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Shannon hosts Irish Close Championship

THIS weekend, Shannon will host the Irish Amateur Close Championship when the cream of Irish amateur golfers will be in action on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The Wednesday open singles saw Ross Walsh capture the honours with 42 points. Ross returned 22 points for his opening nine highlighted by an eagle at the second and a birdie at the fourth. A steady back nine of 20 points anchored him to victory, highlighted by a birdie at the 18th.
Ross had one to spare from a duo of Michael O’Connor and Ed Hickey both on 41 points. The highlight of Mike’s round was his opening seven holes, which he covered in level par with back-to-back birdies at the first and second. Further birdies were to follow at the 10th and 13th. Mike just edged out Ed Hickey on the back nine. Ed was around in two under gross recording three birdies at the second, fifth and eighth and an eagle three at the 18th. Visitor Tom Cooney from Tipperary won the gross with 30 points.
Last weekend, on Friday and Saturday, the club hosted the Holmpatrick Cup Qualifier, which saw Michael Wall and Adrian Tracey qualify with 8-up. They will now go on to represent Shannon in the county final.
The main competition at the weekend was the junior scratch cup, which saw former Clare junior camogie All-Ireland-winning team manager Colm Hanley lead the rest of the field a merry dance when victorious with rounds of 74 and 77 for a total of 151 to win by six shots from visitor Tom Cooney from Tipperary on 157.
Next came a trio on 158, Bryan Power and Damien Casey from Shannon and visitor Bryan Dore from Newcastle West. Best first 18 gross was won by Peter Power Jnr with 75 and Martin Colohan from Newtonstewart won the second 18 gross with 76.
On the inter-club scene, four of the club’s ladies’ teams were in action at the weekend with mixed results. The Junior Cup team managed by Rose Doyle and Catherine Vaughan overcame Dromoland three and two and the intermediate team, managed by Anna Ringrose overcame Kilkee by four and one. However, reverses were suffered by the Minor Cup team managed by Deirdre Coady by three and two and by the Challenge Cup team managed by Patricia Enright who lost also on a 3-2 scoreline.
In the nett section, junior member, James Corry, was victorious with 140 nett and had three shots to spare from Noel Birmingham from Rathbaneon on 143 nett. Fintan Ward won best nett first 18 while Joe Collins from Woodstock won best nett second 18.
The ladies’ Calcul team-of-three competition will take place next Tuesday.

Solheim Cup captain visits Ennis
EUROPEAN Solheim Cup captain Alison Nicholas treated over 100 golfers to a special clinic in Ennis at the weekend as part of the 2011 Solheim Cup Club Ambassador Programme.
Nicholas’ tour of the country sees the former British and US Women’s Open winner visit 30 golf clubs as part a recruitment drive to encourage members to support Europe in the showdown against the USA, which will take place in Killeen Castle, County Meath on September 23 this year.
The event at Ennis Golf Club saw locals and members given a once-in-a-lifetime lesson by the Solheim skipper, who encouraged all club golfers to come out and support the European team in September. The Ambassador Programme has already secured over 180 key representatives in golf clubs nationwide with the dual aims of generating massive spectator support from Irish club golfers and creating a dynamic bond between spectators and the European team in advance of the event.
The 2011 Solheim Cup is the most prestigious international team event in women’s professional golf and one of the biggest international sporting events to be staged in Ireland this year.

THE lady captain’s (Phil Butler) prize to the men was the competition at Ennis at the weekend when the winner was Joe Kelleher with 67 nett from Martin Coffey on 68, Michael Butler on 69 and Flan Glynn on 69. Gary Collins won the gross with 77.
Richard Keane won Friday’s open singles with 40 points from Alph Duggan on 38, Michael Cummins on 37 and John O’Connor (Woodstock) on 37. Noel Whelan won the gross with 31 points.
Ennis seniors hosted a team-of-three competition last Thursday when 65 members played. The winners with 48 points were Sean O’Gorman, John White and Bernard O’Loughlin from Tony Blake, Frank Landy and Seamus D’Arcy who had a similar score. In third spot with 46 points were Sean Fitzpatrick, Johnny Cullinan and Charlie McEnery, followed by Terry Hughes, John O’Flynn and Dick Herbert with 46, John Keane (Teagasc), Tom Fox and Vincent Gardiner with 45, Jim Scully, Dave Dillon and Don Ryan with a similar score.


IN the ladies’ weekly competition on Saturday in Dromoland, Sandy Smith was the winner.
The team-of-three competition in aid of Breast Cancer Day was won by Flor Coffee Mary Ann McGough and Anne O’Loughlin from Ennis Golf Club. In second place from Lahinch were Angela Cullinan, Jenny Cagney and Niamh Whelan. Third place was filled by Colette Colleran, Dorothea Madden and Annette Ryan from the host club.
The Waterford Glass two-day competition will take place this Saturday and Sunday.
In the men’s 18 hole single Stableford competition, Hugh O’Neill was the winner with 37 points from Brian Hickey with Brian Sheedy in third spot and all three returned 37 points. John Collins was in fourth place, a point back, while Aaron Duggan won the junior section with 37 points.
The monthly medal will be the competition this weekend and this is the second player-of-the-year competition.

No joy for Clare clubs in Barton Shield
CASTLETROY was the venue for the North Munster section of the Barton Shield at the weekend.
Clare clubs, Woodstock, Dromoland, East Clare and Ennis all bowed out in the opening round, losing to Nenagh, Charleville, Lahinch and Limerick respectively. In Dromoland’s game, the match went to the 23rd hole before Charleville emerged victorious.
Lahinch followed their win over East Clare by eliminating another Clare club, Shannon, in Round 2 to set up a semi-final date with eventual winners Limerick, who beat Castletroy in the area final.

IN the open singles at Woodstock last Wednesday, Brian Kearney (19) was the winner with 42 points from Tom Hanrahan (10) with 40 points.
The weekend singles was won by Sean Williams (14) with 39 points from Brendan Arthur (19) with 37 points and Barry Keane (16) with 37 points.
This weekend’s competition is the May medal.

LAST week’s ladies’ singles at Lahinch was won by Jenny Cagney (14) with 32 points.
In the open singles on Thursday on the championship course, John Royliston (9) was the winner with 34 points from Cathal Keogh (16) who had 29 points.
The men’s singles stroke monthly medal competition on Saturday was won by Adrian Lyons (12) with 71 nett from Bill Frazer (14) with 72 nett with Ger McMahon (7) in third spot with 78. Paul O’Brien won the gross with 84.

Spanish Point
SOME years ago, an American author called Tom Coyne trekked his way around the coast of Ireland, playing golf along the way. He wrote a book called A Course Called Ireland and already many American golfers have played Spanish Point having read his account of the game he played there.
Most recently, two professional golfers, Neil Jones and Rick Graham, both from Rivers Bend Golf Club, Chester, Virginia, USA, played the course during their tour of the West Coast, where they met course chairman John J Skerritt and club secretary, Tom Mernagh. They were very impressed with the layout and condition of the course, complimenting greenkeeper Dinny Gallery. They will play the course again before they return home.
Last week’s fourball was won by Martin Glenny (14) and John Meere (14) with 38 points in very windy conditions. In the Friday nine-hole team scramble, Fergal Hehir (14), Fred Haptenstal (20) and Roger Emmet (14) won with four-under gross from Kathleen Twomey (28), Brendan Reddan (15), Thomas Hehir (12) and Joe O’Rourke (19) with three-under.
The David McCarthy Memorial Nine-Hole re-entry will take place this Friday and Saturday, with the official opening and dedication of new practice facility at 9.30pm on Saturday.

LAST week’s ladies’ singles competition at Kilrush was won by captain, Geraldine Burke (23) with 37 points from Stephanie Roughan (33), who had a similar score. Niamh Whelan (13) was third with 36 points while the category winners were Mary Nolan (17) with 36 points, Kathleen O’Brien (27) with 35 points and Anne Marie Donnellan (36) with 36 points.
In the mixed scramble on Friday, the winners were Geraldine Burke, Kieran Lillis, Pat Shannon (Cranny) and Tom Cleary from Pat Shannon, Tom Coffey, Margaret Hehir and Pearl Mulcaire with third spot filled by John Hehir, Murt Collins, Michael Studdert and Ursula Lineen.
In the men’s open singles on Sunday, the winner was Robert Prunty (13) with 41 points from Liam Heffernan, Shannon (12) with 38 points and Neil Browne (5) who also scored 38 points.
The Independent Mixed Foursomes takes place in East Clare Golf Club on June 18 and those interested in being part of the team should put their names on the entry sheets which are posted in the locker rooms.

THE men’s competition at Gort at the weekend was an 18-hole v par and the winner was John Cunningham with seven-up from Tommy Nolan on three-up, Andrew Turner on two-up and Len Baker on two-up. Enda Cradock won the gross with four down.
The spring league winners were Adrian Conway, Joe Beakey, Michael Whelan, Naoto Nishio and Kevin Roche from Tony Kenny, Ger Connors, David Daly, John Daly and Dave Hennessy.
Last week’s open singles was won by Eanna Melville with 35 points from Val Hoarty on 33 points.
There will be a men’s fourball competition this Saturday and Sunday, while the weekly open continues on Monday.
In the ladies’ section, the Australian Spoons qualifier took place last week when the winners with 39 points were Siobhán O’Connor and Olga Price. Last week’s open singles was won by Ann Marie Cradock with 35 points,
This week, the ladies will play for the Cummins Trophy.

THE Connacht District Ladies’ Senior Cup was held at Portumna at the weekend. The format was five singles matches played off scratch.
Portumna were drawn against Athenry in the first match and won. They faced Claremorris in the second round where they were beaten. Claremorris went on to win in an exciting final against Roscommon.
In last week’s open singles the winner was Dermot O Donoghue (5), East Clare with 37 points from Sean Cleary (3) on a similar score. In third spot with 35 points was Laurence Corrigan (16), Craddockstown.
The gross was won by JP McLoughlin (2) with 32 points,
The annual Murphy Matchplay Draw and the foresomes draw will take place this Sunday.
The ladies’ and gents’ masters will take place this Sunday with the annual husband and wife competition on Sunday week.

CLARECASTLE Golf Society will hold its next outing at Ennis on Monday, May 30. The first tee has been reserved from 2.30pm. A timesheet will operate on the day. Members and guests intending to play should text their preferred tee time to 086 3246015.


SIXMILEBRIDGE Society will have an outing to East Clare this Saturday when the tee will be available from 11am to 12 noon.

Éire Óg
THE Éire Óg Society will have an outing to Ennis on Monday when the tee will be available from 4.30pm to 5.30pm. Those planning on playing should contact society secretary Tom Corbett at 086 3895895.

Ennis Voices for Autism
LAHINCH Castle Course will be the venue on Saturday week, May 28 for a team-of-four competition, which will raise funds towards a sponsored climb to Kilimanjaro, which will be donated to Ennis Voices for Autism, who have agreed that this money will be given to fund extra-curricular activities in autism units in Clare schools. For further information, contact Sinéad at 087 6739980.

Pitch and Putt
THE Clare Road Pitch and Putt Club’s scratch cups will be played for this Saturday with the tee available from 9am to 1pm.


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