Kerry Pitch & Putt came to the fore again on the national stage as the county featured amongst the prizes in all three of the categories at the National Men’s Strokeplay Championships in Dublin and Louth at the weekend.
Pride of place went to Listowel’s Killian O’Gorman who claimed the Intermediate title in Killineer, county Louth on Saturday as he came out on top by a stroke after 54 holes. O’Gorman had set a massive early pace in shooting eight under par for the first 18 but could only finish nine under for the first 36 holes. That gave him a share of the lead alongside Louth’s Gary Coyle and Westmeath’s John Carton as it appeared to be delicately poised between the three of them ahead of the conclusion.
O’Gorman and Carton were level with nine to play on 12 under but a birdie in the closing stages pushed O’Gorman ahead of a strong finish from Cork’s Liam O’Mahony who carded a 14 under par score. Killian played safe on the last hole and got the par he needed to secure victory with his 15 under par total. Only 55 weeks after Tralee’s Michael Conway had won the 2020 staging of the Intermediate as well, O’Gorman brought the Cup back to Kerry once more as Listowel’s Declan McCarron also won this event back in 2010 as a member of Tralee.
McCarron’s nephew Bobby finished fourth overall in this event with 11 under as Deerpark’s Ger Casey also made the play-off for this grade. At the same time over in Ringcommons, Deerpark’s Robbie Harnett was playing his way to a third place finish in the Junior event after he had posted an initial eight under par for 36 holes putting him second overall ahead of the final 18. Harnett could only improve by another three shots in the playoff though as his 11 under par score saw him five off the winning score of 16 under par by Glen Martin of Killineer with Mark O’Regan of Tralee putting in a very commendable performance in finishing sixth on four under par.
Mark’s father Jason put in a very strong showing in the Senior Men’s event in Ringcommons on Sunday as he shot 16 under par to find himself one of a number of players one shot behind the 36-hole lead of Tipperary’s James Cleary. Michael Conway was only a shot behind Jason O’Regan as well on 15 under as Conway finished the tournament one ahead of O’Regan in the end with 23 under par as opposed to 22 for Jason. A bogey on the last cost Conway fourth outright and automatic qualification for next year’s event on countback but he still won the nett prize with a score of 87 when scores for those outside the top three were converted with their handicaps.
The tournament was won by Louth’s Sean Goggin with 26 under par as the focus in Kerry now switches to the under-16s this weekend as they have their County U-16 Strokeplay Championships in Listowel on Saturday from 10am.
Full details will be confirmed for players prior to play on Saturday.