independent

Monday 10 December 2018

High-flying Byrne

Joseph wins Irish Under-16 Open Championship

Joseph Byrne (Baltinglass) driving at the third tee during the third round of the 2018 Irish Boys Amateur Open Championship at Belvoir Park Golf Club on June 28. Picture by Pat Cashman
Joseph Byrne (Baltinglass) driving at the third tee during the third round of the 2018 Irish Boys Amateur Open Championship at Belvoir Park Golf Club on June 28. Picture by Pat Cashman

Brendan Lawrence, Sports Editor

While Paul Dunne is flying the flag for Wicklow golf in the world of professional golf, a 15-year-old golfer from Baltinglass is busy turning heads in the amateur ranks in back in Ireland.

Joseph Byrne, from Spynans outside Baltinglass, clinched 2018 Irish Boys Amateur Open under-16 championship title and claimed third in the under-18 competition at Belvoir Park Golf Club recently and the talented youngster is certainly on the right path for a career in the pro game.

Niall Doogue of Baltinglass Golf Club says that Joseph's work ethic and his total dedication to the game of golf is why he was successful at his latest competition.

'Joseph is one of the hardest working young golfers in Ireland,' said Niall Doogue. 'He's so dedicated it's unreal. It's non-stop with him, day and night, practice, practice, practice and he's a credit to his family and to the golf club. He's a grand chap,' added a proud Niall.

Joseph is the son of Colin and Clare Byrne and his grandfather Billy is a member of Baltinglass Golf Club. The talented 15-year-old plays off plus one and his brother William is playing off two while younger sister Molly is showing plenty of potential around the course as well.

Niall Doogue says as much as Joseph's success is down to his own talent and his own work ethic and upbringing, some of the credit has to go to Baltiglass Golf Club pro Tom O'Neill.

'Joseph has come up under the guidance of tom O'Neill, our club pro,' said Niall Doogue. 'Tom runs our juvenile section and he is one of the busiest men in Baltinglass. He's like the Pied Piper. Take a Saturday for example. He takes the senior kids (11, 12, 13 and 14 years of age) at 12.30pm, the nursey from 1.30 and then more children between 2.30 and 3.30pm,' he added.

Niall wished Joseph nothing but the best for the future in the game of golf. He says that Joseph is competing and winning competitions that the likes of Paul McGinley and Padraig Harrington were competing in when they were in their early twenties.

The future certainly looks bright for Joseph Byrne.

There was more good news for Baltinglass Golf Club as their Barton Cup team have qualified for the semi-final of the competition where they will meet New Ross.

To get to this point the team defeated Mount Juliet in the quarter-finals and they claimed the scalps of The Grange from Dublin, Kildare's Kileen and Tulfarris from Wicklow and will hope to go the whole way and claim their first Barton Cup crown since 1993 when they last lifted the trophy.

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