Dublin Strokeplay Inter & Junior Gents

The Dublin Gents Inter & Junior Championships took place at a sun drenched Glenville on Saturday. The course was in pristine condition and the medium paced greens were receptive of high quality pitching. The inters were first into action and this was broken up into two sessions for the 69 competitors. In the morning session, it was local player Stephen “Clive” Darcy who was the one to excel, his opening round of 49 gave him the lead, no one else would break 50 in that 1st round in the morning session, with the likes of Christy Broe, Albert Mitten and CPM’s Shaun McDonnell all posting 53. One of the pre favourites Dave Hayden II struggled in the 1st round ending with a 57. In the 2nd 18, Clive Darcy added a 54 to his opening 49 to post the clubhouse lead on 103. Albert Mitten also finished under par on 107 with the likes of Christy Broe and David Hayden II finishing on 108. Barry Gorey the former matchplay champ from CPM added an impressive 50 to his opening 58 to also finish on 108.
In the afternoon session, Glenville player Aaron O’Droighnaine started superbly with a 50 and when he birdied the opening few holes of his second round, hopes were high among the home crowd that Aaron could bring the cup back to Glenville for the 1st time since 2009 when Julien Kelly triumphed in Erins Isle. However Aaron rounds stuttered a little and he finished with a 55 to finish on 105 well within contention. The afternoon session though belonged firmly to the Erins Isle group. Glenn Woodard the runner up last May started like he was determined to go one place higher in 2013 with a fluent 49. Charlie Egan recovered from a slow start (+3) through 5 to finish on 51 and Bernard Tester too added a 51 to be among the pace setters. In the 2nd 18, Charlie added a 50 to take the lead. Glenn was to finish with a 53 to lie just one behind and whilst it looked like Charlie would take the sole lead into the final round, reigning Dublin Matchplay champ Dave Donnelly had other ideas. Dave really found top form to shoot a 48 in his 2nd round and he joined Charlie at the top of the leaderboard on 101.
In the final round, the other players hoped to make early in roads into the Erins Isle trio’s lead, however Barry Gorey -3 through 6 was to 1st to shine. Clive Darcy threatened as well moving briefly to -5. Dave Donnelly made the perfect start with two birdies, whilst Charlie by contrast started poorly with back to back bogey’s. Glenn claimed 2nd spot with a birdie on the 1st as well almost holding his tee shot. Dave lead though was wiped out after a poor double bogey 5 on the 5th. Glenn though handed the initiative back to Dave with back to back bogeys on 7 and 8. Charlie though was struggling badly and found himself +3 for his round after 9 with little going right. On the back nine, Glenn’s pitching was deserting him, but his chipping and putting kept him in the game.Dave looked to have the cushion he needed but a bogey on 15th gave Glenn a lifeline. Dave though seized the initiative on the 16th with a brave birdie. However the drama was far from over. Dave inexplicably found sand on the back on the 17th and it cost him a bogey. Heading down the last, Glenn’s teeshot was very big and when his chip barely found the green, it looked like his chance of winning was over, however Dave with his ball nestled in the rough bladed his shot across the green, however to most onlookers the bogey four was enough to secure him the title by a shot. However when the cards were added the duo were level and a nine hole play-off was required to separate them.
Glenn was the 1st to lead when Dave bogeyed the 3rd, however Glenn found sand on the 4th and when his shot flew far past the green he had to settle for a double bogey five. Dave stretched his lead to two with a birdie on 7 and he extended it further with a birdie on 8. Dave made no mistakes on the 9th as he secured the par and with it became part of a very illustrious group to hold the Strokeplay and Matchplay titles at the same time. For Glenn it was rough to finish 2nd two years running, but with many more titles to play for in 2013, success maybe just around the corner. In the battle for third, both Charlie Egan and Clive Darcy were edged out by Barry Gorey, Barry produced the best third round of the day with a 50 and that was enough to seal third place on back nine.
The Junior event by contrast was far more straight forward although the winner just about held it together long enough to seal the top prize. Paul Dillon and Michael Monaghan from Lucan lead the way after 18 with impressive rounds of 52, however their paths took very different turns in round 2, as Michael slumped to a 66, Paul built on his score to add a 51 and finish on 103. With many scores from the juniors in the late fifties and early sixties, it looked like Paul would take a massive lead into the final 18, but the wiley local player Des Caffrey had other ideas, Des played very steady and finished on 108 to cut Paul’s lead to 5 shots. Dave Parsons from Old County was third a distant seven shots back. The play-off looked like a two horse shootout and so it proved. Paul extended the lead to six before Des reduced it back to four. Paul maintained that lead but their scoring was not good and the earlier groups were closing the gap. In the end Paul edged it by three shots, but his final round of 64 would not have pleased him. Des fared little better with a 62 and he just hung onto 2nd place as Dave Parsons had finished well with a 56 and a score of 171. Paddy Gorey from CPM and Eugene Notario from the host club were just behind Dave as well. Paul though was delighted with the win and emulated the success of his father in Ierne six years ago. It was a great end to a fantastic day of pitch & putt that had high drama, good pitch & putt and lots of sunshine at last.