Dublin Gents Strokeplay: Titles for Chris, Eric and Alyn in Lucan

There was mixed weather awaiting the players in Lucan on Sunday as the Gents Inters got things underway just after 9pm. Twenty seven players looking to land the title won so emphatically by Charlie Egan last July. David Hayden II was the last winner of this event when the championships was last held in Lucan in 2008. David was in Sunday’s field as well. In the 1st round Tony Gallagher posted the best score with a 49 and Paul Dillon was well in contention with a 50. Conditions were tough with persistent rain making life difficult for the players. After the second round though, there was a new Lucan player at the head of affairs with Tom McMorrow leading the way by a shot from Portmarnock’s Tom Brady. In total though there was just seven shots separating the top 10 with the cut coming at 107.
The Junior event saw just 12 taking part with Lucan well represented. Lucan secretary Peter Keogh posted an excellent 53 to lie two shots behind 1st round leader Alyn Poelen who had a fine 51. There was also players at 54 and some at 55 as the field was tightly bunched. In the 2nd round, despite a slow start Alyn regrouped and added a 53 to his earlier 51 to finish on 104. It gave Alyn a four shot lead over Erins Isle David Roy on 108. The Junior cut was just six players and came at 114.
The Seniors teed off just after 12. There was 33 players in the field including the holder Chris Gallagher. Many of the early starters  struggled to break 50 with Graham Flanagan and Terry McMorrow the exception. Scoring was quite high until the holder Chris Gallagher got going and he blew the field away with a stunning 43. This gave Chris a five shot lead through 18. In the 2nd 18, Junior Smith and Darren Kane both made their moves adding 45’s to their earlier 49 and post 94. Darren’s with an impressive eight birdies on his back nine. Chris made a good start to his 2nd round but he failed to extend his lead and finished on 92 and lead bytwo shots. The cut came in at 99 and there was some notable players to miss that cut including JR Crangle & Keith Redmond.
The Inters play-off got underway shortly after 4 with David Redmond & Paddy Croke leading them off. The two Tom’s lead the way but if they thought it was a 2 horse race they were very much mistaken. Eric Byrne from Old County had moved from -2 to -5 through 6 holes and continued to hit top form eventually posting a 46 to finish on -10 to take the clubhouse lead. Tom Brady failed to build on his earlier scores and had to settle for a 54 and an -8 finish. Tom McMorrow needed a putt on 18 to force a play-off and he duly sunk it to finish on -10 and lead to a 9 hole play-off with Eric Byrne.
The top six in the Juniors saw Alyn take a four shot lead into the final round. Alyn found trouble in the opening six holes and home favourites Stephen Needham and David Lee made their move to move within three shots. David Roy was unable to build on his fine second round as he found trouble on the front nine. Alyn though just like in his second round recovered from the early wobble and found his pitching. A succession of Birdies forged into a lead that he would not relinquish. The dual for 2nd was a tight one and in the end Stephen just edged out David on the final 18 for 2nd place. Alyn fnished on 157(-5) with Stephen & David finishing on -1 (161)
The top 12 in the seniors saw Chris lead the way and he started well to extend the lead over the rest of the field, but Darren was keeping case and moved to within two shots of Chris as they hit the back nine. However a five on the 12th for Darren was to give Chris the cushion he needed and despite late birdies from Darren, Chris was o hold his nerve and secure a three shot victory finishing on 139(-23). In third place Paddy Noonan was a popular podium finisher as he just edged out Junior Smith finish on 145 (-17). Chris win saw him retain the title the 1st player to do it since Derek Courtney ironically won the title n Lucan in 2008 after his win in Ierne the previous year.
Now there was drama of the play-off in the Inters. Eric Byrne made the ideal start with a birdie on the 1st and when Tom found trouble on the 2nd and 4th, Eric was four shots clear after 5 holes. However back to back birdies for Tom saw the lead reduced to 1 playing the eight, but Eric found the birdie on the 8th and it was enough to seal the win for Eric.
All three players were delighted with the wins and Chris was overjoyed to equal his clubmate David Hayden three Dublin titles. However on today’s evidence it may not be his last one. A big thanks to our sponsor Drain Doctor and Paul Griffin who was on hand to assist with the presentation. Thanks as well to Lucan for a wonderful weekend and a pristine course. Well done to all who qualified for today’s finals and all who took part in the qualifiers in RGSC and Old County and a special well done to our winners, Ger, Evelyn, Dora, Chris, Eric and Alyn.
Gents Strokeplay:
Winner: Christopher Gallagher (Lucan) 139
Runner up: Darren Kane (Lucan) 142
Third: Paddy Noonan (Erins Isle) 145 (o.b.9)
Inter Championship:
Winner: Eric Byrne (Old County) – 152 * – on a 9 hole play-off
Runner up: Tom McMorrow (Lucan) – 152
Third: Tom Brady (Portmarnock) 154
Junior Championship:
Winner: Alyn Poelen (Lucan) – 157
Runner up: Stephen Needham(Lucan) – 161 ** – on back 18
Third: David Lee (Lucan) – 161