This weekend see’s the Dublin Pitch & Putt season kick off, a full 4 months behind schedule. Clubs have come back over the past few weeks and competitions have started up once again in most courses. Now, under strict guidelines, our first taste of ‘outside’ competition will take place in the form of the Dublin Strokeplay Finals in Shandon Pitch & Putt Club.
We, as expected, have seen a downturn in entrants due to the current pandemic and these finals will no doubt be different, but they will nonetheless be as competitive as ever.
On Saturday, the ladies will be first to take to the tricky Phibsborough venue, filled with short pitches, raised greens, big bunkers and a long tough finishing stretch, it really tests all the abilities of the game of pitch & putt and the few deluges of rain the past couple of evenings will help the scoring improve.
The senior ladies get us underway at 10am, with a quite disappointing number of 7 players and some of the regular big players missing, this paves the way for only our 3rd different winner since 2010 after Glenda Hoey broke the Ger Ward 9 year winning streak in RGSC last year. On home soil, Maree O’Toole would have to be considered the favourite and even if the likes of the aforementioned pair in the field she would be expecting to put in a competitive score. Inter County experience is very much still to the fore though as most of these players have represented the Dublin ladies at some stage in their careers. Linda Thomson, a former Dublin Senior Matchplay winner, has not played much in the past couple of years, but this is a wide-open Championship and if her game clicks, she could leave a score for the others to chase. Louise Grace will be out in the first group with Linda and her solid play last year seen her on the edges of a playing place on the Dublin IC side, Pauline Balfe is another solid scorer too and her crucially knows how to win having collected Intermediate silverware over the past few years. The final trio of Helen Greagsbey, Ger Holland and Vera Glennon will also feel they can cause an upset in such a small field. An interesting title challenge awaits!
The Intermediates will also have an open feel to it. Defending champion Theresa King will fancy her chances once again having grabbed the title on RGSC home soil last year. RGSC are also represented by Marise Carroll, Susan Ritchie and Marie Dooley and maybe the title could once again make its way to Kingswood. The home challenge could once again be crucial with Shandon’s Mary Fullam no stranger to success in the past in Dublin Finals. Barbara Furlong is another competitive player and has experience on her side. Betty Cody of Loughlinstown has always threatened to do well in one of these finals having been successful in the Over 55’s National Strokeplays twice, she will be another to add to what is looking like a close fight between them all! Old County duo Ann O’Shea and Dolores Mason with some decent showings in their home competitions in the past few weeks they will look to bring that form across the Liffey.
The Junior title in recent years has been in the grip of the Glenville club with multiple winners over the past few seasons. Defending champion Christine Mulvey is not in the field so Catherine Fox will be hoping to step up on her runner up spot in RGSC. She will be ably assisted by 6 more Glenville ladies with Ann Flynn, Catherine Keane, Dolores Mullen, Nora O’Meara, Anna Minogue and Marie Campbell all looking to keep the cup in Glenville. The home and ‘Northside’ challenge are brought by sole challenger Joan Osbourne who will be hoping to potentially upset the travelling contingent. Old County also have two challengers with Jennifer McGreal and Kathleen Condron taking their chance. Kathleen in particular, has been in fine form around Old County so will be hoping the form travels with her to Shandon.
A small trio of fields but they look very wide-open Dublin Ladies Strokeplays this year and an exciting Saturday awaits. Good luck to all entrants