Carvill from Banbridge clinched his first Irish Seniors Close Championship with three strokes to spare at Malone. Carvill carded rounds of 73, 68 and 72 for a level par total of 213 for the tournament, as he won with ease from Hugh O’Leary from Castlemartyr, who signed for 72, 70 and 74 for 216.

It was a final round of five birdies and six bogeys for Carvill, who built a comfortable cushion as the challengers fell away. Malone man Desmond Shearer claimed third place, two shots further back after rounds of 75, 72 and 71 for 218.

Portmarnock’s Adrian Morrow (60-64), Birr’s Billy Donlon (65-69) and Bangor’s Nigel Woods (70+) were the age-category winners.

For Carvill, this success is added to a CV that also includes the Leinster Over-30s (2016), East of Ireland (2005) and South of Ireland (2005) Championships.


Corcoran crowned Irish Senior Women’s Close Champion

Portumna’s Suzanne Corcoran won the Irish Senior Women’s Close Championship at Bunclody Golf Club with a 19th hole victory over Headfort’s Maria O’Reilly.

All square after 12 it was nip and tuck over the next few holes before Corcoran won the 17th with par. O’Reilly, with nothing to lose, took on a risky second shot at the 18th which paid off, landing just off the par five green for a winning chip and putt birdie. However a par at the first tie hole gave Corcoran the title.

O’Reilly ended The Island’s Gertie McMullen’s bid for a hat-trick of wins in the event with 2 and 1 in the semi-final while Corcoran saw off the challenge of The Heath’s Catherine Reilly.

Killarney’s Margaret Campion beat Slieve Russell’s Ann Monteith 4 and 3 to capture the Plate and the Shirley MacDonald Trophy while McMullen retained the Therese O’Reilly Trophy as leading qualifier on the last 18 from Laura Webb.

Leinster make it three on the trot

Leinster completed their first hat-trick since 1964 by winning a third successive Interprovincial Championship at Carlow. Not since that great side of the ‘60s won four on the trot from ‘62 to ‘65 have Leinster managed such a streak.

Following wins against Munster and Connacht, Leinster only needed to halve with Ulster in order to retain the title but they made certain anyway, victorious for the third day running.

Dominant in the morning foursomes, winning three matches, Leinster needed just two more points. And with comprehensive wins for Conor Purcell, Jonathan Yates and Mark Power at the top of the order, Seamus McParland’s side were celebrating once again.

Leinster’s Caolan Rafferty and Munster’s Geoff Lenehan were the strong players of the week staking their claims for a place in the Irish team for the Home Internationals by winning five and a half points each out of six.

Purcell won five points out of six with Kilkenny teenager Power’s four and a half out of six on his senior debut the other outstanding performance.

Walsh is Leinster Girls’ champion

Leading qualifier Lauren Walsh from Castlewarden won the Leinster Girls’ Championship at Seapoint with a 5 and 4 win over Rossmore’s Kate Dwyer.

Walsh turned one up and last year’s beaten finalist pulled away on the back nine with wins at the 10th and 11th setting up the victory.

Milltown’s Ellen O’Gorman and Lahinch’s Niamh O’Dwyer produced a spectacle of golf in the Plate final with O’Gorman emerging the winner. Zoe Dunne from Co Sligo took the Trophy final with a one hole win over Ciara Dunne from Naas.

Marshall the master in Munster Boys

Lisburn’s Aaron Marshall added the Munster Boys title to his victory in the Leinster Boys in April when he closed with a four-under-par 68 to win by one stroke from Tramore’s Jack Hearn in an exciting final round in Faithlegg.

After an opening 75, Marshall shot a 67 and followed that with another hugely impressive 68 to finish on 210. The Lisburn man had four birdies on the front nine but a double bogey on the fifth saw him turn on two under for the day. He finished strongly, with birdies at the two par fives on the back nine and a birdie on the difficult 18th.

Marshall’s 210 total (-6) was one ahead of second placed Jack Hearn from Tramore. Allan Hill (Athenry) shot a final round 69 to move up to third place. Overnight leaders Charlie Denver and Jack Madden both shot 73 (+1) to tie for fourth place.

European Young Masters named

Aaron Marshall (Lisburn) and Luke O’Neill (Connemara), Annabel Wilson (Lurgan) and Sara Byrne (Douglas), who have been selected for the European Young Mastersat at Oslo GC, Norway. The event is a 54-hole strokeplay tournament and runs from 27th-29th July.

Irene Poynton (The Island) captains the team with Peter English (Limerick) acting as team manager. As well as chasing individual honours, the three best cards each day will count towards Ireland’s total in the team event.

Annabel Wilson, who recently represented Britain and Ireland at the Vagliano Trophy in Italy, will play in this event for the third time. Wilson, the two-time Irish Girls’ Champion, finished sixth in 2016.

Sixteen-year-old Sara Byrne has enjoyed a stellar season and represented Britain & Ireland at the Junior Vagliano Trophy. Third at the prestigious Fairhaven Trophy, Byrne won the Munster Girls’ Championship in April.

For Marshall and O’Neill, this will be a new experience. Both players are members of the Ireland under-16 panel. Marshall claimed the Leinster and Munster Boys’ Amateur Open titles this season. O’Neill first made waves two years ago when winning the inaugural Connacht under-14 title on the back of his Munster under-13 success while he featured for Ireland’s under-16s at this season’s Quadrangular Series, winning five points from six.

The European Young Masters has featured Ireland’s finest young players in recent seasons. Lisa Maguire won the girls’ individual title at Chantilly in 2008, with sister Leona second as Ireland also finished second in the team event. Rory McIlroy was runner-up in the boys’ individual event in 2003.

Powerscourt Charity Day raises €28,000

Powerscourt Captains Paddy Boyle and Christine O’Neill recently presented a cheque for €28,000 to Professor Shaun McCann (Chair) of the Bone Marrow for Leukaemia Trust and Kathryn Johnston (BMLT Fundraiser). Powerscourt have raised in excess of €750,000 over the last 20 years for local, national and international Charities.

Entries open for Irish Times Shield

The ever-popular Irish Times Shield, which is part of the Leinster Alliance annual schedule, will be held at Luttrellstown Castle on Sunday, September 24th from 8.30 to 1.0. The Irish Times Shield is the last inter-club competition of the year and has taken place every year since 1927, without fail. The first winners were Hermitage Golf Club and most of the Dublin city clubs have won it at some stage. The stand out performance was from Howth in 1948, ‘49, ‘50, ‘51 and ‘53 and with six in total. The current holders of the Shield are Powerscourt Golf Club

This competition is for single handicap golfers from Dublin and the greater Leinster area. Open to all single figure players it is a four-man team event with three scores to count for the Shield. Club may also enter a junior team in the event.

Contact Brian Williams 086 252 4089 or Michael Ruane 086 8394378 at: The closing date is Thursday, September 14th 2017.

World Pitch and Putt title for O’Donovan

There was a dramatic conclusion to the World Pitch and Putt Strokeplay Championships in Norway as Bruff’s Liam O’Donovan got the better of long-time leader and defending champion John Walsh of Cork after a sudden death playoff at the Imjelt course. Walsh was five clear at the start of the final round but failed to improve on his score of 19 under par as O’Donovan shot seven under par in his closing round to force an initial three-hole playoff with Walsh for the title.

The pair could not be separated after the three holes meaning sudden death which saw O’Donovan birdie the fourth to complete a remarkable come for victory. O’Donovan now has the unique distinction of being the current holder of the Irish, European and now World Strokeplay titles. Third place went to Dubliner John Ross Crangle of Loughlinstown as the Irish Matchplay holder finished on 16 under par. Meath’s Eamon Gibney finished fifth a shot further behind.

In the Ladies section Eleanor Walsh of Fermoy made it a double for the Irish, winning with a tournament score of four over par six clear of Tipperary Hills’ Breda White in second. The Seniors event saw the Irish just miss out on a treble however as Pacelli Darcy (also Bruff) was two shots of the winning score of Catalonia’s Amador Rodriguez Fernandes with a tournament total of 13 under par.

Louise Solheim dies aged 99

Louise Solheim, wife of PING Founder Karsten Solheim, has died in Phoenix, Arizona, at the age of 99. Despite her desire to maintain a low profile, her countless contributions are widely recognised and deeply engrained in PING’s history. She is credited with naming the most famous putter in golf - the PING ANSER - which has been used to win more than 500 professional golf tournaments around the world. Her role in creating the Solheim Cup in 1990 opened the door to bringing women’s professional team golf to a world-wide stage for the players to show off their shot-making skills while competing for the honour of their countries.

Louise was predeceased by Karsten (February, 2000) and their daughter, Sandra Solheim Aiken (December, 2013). She is survived by her three sons: John A. Solheim, Karsten Manufacturing Corporation Chairman, President & CEO; Allan D. Solheim, retired Karsten Manufacturing Executive Vice President and current board member; and Karsten Louis Solheim, retired Karsten Manufacturing Executive Vice President and current board member.