WHILE the season is still to kick into full gear somewhat, the county has it's eight year with a Munster title already after Deerpark's Jason O'Brien won last weekend's Munster Junior Gents Matchplay title in Parteen on the Clare/Limerick border.
Jason was a member of last year's All-Ireland winning Kerry U-16 team and has already had a great success in his first full season in adult competition.
Jason began his quest for the title with victory over Waterford's John Charles and PJ Ryan from Tipperary in Saturday's opening rounds before having a big win over local favourite Alan Bennis from Limerick in the semi-final 9&8 on Sunday morning.
Jason faced Cork's Shane Neiland in the afternoon's final and despite trailing by two after the first 18 holes he recovered to take a five hole lead during the second 18 and though Neiland drew the match back to 2&1 in the end, Jason had enough in hand to secure victory in the end.
His success topped off a good weekend for the Kerry contingent in Parteen. Tralee's Aidan O'Sullivan was a semi-finalist in the competition before eventually losing out Neiland.
Meanwhile, in the Intermediate competition both Tralee's Declan O'Connell and Aidan O'Connor from Castleisland were semi-finalists, O'Connor losing out to the eventual winner John Cunningham from the host club. It wasn't as good a year in the senior competition however; Deerpark's Damien Fleming was defeated in the First Round of the competition by defending champion Noel Joyce from Tipperary while Tralee's Tony Blake was defeated by Cork's Anthony O'Loughlin in the quarter-finals.
Last weekend's provincial success sets things up nicely for this Sunday's County Matchplay Championships in Tralee. The preliminary round matches in each of the three Gents competitions begin as follows: 8.30am (Junior), 8.55am (Inter) and 9.15am (Senior) with the first rounds in each to commence following same.
All players are requested to check with their clubs as to their allocated draw and time for matches. All players are reminded that the competition is a dress code event throughout.