Brophy takes after his better half
KEEPING it in the family -- that's Mount Wolseley captain Greg Brophy.
The bould Greg led his team to victory in the latest qualifying round of the Allianz-Irish Independent Executive Trophy at Mount Juliet. But in doing so, he was merely emulating the feat of his wife, Brede, who featured on last year's Mount Wolseley team that also won this same qualifier.
Greg, along with his club's lady captain Catherine Murphy and vice-captain Martin Savage, returned a score of 79 points on a two-to-score stableford format.
It not only gave the county Carlow team the handsome Waterford Crystal prizes which are awarded to the leading qualifiers but also, most importantly, Greg regained the bragging rights in the Brophy household.
"Last year my wife Brede was thrilled to be on the winning team, so when I saw the entry form come in for this year, I knew it had to be returned promptly," said Brophy
"And no, Brede didn't give me any advice coming down here. She might even have suggested we wouldn't be able to match what they did last year!
"But it's all a bit of fun. We were just delighted to be here on such a beautiful day, and to win the event was a big bonus."
Last year, Brede had a big role to play in the Mount Wolseley success, and the 2010 lady captain, Murphy, maintained that tradition.
The highlight of her round was a birdie two on the 142-yard (for the ladies) par-three 14th.
Catherine used her driver to hit the green and holed a 15-foot putt for her two which, with two shots on the hole, was worth five points.
The captain tacked on another two points at this hole, so that seven-pointer considerably helped the team's cause.
Mount Wolseley's trio had two points to spare over second-placed Kilkenny Golf Club, represented by captain Charlie Phelan, lady captain Margaret McCreery and honorary officer Michael O'Reilly. Local knowledge did no harm to Kilkenny's cause, and the Cats clinched their place with a fine back-nine performance of 40 points.
Third place went to Courtown's team of captain Denis Howell, lady captain Marion Siggins and president Malachy Travers on 76 points. "A great day on a great course. It played long but was very fair, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves," was Howell's verdict.
Last, but not least, were Woodenbridge (captain John Harkin, lady captain Sandra Watkins and honorary secretary Mark Burke) with 75 points.
"Well, we got there by the skin of our teeth. We didn't make it easy for ourselves by dumping two balls in the lake on the 17th, so it was up to the lady captain to get a bogey and two points that turned out to be very important. But we'll move on now and enjoy The K Club," said Harkin.
Woodenbridge pipped Carrick-on-Suir on a countback. The gallant Carrick-on-Suir effort was led by captain Liam Daniels, ably assisted by lady captain Kitty Flynn and president John McNamara.
Their back nine of 37 points was three points inferior to the inward half scored by Woodenbridge, who now join Mount Wolseley, Kilkenny and Courtown in the final at The K Club on September 2.
A total of 21 clubs were represented, and the 63 golfers who took part in the event were blessed by glorious sunshine and a course in fine condition.
Mount Juliet recovered brilliantly from the downpours of the weekend and, though there wasn't much run on the ball, the fairways were firm and the greens rolling true.
The men played off the white markers and that made the test a little more challenging -- just the way we like it! Everybody knows that golf, like every sector of the economy, faces challenging times, but this was a day away from the cares and the responsibilities of office for the club officers.
Allianz Ireland chief executive Brendan Murphy underlined the relaxed social aspect of the event, and said: "We are delighted to co-sponsor this event with the Irish Independent.
"We believe it gives the club officers a chance to mix with their peers and on a fine day like this, there's no nicer place to be than Mount Juliet."
Murphy thanked Golf Sales Manager Francis Reynolds and the course and catering staff for the quality of the facilities and service, and was delighted that Mount Juliet captain Jim Cusack and lady captain Sally Gleeson made time to attend the post-golf dinner.
Indeed, Cusack spoke eloquently of the value of such sponsorships to golf, and was delighted to welcome the event to Mount Juliet for the 15th successive year.
Now it's on to the final qualifying event at Westmeath venue Glasson on Wednesday, August 4.
Allianz-Irish Independent Executive Trophy
79 pts Mount Wolseley (G Brophy 13, C Murphy 29, M Savage 8)
77 pts KILKENNY (C Phelan18, M O'Reilly 17, M McCreery 16)
76 pts COURTOWN (D Howell 17, M Travers 15, M Siggins 21)
75 pts WOODENBRIDGE (J Harkin 14, M Burke 8, S Watkins 10).