In brief: Dowling delight
Mary Dowling of New Ross, last year's Irish Ladies Close champion, opened her 2011 campaign in style by winning the prestigious Royal Co Down Ladies Scratch Salver.
Dowling's 156 (78, 78) gave her the victory last Sunday by a shot from 2007 Irish champion Karen Delaney of Carlow.
Delaney, sister of Ladies European Tour professional Tara, made a great recovery from an opening 84, for a second-round 73.
Meanwhile, former Curtis Cup player Claire Robinson (Knock) will captain the Irish team for the European Team championships in Austria next July and the Women's Home Internationals in September.
Niamh Kitching (Limerick) is the Girls team captain, while Roma English of Larne will captain the ILGU Senior International team.
JACK Dempsey, skipper of the Home Farm FAI Cup-winning side of 1975 -- the only amateur club to win the Blue Riband of Irish soccer, is the 2011 captain of the Irish Professional Footballers' Golf Society.
The society is open for membership to all past and present League of Ireland footballers, and new members are welcome. Dempsey is hosting his Captain's Day in his home club, Malahide, on June 20.
Irish Professional Golf Society officers -- President: Joe Wilson; Captain: Jack Dempsey; Secretary: Alf Girvan; Treasurer: Jim Kinsella. Committee: Ben O'Sullivan, Mick Millington, Gerry Garvay, and Christy Whelan. Outing dates: Lucan May 9; Malahide (Captain's Day) June 20; Newlands (President's Day) July 28; St Anne's September 1; Castlewarden (AGM) September 29.
GARY Murphy tuned up for this week's Challenge Tour event in Kenya with a confidence-boosting five-under-par 67 at Baltray in the RaboDirect Hilary outing on Sunday.
Murphy, who lost his Tour card last year, had the best professional score in the outing.
Paul Behan (4, St Anne's) birdied the last two holes for 70 to win the outing, defeating David Foley (5, Royal Dublin) on the back nine.
Eoin Arthurs of Forrest Little won his second Gross prize of the campaign.