Nenagh emerge victorious in Browne's Junior Pro-Am
The late Laytown and Bettystown professional Bobby Browne was a much-loved PGA coach and his Saturday sessions for children introduced countless numbers to the game.
It was fitting then that a host of clubs entered the qualifying events for the inaugural PGA Junior Pro-Am, which was created in Bobby's memory.
The Grand Final took place at Powerscourt Golf Club's West Course last week and victory went to Nenagh's Eanna Jones and his young team of Ronan Ducie, Shane Flynn and Jessica Reddan. Their score of 98 points proved too hot to handle for the rest of the field, in a tournament open to junior boys and girls between the ages of 10 and 18 who hold an official ILGU/GUI handicap.
Three venues hosted regional qualifiers - Headfort, Royal Curragh and Dundrum House Resort - with 23 teams lining up for the final.
Coollattin finished seven points behind Nenagh in second place, with a team comprising the club professional Peter Jones, Owen Young, Johnny Young and Cormac Redmond.
They edged out the Powerscourt professional Paul Thompson and juniors Conor Roe, James Kos and Jennifer Magee.
"It was a brilliant day and exactly the type of event that Bobby would have loved to see," said John Kelly, Chairman of the PGA in Ireland Southern Branch.
"Bobby's wife Carmel attended, as did his son Sean. The professionals really enjoyed it and Eanna Jones's team played some great golf to win. We even had a hole in one from Seapoint's Darragh McCann, a seven handicap.
"We really want to grow this event over the coming years, making it bigger and better."
Eanna Jones added: "It was a great idea. Most juniors don't get much of a chance to play golf outside of their home course these days.
"Transport seems to be an issue. I remember growing up that my junior convenor often hired a minibus to take us to other courses, but that doesn't seem to happen as much these days.
"So I think the kids welcomed the chance to play in a qualifier at Dundrum House and then on to finals day at Powerscourt."
The PGA Junior Pro-Am Grand Final, Powerscourt GC
1. Nenagh, Eanna Jones with Ronan Ducie (7), Shane Flynn (16), Jessica Reddan (35).
2. Coollattin, Peter Jones with Owen Young (18), Johnny Young (20), Cormac Redmond (20)
3. Powerscourt, Paul Thompson with Conor Roe (4), Jennifer Magee (14), James Kos (26).